Welcome to the Institute for Aging Research

Affiliated with Harvard Medical School, the Institute for Aging Research is the largest gerontology and geriatrics research facility in the country based in a clinical setting.  Institute scientists work to discover the mechanisms of aging diseases and disability, which leads to the prevention, treatment and cure of disease, advances the standard of care for older people, and informs public decision-making. Their vision is to transform the human experience of aging by ensuring a life of health, dignity and productivity into advanced age.

From the Institute's world-renowned musculoskeletal research, to the Aging Brain Center, to social research that measures the success of our systems of care at home and abroad, the Institute's multidisciplinary aging research faculty, promotes scientific investigation that considers the complex relationship between biological, social and psychological factors that influence how well we can all live in old age now, and in the future.

Read the latest news about the Institute for Aging Research in our newsletter, Frontiers.

Download the Institute for Aging Research Fact Sheet 2012.

Research In Your Life

Animal Protein is Good for Bones 
The healthful advantages of a vegan diet-one that excludes all forms of animal protein-have been espoused by its proponents in the popular press. Before swearing off fish, eggs and meat, however, researchers at Hebrew SeniorLife's Institute for Aging Research caution the public to look at their studies, which indicate that overall protein intake-as well as animal protein consumption-promotes bone health. Learn more.

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Sharon K. Inouye, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Aging Brain Center
Milton and Shirley F. Levy Chair in Alzheimer's Disease
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Sharon K. Inouye, M.D., M.P.H. As director of the Aging Brain Center, Dr. Inouye's research focuses on delirium
and functional decline in hospitalized older patients. She previously developed a
widely used instrument for the identification of delirium and a multicomponent intervention strategy to prevent delirium. Learn more.

The Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife is a not-for-profit, non-sectarian organization funded through government grants for aging research and individual, foundation and corporate gifts. Support aging research and fund our efforts to cure age-related disease. The Institute for Aging Research is one of the leading medical research charities.

Latest Findings

Could Age of First Period Influence Development of Diseases in Older Women?
Genetics involved with menarche may hold keys to preventing diabetes or osteoporosis in later life
A novel study shows that the age girls reach puberty is influenced by =imprinted genes‘—a subset of genes whose activity differs depending on which parent contributes the gene. This is the first evidence that imprinted genes can control the rate of development after birth and details of this study were published today in the journal Nature.

Boston-Area Researchers Develop New Delirium Severity Measure for Older Adults
New method to measure delirium offers potentialto improve clinical care, prognosis and response to treatment
A new method for measuring delirium severity in older adults has been developed by researchers from Harvard, Brown, and UMASS. The new scoring system, CAM-S, is based on the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) and standardizes the measurement of delirium severity for both clinical and research uses. Details of this study are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers Develop Criteria to Identify Muscle Loss, Weakness in Older Adults
Improved Diagnosis Aids in Prevention and Treatment of Mobility Issues from Frailty
Scientists from Harvard Medical School–affiliated Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) took part in a collaborative effort by U.S. researchers to develop criteria for diagnosing sarcopenia—a common and disabling condition of low muscle mass and weakness in older adults. Findings from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Biomarkers Consortium Sarcopenia Project are published in The Journals of Gerontology and suggest evidence-based cut-points of grip strength and lean mass could be used to identify sarcopenia in seniors. 

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