Marcus Institute Research Areas

A unique interdisciplinary approach to the complex process of aging

Addressing a Pressing Need for Answers to the Challenges of Aging

Every day in the United States, 10,000 people turn 65. By 2050, older adults will represent nearly 25 percent of the population. And in 2020, Medicare represented 10% of the total federal budget at nearly $700 billion.

More older people means greater numbers of people struggling with conditions of aging, including Alzheimer’s and related dementias, osteoporosis, mobility challenges, frailty, and more. It also means more families are thrust into the role of caregiver. An aging population will place even more stress on an already strained system.

The need has never been greater for the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research’s focus on healthy longevity. Uncovering new ways to improve quality of life as we age will reduce individual suffering and lessen the burden on our health care system.

Exploring the Most Common Conditions in Older Adults

The complex biological process of aging requires integrating many different areas of expertise and research focus under one roof.

For example, researchers focused on musculoskeletal conditions, brain function, frailty, and data science come together at the Marcus Institute to explore the function of multiple systems of the human body in order to find the causes of falls in older adults, and ways to prevent this common and potentially serious concern.

Some of the conditions being addressed by researchers at the Marcus Institute include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Depression
  • Delirium
  • Frailty
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fractures
  • Sarcopenia
  • Hyperkyphosis
  • Malnutrition
  • Falls

Keep reading to learn more about our six key research areas.

A close-up of a gloved hand holding a vial of blood at the Marcus Institute for Aging in Boston, MA

Biomarkers and Genetics

The Marcus Institute is uncovering the human genetics of age-related disease to allow for more personalized treatments.

Explore the Research
A researcher at the Marcus Institute for Aging Research works at a laptop. Behind him are projected colorful images of a brain MRI scan.

Brain Health

Our brains control not just thinking and cognition, but all our body systems. At the Marcus Institute we’re seeking ways to prevent, reverse, treat, and manage brain-related changes in the functioning of older adults.

Learn About Our Work
Two data scientists at the Marcus Institute for Aging Research in Boston, MA look at a laptop.

Data Science and Technology

Biostatisticians and data scientists at the Marcus Institute collaborate with clinical investigators to design and conduct clinical trials and observational studies in aging.

See How We Work With Big Data
A doctor at Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, MA uses a stethoscope to listen to the heart of an older woman.

Health Care Services and Policy

Through our research, the Marcus Institute seeks to effect broad change in policies that impact the care of adults by developing interventions to improve health care quality and reduce costs.

See the Impact of Our Work
A pharmacist at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston, MA measures out pills.


Our bodies process medications differently as we age. As a result, Marcus Institute researchers are examining how to use medications to support quality of life as we age, while avoiding the risks that can come with prescription drugs.

Learn About Our Research
A researcher from the Marcus Institute for Aging Research in Boston, MA stands next to an older woman who is seated on a piece of exercise equipment.

Physical Health and Function

Maintaining physical function as we age is key to living independently and continuing a fulfilling lifestyle at all stages of life. The Marcus Institute is researching the best ways to retain health, strength, and mobility in older adults.

Explore What We Do

Join a Research Study

Improving the experience of aging depends on volunteers like you to take part in clinical trials. See what studies are currently recruiting and how you can participate.

Berries and Steps Study

The goal of this study is to learn about the relationship between antioxidants (commonly found in blueberries) and motivation to exercise. Researchers think that supplementing one's diet with antioxidants on a daily basis may be a practical way to reduce inflammation and improve lack of motivation to exercise.

Berries and Steps Study Faculty

I-STIM Study

The goal of the study is to determine whether non-invasive brain stimulation improves balance, walking, and memory in older adults.

I-STIM Faculty


The goal of the study is to determine whether the senolytic medications Dasatinib and Quercetin can reduce senescent cells, increase mobility (walking speed), and improve memory in older adults.


tACS and Dual-Tasking Study

The goal is to determine whether non-invasive brain stimulation improves balance and walking.

tACS and Dual-Tasking Study Faculty

America’s Aging Crisis

With increasing numbers of adults turning 65, the need to improve the care of seniors has never been more important.


of those over age 80 have at least one disability in self-care, household activity, or mobility


Americans have Alzheimer’s disease


of older adults report taking four or more prescription drugs

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