@AgeMelbourne

Research Overview

@AgeMelbourne Research Group, lead by Professor Andrea Maier, conducts innovative, translational and multidisciplinary research in Gerontology, Geriatrics and Biogerontology. The group's mission is to prolong the healthy lifespan of an individual by the prevention of age-related diseases. Ageing is the major risk factor of age-related diseases resulting in multimorbidity of the majority of the population aged 60 years and over. Understanding the basis of the human ageing process and its influence on age-related diseases is the starting point for establishing targeted interventions to prolong healthy lifespan for longer.

@AgeMelbourne is currently conducting four large, longitudinal, studies examining the clinical and biological phenotypes of populations in inpatient and outpatient settings: EMPOWER, SHAPE, BGA and CGA-Oncology. All @AgeMelbourne studies demonstrate a strong translational component, that is, improving diagnostics and therapies for the prevention of age-related diseases and management of age-related diseases based on a solid methodological and biological understanding.

A key focus of @AgeMelbourne's research is on the accumulation of age-related diseases and their translation into functional and cognitive decline. Several studies are conducted to understand and prevent decline by focussing on sarcopenia, known as low muscle mass and strength. Sarcopenia is prevalent in up to 40% of older individuals and is associated with adverse outcomes, including falls, morbidity and mortality. @AgeMelbourne will use an inter-disciplinary approach to prospectively characterize the epidemiology of sarcopenia in geriatric populations across Melbourne and will develop evidence-based therapeutic interventions, including exercise and nutritional interventions, to treat and prevent sarcopenia.

The @AgeMelbourne Research Group includes an internationally-recognised and dedicated team of academic research staff and students with a diverse background of clinical research skills and knowledge, making it an exciting and inspiring group to work with.

Staff

  • Prof dr. dr. Andrea B. Maier, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator and Center Leader, Divisional Director of Medicine and Community Care, The Royal Melbourne Hospital. Professorial Fellow General Medicine and Aged Care, The University of Melbourne. Professor of Ageing, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Georgina Cameron, Personal Assistant to Prof Andrea Maier, The Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • A/Prof dr. Kwang Lim, MD, PhD (EMPOWER, geriatric oncology), Clinical Director of Medicine and Community Care & Aged Care, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, The University of Melbourne
  • Dr Christina Phassouliotis, PhD, Research Coordinator, The University of Melbourne
  • Dr Camilla Tuttle, PhD (Biological Geriatric Assessment), Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne, BGA
  • Dr Esmee Reijnierse, PhD (SHAPE), Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne, EMPOWER, SHAPE
  • Dr Sifat Sharmin, PhD (Hospital readmissions), Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Melbourne Academic Centre for Health
  • Dr Rosie Watson, MD, PhD (Delirium), Geriatrician, Yulgilbar Dementia Research Fellow, The University of Melbourne, Imaging in Dementia, The Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Dr Peter Lange, MD (Delirium), Geriatrician, PhD student, The University of Melbourne, The Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Dr Claire Maddison, MD (geriatric oncology), Geriatrician, Medical Oncologist, PhD student, The University of Melbourne, The Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Suey Yeung (SHAPE), PhD Student, Vrije University Amsterdam, University of Melbourne
  • Rami Aldwikat (Delirium), PhD Student, University of Melbourne
  • Prasenjit Sengupta, MD (multimorbidity research), Honorary Researcher, The University of Melbourne
  • Louise Cunningham, MD, Research Registrar, The Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Jessamine Liu, MD (EMPOWER), Research Registrar, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, The University of Melbourne
  • Zina Hijazi, MD (Delirium), Research Registrar, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, The University of Melbourne
  • Daniel Heard, MD (Biological Geriatric Assessment), Research Registrar, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, The University of Melbourne
  • Katie Carasco (Hospital readmission), Scholarly Selective Medical Student, The University of Melbourne
  • Ed Carson (Aboriginal health), Scholarly Selective Medical Student, The University of Melbourne
  • Ruiyi Jia (Biological Geriatric Assessment), Scholarly Selective Medical Student, The University of Melbourne
  • Silvie Phuong Bui Hoang (EMPOWER), Honours Student, The University of Melbourne
  • Aaron Diker (Multimorbidity), Honours Student, The University of Melbourne
  • Lachlan Thang (Biological Geriatric Assessment), Honours Student, The University of Melbourne
  • Vivien Pham (EMPOWER), Honours Student, The University of Melbourne
  • Angela Buljana (Biological Geriatric Assessment), Honours Student, The University of Melbourne
  • Vi Nguyen (EMPOWER), Honours Student, The University of Melbourne
  • Julius Nagaratnam (Multimorbidity), Honours Student, The University of Melbourne
  • Jimmy Ky (EMPOWER), Honours Student, The University of Melbourne
  • Julien van Schaik (Biological Geriatric Assessment), International Student, The University of Melbourne, Hanze Hogeschool University of Applied Science in Groningen, The Netherlands
  • Suzanne Luesken, MD (Biological Geriatric Assessment), International Student, The University of Melbourne, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands

Collaborators

National collaborators:

  • Prof Nicola Lautenschlager, Professor in Old Age Psychiatry, Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age (AUPOA), The University of Melbourne
  • A/Prof Hans Meij, Executive Director, Melbourne Academic Centre for Health. MACH - research and translation network of the University of Melbourne and its research partners and teaching hospitals
  • Prof Gordon Lynch, Professor of Physiology, Centre for Muscle Research, Department of Physiology, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Rene Koopman, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Muscle Research, Department of Physiology, University of Melbourne
  • Prof Cassandra Szoeke, Director of the Women’s Healthy Ageing Project (WHAP), The University of Melbourne
  • Prof Gustavo Duque, Director of AIMSS, The University of Melbourne

