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Office of the Scientific Director

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

The Scientific Director of the NIA is responsible for the overall direction and quality of research conducted by the Intramural Research Program (IRP). IRP research is conducted in several sites; most of the laboratories are based at the Biomedical Research Center (BRC) on the Johns Hopkins Bayview Campus in Baltimore, Maryland. The Translational Gerontology Branch is located at Harbor Hospital, a few miles south of the Bayview Campus in Baltimore, Maryland. The Laboratory of Neurogenetics is located on the NIH main campus in Bethesda, and the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Science is co-located in the Gateway Building in Bethesda and at the BRC.

The goals of the IRP are to support a broad-based research program centered around critical issues regarding the general biology of aging and age-associated diseases and disabilities. The specific areas of study on the general biology of aging have focused on: (1) characterization of normal aging, (2) cell cycle regulation and programmed cell death, (3) stress response, and (4) DNA damage and repair. Age-associated disease and disabilities research has included the study of: (1) Alzheimer's disease, (2) cancer, and (3) osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and frailty, (4) cardiovascular disease and hypertension, and (5) diabetes. Additionally, researchers at the IRP continue to develop and/or test different intervention strategies (pharmacotherapy, gene therapy, and behavioral or lifestyle changes) to treat many of these age-associated diseases.

Each of the Laboratories work on separate projects, addressing different questions, yet have common research interests pertaining to aging. This multi-level approach to aging research provides extensive collaborative opportunities within a single facility. Consequently, this approach has provided more scientific contribution than the participating individuals might have achieved through independent efforts.