Core Research

Our OAIC cores are led by five scientists with a strong history of collaboration, expertise in the OAIC areas of focus, and leadership experience.

Albert Siu, MD
OAIC Leader, Leadership and Administrative Core [LAC] Leader

The offices of the Chairman of the Mount Sinai Department of Geriatrics will house the Leadership and Administrative Core (LAC). Core staff will be:

  • Center PI and Core Leader,Albert L. Siu, MD
  • Leaders of the RCDC (R. Sean Morrison, MD, and Diane Meier, MD), PESC (Kenneth Boockvar, MD) RC-RDA (Joan Penrod, PhD, RD-MDM (Jeanne Teresi, PhD)
  • Vice-Chair for Education of the Department of Geriatrics, Rosanne Leipzig, MD, PhD
  • Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care and the Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute, Diane Meier, MD

Three standing committees advise the Center regarding policy and conduct of its programs: 1) an OAIC Executive Committee (OAIC EC or EC) of OAIC core leaders and institutional leadership; 2) a Research Advisory Committee (RAC) of senior investigators not currently involved in the OAIC as investigators or mentors; and 3) an OAIC External Advisory Committee (OAIC EAC) of outside experts which meet annually to review progress.

R. Sean Morrison, MD, and Diane Meier, MD
Research Career Development Core [RCDC] Leaders

The RCDC addresses the need to train investigators in palliative care and aging research through Specific Aim 2 of the OAIC to identify, recruit, and train academic leaders in geriatrics and palliative care research by:

  • Establishing formal mentoring relatio-nships with established and successful senior investigators
  • Strengthening and expanding Mount Sinai’s existing research training programs in geriatrics and palliative care
  • Providing core support for pilot projects, design and statistical/ analytic consultation, and instrument development and measurement

The RCDC contributes to the overall goals of the OAIC by ensuring the development and sustained availability of well trained, productive, and established researchers in the field of geriatrics and palliative care. The RCDC supports recruitment, selection, career development activities, infrastructure to support training and conduct of research studies, and structured and consistent advisory and mentoring teams and oversight processes for each investigator. Tailored to the developmental stage and training needs of each junior faculty member, the RCDC provides a didactic research training curriculum; biweekly seminars on academic survival; journal club; monthly research-in-progress seminars for presentation and discussion of on-going research; individual mentoring; support for measurement and statistics from the resource cores; and oversight of pilot and exploratory studies within the OAIC.

Kenneth Boockvar, MD
Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core [PESC] leader

The PESC builds upon a 15-year foundation of research in palliative care, disability, and function at Mount Sinai; an established record of successful mentorship by the OAIC senior investigators, and a strong and consistent track record in conducting collaborative and interdisciplinary research that will accomplish the following specific aims:

Support pilot and exploratory studies that will:

  • Examine the relationship of pain and other distressing symptoms to independence, function, and disability
  • Develop interventions directed at the treatment of pain and other distressing symptoms in older adults
  • Explore interventions to improve quality of life and promote function and independence for older adults living with serious and chronic illness

Support the development of junior faculty by providing a mechanism to obtain mentored, hands-on research training and develop preliminary data in aging and palliative care that will lead to the development of larger federal or foundation funded research projects and career development awards focused on improving care and promoting independence for older adults with advanced illness.

Support senior and mid-level faculty who are conducting:

  • Studies in palliative care and aging and who are embarking on new research projects requiring pilot data
  • Palliative care research in younger populations and who would like to expand or shift their research into aging
  • Aging research unrelated to palliative care who would like to refocus their work to fit within our OAIC theme

Foster collaborative research among investigators from different disciplines, specialties, and institutions.

Joan Penrod, PhD
Research Core-Research Design and Analysis [RC-RDA]

The Research Design and Analysis Core (RC-RDA) contributes to the goals of the OAIC by providing statistical, methodological and programming expertise, as well as mentoring in those areas, to investigators in the Mount Sinai OAIC. Expertise is provided in a variety of ways and throughout all phases of the research process—from design through interpretation and presentation of findings. The RC-RDA aims are:

  • To provide sophisticated, cutting edge methodological, statistical, and recruitment support to new and existing OAIC investigators by supporting new internal OAIC (e.g, PESC, RCDC) and external research applications, RCDC and PESC funded projects, and consultation and services to externally funded research of OAIC faculty for additional analyses not included in the parent grant
  • To collaborate closely with the Research Career Development Core (RCDC) to ensure that junior faculty obtain research methods training to advance their current knowledge and expertise
  • To collaborate with the RC-MDM to obtain data processing and management appropriate for studies by PESC investigators, junior faculty and other OAIC investigators
  • To apply sophisticated research and statistical methodology (propensity score method, instrumental variable estimation, competing risk analysis) used in other fields but not commonly applied to aging-related research
  • To disseminate this information to other researchers in geriatrics and gerontology through presentations at scientific meetings and publications in scientific journals
  • To work with and provide consultation to researchers at other OAICs on methodological challenges of research on older patients with serious and chronic illness

Jeanne Teresi, PhD
Research Core –Measurement and Data Management [RC-MDM]

A major barrier to research in this field has been the questionnaire burden on patients and family members associated with assessing and measuring symptoms, physical impairment, satisfaction, and caregiver burden. The major goal of the RC-MDM is to address such measurement challenges using item banking and the methods of modern psychometric theory through the following specific aims:

  • To assist OAIC investigators (from this and other Centers) in evaluating measures, and, where appropriate, in the selection, use, and construction of item response theory (IRT) derived measures from existing sources (e.g., the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Roadmap Initiative)
  • To apply psychometric techniques to items from existing palliative care and related data sets to test model assumptions, examine distributions and prepare data for analyses
  • To conduct IRT analyses using data from ongoing NIH funded palliative care research with the goal of constructing a palliative care item bank as part of a later developmental project in years 3-5 of this OAIC;
  • To provide data management, in coordination with RC-RDA, for studies supported by the other OAIC cores
  • To disseminate this information to researchers interested in geriatric palliative care through: a) presentations and publications, b) the National Palliative Care Research Center ( and other major national initiatives; and c) development of a web site with links to PROMIS and related web sites