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, PhD
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 Blumen, PhD
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, MD, PhD
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:
- 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.
- Allali G, Ayers E, Verghese J. Motoric cognitive risk syndrome subtypes and cognitive profiles. Journal of Gerontology: Series A. 2016; 71(3):378-84.
- 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).