A researcher at the Marcus Institute for Aging Research in Boston, MA holds a vial of blood.

Biomarkers and Genetics

Marcus Institute research is uncovering the science that will shape the future of precision medicine in aging.

Identifying Individuals Most at Risk for Debilitating Age-related Conditions

Precision medicine - care tailored to an individual’s health status and genetic makeup - is likely to shape how health care treatments will be prescribed in the future.

However, to make this kind of personalized care a mainstream reality, researchers must advance the understanding of the biomarkers and genetics of different diseases. That’s where Marcus Institute researchers are having an impact.

At the Marcus Institute, we are studying the human genetics of musculoskeletal phenotypes of aging, such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, bone microarchitecture, muscle mass and strength, and frailty.

We’re also working to understand the role Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers play in causing delirium in older adults after a surgery or hospitalization. 

The Marcus Institute’s Impact on Biomarkers and Genetics Research

Our researchers have pioneered work that leverages advancements in the field of human genetics to help identify risk factors for age-related conditions and to develop innovative interventions.

For example:

  • Our researchers determined that genetic pre-screening of fracture risk could reduce the proportion of people who require bone mineral density screening by 41 percent, while maintaining a high ability to correctly determine appropriate treatment for those at risk. Understanding with more accuracy who is at most risk of fracture could reduce unnecessary testing and lower health care expenditures.
  • We are using microbiome analysis to identify microbial biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease, chronic gastritis, and gastric cancer.

The exploration of biomarkers and genetics has never been more important to improving quality of care for adults as they age. Keep reading to learn about projects that are currently underway.   

Find current research projects

Showing 15 Results

Multifocal Transcranial Current Stimulation for Cognitive and Motor Dysfunction in Dementia

This research aims to assess the possibility of concurrent targeting prefrontal (executive-control) and memory brain circuits to improve different cognitive disabilities in individuals with dementia using personalized, multi-focal non-invasive brain stimulation delivered as a home-based, remotely supervised intervention.
NIH R01AG076708

Principal Investigators

Network for Investigation of Delirium: Unifying Scientists (NIDUS)

NIDUS is a collaborative research network dedicated to promoting innovation and fostering advances in delirium research through development of innovative research and measurement resources, training opportunities, pilot funding, and dissemination of information.


Principal Investigator

Novel Molecular Biomarkers of Bone Microarchitecture

This research aims to determine the role of metabolomics in age-related bone loss and fractures; and if clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential contributes to bone density, microarchitecture, and strength.

NIH R01AR041398

Principal Investigator

Successful Aging After Elective Surgery (SAGES)

This research aims to examine the risk factors, causes, and duration of changes in thinking, functioning, and memory after surgery and hospitalization, and in some cases, delirium in older adults. Explore the role of inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers, brain plasticity, and complicated delirium.

NIH: P01AG031720 

Principal Investigator

System Biology Approach to Decode Molecular Mechanism of Glucose Metabolism in Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

This research aims to elucidate novel molecular biomarkers associated with glucose metabolism that might serve to define high-risk individuals and to identify novel potential drug targets for AD/dementia.

NIH R03AG072233

Principal Investigator

Systemic Contribution of Age-Associated Epigenetic Mechanisms to Osteoarthritis

This research aims to identify potential new targets for Osteoarthritis therapy by identifying key age-associated biological mechanisms underlying Osteoarthritis pathogenesis. The objective of this project is to determine the role of epigenetic changes to genes in key aging pathways on Osteoarthritis.

NIH R01AR075356

Principal Investigator

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