International collaborators:

  • Dr. Carel Meskers, MD, rehabilitation specialist, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, MOVE Research Institute, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (EMPOWER, PANINI, SHAPE, PreventIT, COGA and NeuroCIMT)
  • Dr. Marijke Trappenburg, MD, Internist Geriatrician, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology And Geriatrics, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam & Department of Internal Medicine, Amstelland Hospital, Amstelveen (PANINI, SHAPE and COGA)
  • Prof Mirjam Pijnappels, Professor in Mobility and Ageing, MOVE Research Institute, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (PreventIT)
  • Dr Nini Jonkman, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, MOVE Research Institute, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (PreventIT)
  • Dr. Mariette Waaijer, MD, PhD, Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Leiden University Medical Center (Biological Geriatric Assessment)
  • Dr. Pieter Jelle Visser, Senior Researcher, Alzheimer Center & Department of Neurology, Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam (90+ Study)
  • Prof Anna Whittaker, Professor in Behavioural Medicine, School of Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK

@AgeAmsterdam, The Netherlands:

  • Jeanine van Ancum, MD, PhD Student, MOVE Research Institute, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (PreventIT and EMPOWER)
  • Stephanie Looijaard, PhD Student, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology And Geriatrics, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam (Geriatric Oncology and COGA)
  • Kirsten Raaijmakers, Master Student, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology And Geriatrics, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam (Physical Activity in Hospital)
  • Kira Scheerman, PhD Student, MOVE Research Institute, Department of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (Physical Activity in Hospital and EMPOWER)
  • Anna Rojer, PhD Student, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam (SHAPE and Grey Power)
  • Nienke Legdeur, PhD Student, Alzheimer Center & Department of Neurology, Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam (90+ Study)
  • Sjors Verlaan, PhD Student, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam (EMPOWER and SHAPE)
  • Siger Numans, Master Student, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam (EMPOWER)
  • Vincent Pierik, Master Student, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam (EMPOWER)
  • Tarik Binnekade, PhD Student, Alzheimer Center & Department of Neurology, Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam (Pain in Dementia study)
  • Susan Oudbier, Master Student, Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology And Geriatrics, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam (COGA)
  • Arjen Mol, MD, PhD student, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam & Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University, Nijmegen
  • Marija Bosnic, PhD student, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

Funding

  • Department of Medicine, the University of Melbourne, Medical Research Future Fund.

Research Publications

  1. Van Ancum JM, Scheerman K, Jonkman NH, Smeenk HE, Kruizinga RC, Meskers CGM, et al. Change in muscle strength and muscle mass in older hospitalized patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Exp Gerontol. 2017 Jun;92:34-41.
  2. Verlaan S, Ligthart-Melis GC, Wijers SLJ, Cederholm T, Maier AB, de van der Schueren MAE. High Prevalence of Physical Frailty Among Community-Dwelling Malnourished Older Adults-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2017 May 1;18(5):374-382.
  3. Verlaan S, Maier AB, Bauer JM, Bautmans I, Brandt K, Donini LM, et al. Sufficient levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and protein intake required to increase muscle mass in sarcopenic older adults - The PROVIDE study. Clin Nutr. 2017 Jan 17.
  4. Waaijer ME, Westendorp RG, Goldeck D, Gunn DA, Pawelec G, Stijntjes M, et al. Assessment of health status by molecular measures in adults ranging from middle-aged to old: Ready for clinical use? Exp Gerontol. 2017 Jan;87(Pt B):175-181.
  5. Stijntjes M, Meskers CG, de Craen AJ, van Lummel RC, Rispens SM, Slagboom PE, et al. Effect of calendar age on physical performance: A comparison of standard clinical measures with instrumented measures in middle-aged to older adults. Gait Posture. 2016 Mar;45:12-8.
  6. Waaijer ME, Croco E, Westendorp RG, Slagboom PE, Sedivy JM, Lorenzini A, et al. DNA damage markers in dermal fibroblasts in vitro reflect chronological donor age. Aging (Albany NY) 2016 Jan;8(1):147-57.
  7. Beenakker KG, Koopman JJ, van Bodegom D, Kuningas M, Slagboom PE, Meij JJ, et al. Variants of the IL-10 gene associate with muscle strength in elderly from rural Africa: a candidate gene study. Aging Cell. 2014 Oct;13(5):862-8.
  8. Beenakker KG, Westendorp RG, de Craen AJ, Slagboom PE, van Heemst D, Maier AB. Pro-inflammatory capacity of classically activated monocytes relates positively to muscle mass and strength. Aging Cell. 2013 Aug;12(4):682-9.
  9. Waaijer ME, Parish WE, Strongitharm BH, van Heemst D, Slagboom PE, de Craen AJ, et al. The number of p16INK4a positive cells in human skin reflects biological age. Aging Cell. 2012 Aug;11(4):722-5.
  10. Maier AB, le Cessie S, de Koning-Treurniet C, Blom J, Westendorp RG, van Heemst D. Persistence of high-replicative capacity in cultured fibroblasts from nonagenarians. Aging Cell. 2007 Feb;6(1):27-33.