UCLA Geriatrics and Gerontology Research
|UCLA/Hartford Center of Excellence|
For four decades, the UCLA Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology (MPGMG) has been recognized as a national leader in providing clinical care for older persons, teaching health professionals how to better care for older persons, and conducting research aimed at improving the health and independence of older persons. A key component of the MPGMG's mission is to train faculty in geriatrics. In 1988, the UCLA/Hartford Center of Excellence (CoE) was among the first 10 Centers funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation. In 1998, UCLA developed a faculty development strategy that has persisted to the present. The basic elements of that strategy rely on:
• innovation (i.e., developing new approaches to faculty development)
This approach has been highly successful in generating academic geriatrics faculty who have gone to other institutions or have remained at UCLA. Some previously supported CoE faculty are serving as mentors for the current trainees.
1. Tuition and research/educational project support of advanced geriatrics fellows, including those who are in combined geriatrics-subspecialty training programs
The UCLA/Hartford CoE currently supports five trainees:
Lee Jennings, MD completed her geriatrics fellowship in 2010 and is a first-year fellow in the NRSA fellowship in primary care and health services research. She aims to become a clinician-scientist with a research focus on HIV and aging. She plans on developing and conducting preliminary testing of a screening, assessment and intervention program addressing common conditions among older adults with HIV including cognitive and functional impairments.She will both conduct this project and obtain additional clinical experience with HIV at the UCLA CARE clinic where patients with HIV receive primary care.
Scott Kaiser, MD is a geriatrician who is completing a two-year NRSA fellowship in primary care and health services research. He aims to become a clinician-scientist with a research focus on developing, implementing and disseminating community-based media to improve health and quality of life for older adults. He is producing television programming including elements of attribution retraining to increase physical activity in older adults. He plans on assessing its efficacy by conducting a pilot randomized trial comparing this programming to standard programming on topics other than physical activity.
David Merrill, MD, PhD is a geriatric psychiatrist with a doctorate in Neurosciences who joined the UCLA faculty in July 2010 and is on his second year of the CoE award. He plans to extend his research to examine the mechanisms by which physical fitness and neuroinflammation are related to changes in brain structure and memory in older adults.
Armin Shahrokni, MD, MPH completed his geriatrics fellowship in 2010 and is currently completing the oncology component of a combined geriatrics oncology fellowship. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine and then obtained an MPH in Behavioral Science with the intent of becoming a clinician-scientist. He has particular interest in examining the influence of social support on quality of life among older adults with cancer. He will use data from the ATHENA Breast Health Network to examine the impact of social support on quality of life among women with newly diagnosed breast cancer.
Peter Ward, MD completed the geriatrics component of his combined geriatrics-oncology fellowship and is now completing the oncology component. He is taking courses in UCLA's K30 program in translational research and wishes to become a clinician-scientist with a focus on identifying and preventing or minimizing toxicity from chemotherapy for older adults with cancer. He plans to analyze data from the SEER-Medicare database to examine whether older adults receiving potentially neurotoxic chemotherapy will have an increased rate of falls and fall-related outcomes compared to those who do not receive neurotoxic chemotherapy.