Aging & Alzheimer's Disease

Translating Aging Research into Patient Care

By 2030, aging adults—65 years old or older—will make up 20% of the U.S. population. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center supports a strong gerontology and geriatric research program that explores the health concerns facing an older population, such as brain aging, physical function, metabolism, healthy aging, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. From a nonhuman primate colony that translationally mirrors aging to an institution-wide center that encourages collaborative clinical research into aging conditions, we offer a wide range of preclinical and clinical research opportunities.


From genomics and cellular bioenergetics to developing animal models of cognitive and physiological disorders, our researchers are looking for solutions to aging-related conditions, diseases and disorders. Their combined expertise can guide your solution to aging-related ailments, providing insight into every aspect of preclinical research.

A strength to partnering with Wake Forest Innovations is access to the Vervet Research Colony at Wake Forest Baptist which houses a population of aged nonhuman primates. As they age, the colony develops clinical pathologies similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans, such as increased amyloid burden, gliosis and neuritic dystrophy. The animals are socially housed in breeding groups and have extensive medical history data available, which makes the vervet an excellent model for translational research in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. When you partner with us, you can gain access to this colony and the expertise of the researchers who work with it.

Key Areas of Research

  • Alzheimer’s disease in vervet monkeys
  • Aging-related body composition changes (muscle and bone)
  • Aging and physical function
  • Bioenergy and aging
  • Mitochondrial health
  • Metabolism and senescence


Clinical research in aging-related diseases and disorders—from Alzheimer’s disease to diabetes in the elderly—is a strategic area of focus at Wake Forest Baptist. Clinicians and scientists from over 20 departments come together in the J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging to conduct multidisciplinary gerontological and geriatric research.

Access our Geriatric Research Center, located in the Sticht Center, which has dedicated clinical research space and resources, including examination rooms and a CLIA-certified laboratory for specimen processing. Specialized equipment for measuring mobility and strength—like the Biodex computerized robotic dynamometer—are available for research studies. The Sticht Center also contains a dedicated memory and cognition research center. The goal of the researchers and clinicians who make up the Sticht Center is to bring cutting-edge geriatrician-driven research to their patients for the prevention of progressive illness.

Key Areas of Research

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Insulin resistance and cognition impairment
  • Cardiovascular health and cognition impairment
  • Aging and body composition
  • Mobility and aging-related movement disorders
  • Mental health and aging

Looking for a Research Partner in Aging or Alzheimer's Disease?

Contact us to explore preclinical or clinical projects targeted to solve your research problems related to aging and Alzheimer’s disease.
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