Translational gerontology: a broader look at an age-old issue

Working together to better care for our ageing population

Translational gerontology Describing populations: the phenomonology of disease Nutrition Politics, governance and ethics of health Complex systems and sustainability Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander halth

Advances in health care are enabling us to live longer lives, but this in itself has implications for our capacity to cope with steadily increasing numbers of elderly people. With older people experiencing increased rates of disability, disease and functional impairment, disciplines as diverse as architecture, medicine, economics, engineering, policy, public health and sociology are all independently working to keep up.
A new collaborative research group established by the Charles Perkins Centre is bringing experts from all of these fields together, to investigate how we as a society can best meet the needs and wishes of older people and facilitate healthy ageing throughout the community.

The issues of old age are complex, so the solutions must be multidisciplinary. This is the philosophy behind the new Translational Gerontology research group, led by Professor of Medicine David Le Couteur. The group has been established to take a uniquely cross-disciplinary approach to solving the problems faced by older people today, while also developing strategies to delay the onset of disability and increase healthy lifespans.

“We require solutions today for the growing numbers of older people who are not served well by the current focus on individual diseases and the needs of younger adults,” Professor Le Couteur explains. “Solutions may include developments in information technology, the built environment, legal empowerment and of course a better understanding of how to manage the medical needs of the elderly, addressing issues such as dementia, osteoporosis, falls, palliative care and polypharmacy.”

The group will also investigate the lifestyle factors that influence ageing, including nutrition, exercise and social engagement, as well as practical ways to address the associated issues, such as through nutritional interventions, information technology solutions, and legal advocacy in residential care and dementia.

Its two-part focus will work to identify and implement solutions to existing issues faced by older people today, as well as facilitating healthy ageing for those of us who are yet to join this ever-growing group.

The project leader

David Le Couteur is a Professor of Medicine at the Anzac Research Institute, Concord Clinical School.

The collaboration team


Faculty/ School

Professor Richard Lindley

Moran Foundation for Older Australians
Professor of Geriatric Medicine

Westmead Clinical School

Professor Gustavo Duque

Professor of Geriatric Medicine

Sydney Medical School – Nepean

Sarah Hilmer


Professor Matthew Vadas

Managing Director

Centenary Institute

Professor Ian Cameron

Motor Accidents Authority Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine

Rehabilitation Medicine
Northern Clinical School

Associate Professor Vasi Naganathan

Geriatric Medicine

Discipline of Medicine

Centre for Education and Research on Ageing
CERA, Concord Hospital

Sue Kurrie


Professor Robert Cumming

Sydney School of Public Health

Professor Stephen Leeder

Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine

Menzies Centre for Health Policy

Dr Fiona Blyth

Clinical Senior Lecturer

Sydney School of Public Health

Professor Andrew McLachlan

Professor of Pharmacy (Aged Care)

Clinical pharmacology and practice in the elderly

Faculty of Pharmacy

Danijela Gjnidic


Associate Professor Sallie Pearson

Head - Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmaceutical Policy Research Group

Faculty of Pharmacy

Frederick Clive Wright


Associate Professor Jeon Yun-Hee

Sydney Nursing School

Professor Stephen Simpson

ARC Laureate Fellow

Academic Director

Charles Perkins Centre

Professor David Raubenheimer

Leonard P Ullmann Chair in Nutritional Ecology and Nutrition Theme Leader

Charles Perkins Centre

Dr Andrew Holmes

Associate Professor

Molecular Microbial Ecology

School of Molecular Bioscience

Professor Christopher Little

Director, Raymond Purves Bone and Joint Research Laboratories

Discipline of Surgery

Royal North Shore Hospital

Masaomi Kato


Dr Victoria Cogger

Senior Lecturer Medicine

Sydney Medical School

Professor Lindy Clemson

Professor in Ageing & Occupational Therapy

NHMRC Career Development Fellow

Ageing, Work and Health Research Unit

Dr Kate O’Loughlin

Director of Faculty Units

Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Behavioural & Social Sciences in Health Postgraduate Coordinator

Ageing, Work and Health Research Unit

Professor Deborah Black

Associate Dean Staff Development

Ageing Work and Health

Faculty of Health Sciences

Professor Maria Fiatarone-Singh

John Sutton Chair of Exercise & Sport Science

Faculty of Health Sciences

Professor Gary Barrett


School of Economics

Barry Zani de Ferranti
Consultant in Assistive Technology for the Ageing

Charles Perkins Centre
Centre for Education and Research on Ageing

Dr Nick Cerneaz

Executive Director

The Warren Centre