Resnick Gerontology Center

Mission

Joe Verghese, M.B.B.S., M.S.
Director: Joe Verghese, M.B.B.S., M.S.

The Albert Einstein Jack and Pearl Resnick Gerontology Center:

  • advances broad aspects of aging research among Einstein clinical investigators and basic scientists
  • promotes interdepartmental collaboration regarding aging-related endeavors
  • enhances education and training related to the care of older adults at Einstein hospitals and outpatient clinics

History and Milestones

In 1980, Jack and Pearl Resnick, long-time loyal friends and supporters of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, endowed a Gerontology Center at the medical school. Their vision anticipated what soon would become a national health concern in the United States: the increasing numbers of older people whose longevity was reaching and even exceeding the biblical four score and ten. Today there are more than 35 million Americans aged 65 and over, about 13% of the population. That number is projected to grow to over 69 million (20% of all Americans) by the year 2030 and to nearly 80 million by 2050.

The Center was directed by Dr. Robert Katzman from its inception in 1980 until 1992, stimulating a nationally-recognized focus and expertise in research on dementia. Continued funding and activity of the Teaching Nursing Home allowed a focus on dementia research which complemented the basic science investigation in this area.

Dr. David Hamerman assumed the directorship of the Center in 1992 and created wide visibility for aging research programs at Einstein through a pilot research grant program, stimulated student research in aging (with AFAR awards), and was responsible again for promoting career development in aging research for several faculty members who have since become prominent investigators in aging-related disciplines. The Center supported the development and enhancement of medical student geriatrics education. He supported the collaboration between the Divisions of Geriatric Psychiatry, Bioethics, Geriatric Medicine and Neurology regarding educational and research activities which continues until the present time.

Dr. Laurie Jacobs was appointed as director in 2004. She established goals of enhancing and broadening the pilot grant award program in aging, strengthening collaboration between basic and clinical research activities, and expanding efforts in education and training in geriatric medicine at Einstein.

Dr. Joe Verghese, Chief of the Integrated Divisions of Cognitive and Motor Aging (Neurology) and Geriatrics (Medicine), is the current director of the Resnick Gerontology Center.

Aging-Related Research

Pilot Grant Award Program in Aging-Related Research

The Einstein-Montefiore Resnick Gerontology Center sponsors a program supporting intramural research related to aging. The program provides funding to support new investigators, allow established investigators to explore new directions, and enables the Center to attract scientists from other disciplines to aging and geriatrics research. The awards are consistent with the Resnick Center’s mission to encourage and assist the development of future leaders in the field of aging by supporting clinically trained faculty members early in their careers and by establishing independent programs in aging research.

Current and Ongoing Projects

Yousin Suh, Ph.D.
Yousin Suh, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Genetics
Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences
Professor, Department of Medicine (Endocrinology)

Funding from the Resnick Center supports Dr. Suh's pilot project on the epigenetics of frailty in aging. Her research primarily focuses on investigating the genetic components of aging and aging-related disease using functional genomics approaches. In a previous research study, she discovered an inherited enzyme found in centenarians that protects cells from aging. The current project aims to identify micro-RNAs as potential biomarkers of frailty and examine differences between frail and healthy elderly participants using data collected from two cohort studies at Einstein, the Central control of Mobility in Aging study and the LonGenity study. Findings from this pilot study could increase understanding of micro-RNAs as potential biomarkers of frailty in older adults.

Helena M. Blumen, Ph.D., M.S.
Helena M. Blumen, Ph.D., M.S.

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Geriatrics)
Assistant Professor, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology

Dr. Blumen was awarded the pilot grant funding from the Resnick Center to examine collaborative memory processes in the elderly. The primary focus of her project was to study the functional neural systems associated with collaborative memory in younger and older adults. She presented her findings at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition in Victoria, Canada in 2015. She has also contributed a chapter entitled “Collaborative memory interventions for age-related and Alzheimer’s disease-related memory decline” for a peer-edited book entitled Collaborative remembering: How remembering with others influence memory, which will be published by Oxford University Press in 2016.

Giles Allai, M.D., Ph.D.
Giles Allai, M.D., Ph.D.

External Collaborator from the Department of Clinical Neurosciences
Geneva University Hospitals and University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

With support from the Resnick Center, Dr. Giles Allali completed his visiting scholar appointment with the Division of Cognitive & Motor Aging, Department of Neurology in July 2015. During his appointment his primary interest was in studying the relationship between motor systems and cognition in normal aging and in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Several of his publications over the last year were made possible with support from the Resnick Center:

  1. Allali G, Ayers E, Verghese J. Multiple modes of assessment of gait is better than one to predict incident falls. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. 2015; 60(3):389-93.
  2. Allali G, Ayers E, Verghese J. Motoric cognitive risk syndrome subtypes and cognitive profiles. Journal of Gerontology: Series A. 2016; 71(3):378-84.
  3. Allali G, Ayers E, Holtzer R, Verghese J. The role of Postural instability/gait difficulty and Fear of falling for predicting falls in non-demented older adults. Journal of the Neurological Sciences (in review).

Jack and Pearl Resnick Gerentology Center Annual Report 2020
Highlights research, academic and educational activities sponsored by the Resnick Center in 2019.