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Chronic Inflammation and Late-Life Decline

Chronic Inflammation

The importance of age-related, low-level chronic elevations in inflammatory cytokines is increasingly recognized as pathophysiologic in older adults. This chronic inflammatory state has adverse effects on multi-organ systems, leading to the development of chronic diseases, disability, frailty, and mortality in older adults.

Research focus

The research at Johns Hopkins Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology attempts to delineate the underlying molecular and immune mechanisms of chronic inflammation as well as its potential role in the development of frailty and functional decline in older adults.

Current research studies

  • The role of chronic inflammation in the pathogenesis of frailty and sarcopenia
  • Activation of the monocyte/macrophage-mediated inflammatory pathway in aging and frailty
  • Chronic cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and its role in the development of chronic inflammation and frailty in older adults
  • Chronic inflammation and functional decline in aging HIV/AIDS population
  • The development of a serum inflammatory mediator panel that can be used to assess for risk for adverse outcomes in disease states and during surgical procedures in older adults
  • The development of mouse models that develop chronic inflammatory pathway activation and the study of how inflammation impacts chronic disease development and the development of frailty


Photo of Dr. Karen Bandeen-Roche, Ph.D.

Bandeen-Roche, Karen, Ph.D.

Joint Appointment in Medicine
Hurley-Dorrier Professor and Chair, Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Deputy Director, Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research
Director, Epidemiology and Biostatistics of Aging Training Program, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Interim Director, Center on Aging and Health
Luigi Ferrucci, MD

Luigi Ferrucci, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief of the Longitudinal Studies Section at NIA and the Director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging

Photo of Dr. Ravi Varadhan, Ph.D.

Varadhan, Ravi, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Oncology

Faculty investigators

Photo of Dr. Sean Xiao Leng, M.D., Ph.D.

Leng, Sean Xiao, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine
Photo of Dr. Jeremy David Walston, M.D.

Walston, Jeremy David, M.D.

Professor of Medicine
Professor of Oncology
Raymond and Anna Lublin Professor of Geriatric Medicine & Gerontology
Deputy Director, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology
Co-Director, Biology of Healthy Aging Program