Einstein/Montefiore Department of Medicine

Verghese Appointed New Chief of Geriatrics

Joe Verghese, MB, BS
Following a comprehensive national search, the Department of Medicine is please to announce that Dr. Joe Verghese has been appointed the new Chief of the Division of Geriatrics, effective April 1.

Dr. Verghese is currently Director of the Division of Cognitive & Motor Aging of the Department of Neurology at Einstein, Professor of Neurology at Einstein, and the Murray D. Gross Memorial Faculty Scholar in Gerontology. He will retain his primary appointment and positions in Neurology as he also takes on the Geriatrics Division Chief role.

Dr. Verghese received his medical degree from St. Johns Medical College, Bangalore, India in 1989. He then completed postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Neurology in United Kingdom. He completed his Neurology residency at Albert Einstein in 1998, followed by fellowship training in Neurophysiology and Aging & Dementia in 1999. He received a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research Methods with Distinction from Einstein in 2001.

Dr. Verghese is board certified in Neurology. He is a recipient of the Beeson award from the National Institute on Aging, and of the Outstanding Scientific Achievement for Clinical Investigation Award from the American Geriatrics Society.

Dr. Verghese has been, and remains, well funded by the NIH and other extramural funding agencies. His research interest comprises the effects of disease and aging on mobility and cognition in older adults. His most prominent articles include:

  • Leisure activities and the risk of dementia in the elderly, New England Journal of Medicine 2003
  • Abnormality of gait as a predictor of non-Alzheimer dementia, NEJM 2002
  • Validity of divided attention tasks in predicting falls in older individuals: a preliminary study, J Am Geriatr Soc 2002
  • Leisure activities and the risk of amnestic mild cognitive impairment in the elderly, Neurology 2006
  • Cognitive processes related to gait velocity: Results from the Einstein aging study, Neuropsychology 2006

Dr. Verghese's current projects include studying the influence of cognitively stimulating activities on reducing risk of dementia, the role of divided attention tasks such as walking while talking in predicting outcomes such as disability and cognitive decline, and global health. He is a proven mentor of young trainees, and the Department looks forward to his bringing new science and young investigators to our Division.

Dr. Verghese will bridge an increasingly important gap that exists between classical Internal Medicine Geriatrics and the Neurology of Aging and Dementia. This is a growing area of scientific and clinical advancement, and the Department is fortunate to be able to have Dr. Verghese lead the division forward at this time. He will build on an extremely strong platform, the robust Division of Geriatrics developed and led by Dr. Laurie Jacobs, currently Vice-Chair of the Department of Medicine.

Dr. Amy Ehrlich, who served as Interim Chief for the past three years, will continue as the Clinical Vice-Chief of the Division. 

"I know I speak for Mark Mehler, Chair of Neurology, in expressing our mutual excitement about Joe's appointment and the opportunity for collaboration that it brings to our two departments," said Dr. Victor Schuster, Chairman of the Department of Medicine. "I would also like to express my sincerest gratitude to Amy Ehrlich for her three years of tireless service in this role, during which she kept the Division's spirits high, recruited new faculty members, and attended diligently to the clinical service and the business of the Division, all the while maintaining an active practice and her involvement with geriatrics-at-large at Montefiore." 

The search committee for the new Division Chief was led by Chaim Putterman and comprised of Nir Barzilai, Ellen Harrison, Hannah Lipman, Gary Kennedy, Donna Morrison, Will Southern, and Joe Verghese. "The search committee identified and brought in many outstanding candidates from around the country, and culminated in a very successful search," said Dr. Schuster.


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