About NIA

Chhanda DUTTA

Chief, Clinical Gerontology Branch
Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology (DGCG)


Chhanda Dutta, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert in physical activity/ exercise, muscle physiology (sarcopenia), energy metabolism, and nutrition in older adults. As Chief of the Clinical Gerontology Branch of the NIA Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology, Dr. Dutta oversees the development of new research related to aging changes in the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems and in body composition/metabolism, as well as the long-term effects of physical activity/exercise throughout the life span.

Dr. Dutta played a leadership role in translating the scientific evidence of the benefits of exercise and physical activity for older adults into the award-winning NIA Exercise Guide, which has been distributed to more than 1 million older Americans. She currently leads the NIA Task Force on Exercise and Physical Activity, which has updated the NIA Exercise and Physical Activity Guide.

Before coming to NIA, Dr. Dutta served as a Pharmacologist in the Division of Endocrine and Metabolic Drug Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where she was responsible for evaluating preclinical pharmacology and toxicology data for all investigational drugs used for calcium/bone disorders. She also was involved in the revision of the FDA guidelines for the development of anti-osteoporosis agents, which now requires preclinical studies of bone quality.

Dr. Dutta received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. She serves on a number of national advisory committees/panels on physical activity and nutrition for older adults.


  • Menopause/reproductive aging
  • Role of physical activity/exercise on healthspan
  • Physiological changes (e.g., cardiovascular, endocrine, metabolism, immune function, musculoskeletal) across the lifespan
  • Studies of health trajectories, including risk or protective factors, across the lifespan (e.g., childhood into young adulthood, young adulthood to middle age, middle- to old-age)
  • Changes in stem/progenitor cells with aging
  • Juvenile protective factors