About NIA

Offices & Divisions

NIA Intramural Research Program

Scientific Director: Luigi Ferrucci, M.D., Ph.D.

Go to NIA IRP website »

Exterior of the NIH Biomedical Research Center in BaltimoreThe Intramural Research Program (IRP) in the National Institute on Aging (NIA) is comprised of nine scientific laboratories, the Translational Gerontology Branch, and ten core facilities. The research program has three main focus areas: Neuroscience, Aging Biology and Translational Gerontology. IRP scientists conduct research in many different disciplines that range from basic science to clinical research and epidemiology. Medical problems, which typically affect older persons, are studied in depth using the tools of modern laboratory and clinical research, with a translational perspective. The central focus of our research is understanding age-related changes in physiology and the ability to adapt to environmental stress. This understanding is then applied to developing insight about the pathophysiology of age-related diseases. The program seeks to understand the changes associated with healthy aging and to define the criteria for evaluating when changes should be considered pathologic and require treatment. Thus, in addition to study common age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, stroke, atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, diabetes and cancer, we also explore the determinants of healthy aging as possible targets for interventions aimed at improving health and quality of life in the older population at large.

IRP research is conducted in multiple sites; most of the basic science laboratories are located at the Biomedical Research Center on the Johns Hopkins Bayview Campus in Baltimore, Maryland. The Laboratory of Clinical Investigation is located at Harbor Hospital, a few miles south of the Bayview Campus in Baltimore, Maryland. The NIA Clinical Research Unit at Harbor Hospital is also home of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging that was started in 1958. The Brain Physiology and Metabolism section and the Laboratory of Neurogenetics are located on the NIH main campus in Bethesda. The Laboratory of Epidemiology, and Population Science is co-located in the Gateway Building in Bethesda and the Biomedical Research Center in Baltimore. Finally, the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span study (HANDLS), a longitudinal study that addresses health disparities associated with race and socio-economic status, is profoundly rooted in several Baltimore neighborhoods.

To read more about the NIA’s Intramural Program, go to www.irp.nia.nih.gov.

IRP Laboratories

For more information about the IRP laboratories listed below, go to www.irp.nia.nih.gov/offices.htm

Aging Biology

  • Laboratory of Genetics
  • Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology
  • Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology


  • Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Laboratory of Neurogenetics
  • Laboratory of Neurosciences

Translational Gerontology

  • Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science
  • Laboratory of Clinical Investigation
  • Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Science
  • Translational Gerontology Branch