Photo of Sandra Shi, MD at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research in Boston, MA

Sandra Shi, MD, MPH

  • Assistant Scientist
  • Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Faculty

As a clinician-investigator, Dr. Shi is dedicated to improving the care of frail older adults across the care continuum, with a focus on patient-centered functional outcomes among frail older adults. She earned her medical degree at the University of Chicago and completed her Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Chicago, where she learned the challenges and joys of clinical complexity. Dr. Shi graduated from the Harvard Multicampus Geriatrics Fellowship and continued on as a T32 post-doctoral research fellow under the mentorship of Dr. Dae Kim.

Dr Shi researches frailty to improve prediction of patient centered outcomes, and inform complex shared decision making. She has published regarding post-procedural functional outcomes after surgical and transcatheter aortic valve replacement, as well as secondary database research highlighting patient-centered outcomes such as home-time, in nationally representative large databases. She is also interested in how frailty modifies post-acute care rehabilitation outcomes. Ultimately, Dr. Shi hopes to use frailty as a unifying measure of functional decline, disability, and mortality, and facilitate prediction of patient- centered outcomes to improve shared decision-making among older frail populations.

Harvard Catalyst Profile.

Dr. Shi is an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Assistant Scientist at the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife. She researches patient-centered post-acute care outcomes with a focus on skilled nursing facilities, leveraging large databases including national surveys and Medicare claims. She has also done work with prospective cohorts examining quality of life and physical recovery during and after rehabilitation.  Her ultimate goal is to create interventions that can holistically enhance quality of life and optimize functional recovery by combining geriatrics and rehabilitation sciences to enhance post-acute rehabilitation in skilled nursing facilities. 

Dr. Shi’s key research focus on : 

  • Frailty
  • Post-acute care
  • Geriatric rehabilitation
  • Patient-centered outcomes
2021Mentor of the Year, Harvard Medical School
Multicampus Geriatrics Fellowship 
2018Travel Award, Gerontological Society of America
Trainee Travel Award
2018Best Paper Award, American Geriatrics Society
Optimizing Care Across the Care Continuum 
2018Best Presentation, American Geriatrics Society
Lightning Science Session

Research Areas

Learn more about the areas of research where Dr. Shi focuses.

A researcher at the Marcus Institute for Aging Research in Boston, MA studies MRI images of a human brain.

Brain Health

Through pioneering multidisciplinary research, the Marcus Institute is uncovering new answers to the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, delirium, and other changes to the brain.

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A string of computer code is reflected in the glasses of a researcher at the Marcus Institute for Aging in Boston, MA.

Data Science and Technology

The Marcus Institute includes a biostatistics and data sciences faculty who collaborate with investigators to design and conduct clinical trials and observational studies in aging.

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A scene of a hospital floor at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Boston, MA, with a nurse standing and working on a computer in the background and a blood pressure monitor in the foreground.

Health Care Services and Policy

The Marcus Institute seeks to effect change in policies that impact the care of older adults by identifying age-related conditions that have an outsized impact on health care utilization and costs, while developing interventions that mitigate the issues.

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A close-up shot at two hands holding a syringe that is inserted in a vial of medication.


Marcus Institute researchers are examining the relationship between medicine and adverse health outcomes such as falls, injuries, and treatment side effects among older people.

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A research subject at the Marcus Institute for Aging Research stands on a measuring platform with a computer read-out reflected on the wall behind.

Physical Health and Function

Through the Marcus Institute’s research we are learning how older adults can maintain independence and quality of life.

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Current Projects

View Dr. Shi's current projects. 

Predicting and Identifying Risk Factors for Short Time at Home in Older Adults after Hospitalization

This research aims to determine predictors of short time at home after SNF discharge among well-established frailty measures and modifiable risk factors. 

NIH R03AG078894

Principal Investigator

Feasibility of a Multicomponent Frailty Intervention in the Setting of Post-acute Rehabilitation in Skilled Nursing Facilities

This research aims to determine the feasibility of administering an exercise and nutritional supplementation to frail older adults in a skilled nursing facility.


Principal Investigator