What is your specific area of interest in geriatric surgery?
I am interested in understanding how interventions that positively affect the aging process – like caloric restriction and exercise training – can be used to help older adults build strength and resilience before surgery (prehabilitation) and to recover and return to their previous level of function after surgery (rehabilitation).
What is an example of your best work in geriatric research?
I recently completed a project that identified biomarker signatures that are independently associated with poorer physical performance. I used these signatures to identify upstream regulators that may be candidates for pharmacologic modulation. I am currently writing this work up for publication.
In your opinion, what is an important health services research question that needs to be answered in the field of geriatric surgery?
Can we develop evidence-based interventions using our knowledge of biological aging to reduce intra-operative and post-operative complications, increase the number of older adults discharged to home, and improve long-term functional outcomes?
What is a fun fact about you?
I was born and raised in Durham. During middle school, I spent my summer breaks volunteering in the nursing home where my mom worked, which inspired my interest in aging and geriatrics. Two decades later, as a Fellow in Geriatric Medicine at Duke, I returned to that same nursing home to provide medical care for its residents.