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.
In 2004, Dr. Laurie Jacobs was appointed as director of the Resnick Gerontology Center and continues to the present time. 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.