The Baltimore VA hosts a Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), the Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center and other research programs, making it one of the nation’s best-funded research and development programs in aging. The Baltimore GRECC’s research foci include metabolism, genetics, and in particular, the effects of rehabilitation and lifestyle interventions on cardiovascular disease and its risk factors and sequelae. Ongoing research programs include studies in body composition, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and recovery from stroke.
Clinical fellows are strongly encouraged to participate in research projects within the Division, to prepare abstracts or posters for national meetings (especially that of the American Geriatrics Society) and to write manuscripts for publication.
For fellows in the Advanced Geriatrics Program, mentored training is provided in the conduct of basic or clinical research applicable to aging. In particular, the Baltimore GRECC has focused on mechanisms by which exercise and weight loss affect fat and muscle metabolism, cardiovascular risk factors, body composition and musculoskeletal function, and disability following stroke. Trainees are immersed in the GRECC’s ongoing research as well as encouraged to develop their own line of investigation. There are opportunities to learn techniques in biochemistry, genetics, molecular and cellular biology, applied physiology to examine the mechanisms underlying complex age-associated diseases. An individualized educational plan established with a panel of mentors, complementing hands-on training with didactic courses, seminars and conferences.