Projects and Grants

Dr. Siu’s research has focused on measurement and interventions to improve outcomes, particularly functional status, of older persons.  He has had continuous federal support for his research as a PI since 1987 (except for his 2 years in the government), and his research has spanned his time at 3 institutions.  His research has included studies on the measurement of functional status, studies that have been directed at the application of functional status assessment in clinical encounters, and studies of geriatric assessment interventions to improve patient outcomes, including function.

Over time, his research has evolved from focusing on function to focusing on the antecedent impairments and diseases that contribute to poor function.  His more recent work focuses on hip fracture as a clinical model of geriatric syndromes and disability and poor function in the elderly.  Dr. Siu’s research in hip fracture has provided him with many opportunities for mentoring junior investigators in patient-oriented research in aging.  Dr. Siu’s and his mentees’ research in hip fracture has included studies on risk factors for delirium, major complications, hospital readmission, and functional outcomes.  Their research has also examined how hip fracture outcomes are influenced by delay in surgical repair, physical therapy, duration of immobility, post-operative pain, blood transfusion, and active clinical issues and new impairments at hospital discharge.  Other studies have described hip fracture patient subgroups and their outcomes.

Since entering his geriatric fellowship in 1995, Dr. Morrison has engaged in a continuous stream of independently funded research that has led to publications in the leading medical journals.  Dr. Morrison’s clinical research in aging has focused on improving the medical care of older adults living with serious and life threatening illness and specifically has encompassed three major areas: 1) Enhancing decision making and communication at the end-of-life for medically underserved and marginalized populations;  2) Detection and management of pain and other symptoms; and 3) Institutional and health system interventions to improve outcomes for older adults with serious and life-threatening illness. In addition to his research, Dr. Morrison also has published several extensively cited reviews on policy and academic priorities related to palliative care and geriatrics.   This work has allowed Dr. Morrison to develop expertise in the use of diverse study designs (focus groups, surveys, randomized controlled clinical trials, cohort studies, evidence-based systematic reviews, and large database analyses); analytic techniques (qualitative analyses, multivariate techniques including multivariate linear and logistic regression, survival analyses, and repeated measures ANOVA); and patient populations (multi-ethnic and medically underserved populations, patients with cognitive impairment, and geriatric patients).  Furthermore, with few exceptions, all of Dr. Morrison’s research studies have involved interdisciplinary, interdepartmental, or inter-institutional collaboration.  Since completing fellowship in 1996, Dr. Morrison has served as the PI on 12 grants totaling 8.7 million dollars in direct costs.

Diane E. Meier, MD, a board-certified internist, geriatrician, and palliative care physician, is the recent recipient of a $5 million National Cancer Institute funded multi-center study evaluating palliative care for hospitalized cancer patients. In 1999 Dr. Meier received a K07 Academic Career Leadership Award, with specific aims including: expansion and promotion of clinical research in palliative medicine for the elderly, through development of a research and training program to promote collaboration, infrastructure support for investigators, and mentorship of new investigators. Ongoing investigations and programs initiated in prior years of this K award and continuing, include: 1) Center to Advance Palliative Care, a National Program Office of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, directed by Dr. Meier and providing technical support to hospitals in the establishment of palliative care programs; 2) Interventions to Improve Pain Outcomes sponsored by AHRQ; 3) The Influence of Ethnicity and Social Class on the Utilization of Hospice and Palliative Care Services (Nathan Cummings Foundation); 4) Palliative Care Centers of Excellence (The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).  Other grants funded include: 1) Palliative Care Fellowship Training Program (Kornfeld Foundation); and Palliative Medicine Fellowship Training (NCI); 2) Development of a Hospital-Based Volunteer Program in Palliative Care (Altman Foundation); and 3) Palliative Care: Medical Ethics Made Manifest (Greenwall Foundation). Dr. Meier serves as co-investigator on the following projects: 1) Interventions and Quality of Life in Cancer and AIDS (NIH); 2) Improving Care for Minorities in Palliative Care (GACA/HRSA); 3) Multicultural Geriatric Palliative Care (GACA/HRSA); 4) Improving Symptoms & Outcomes of Prolonged Ventilation (NIH); 5) Chronic Critical Illness: Symptoms and Associated Outcomes (NIA); 6) National Palliative Care Research Center (Kornfeld Foundation).

Dr. Leipzig’s research and publications highlight evidence-based treatment for older adults, the role of medications in geriatric syndromes, the use of restraints in hospitalized elderly, and the teaching of Evidence-Based Medicine.  She is the principal investigator of a $3 million grant from the D.W. Reynolds Foundation to improve the training of non-geriatricians in geriatric medicine, and the inventor of the Portal of Online Geriatric Education (POGOe), a web-based clearinghouse for geriatric educational materials also supported by the Reynolds Foundation. She is the deputy editor of the 4th edition of Geriatric Medicine, edited by Dr. Christine K. Cassel and the editor-in-chief of Focus on Healthy Aging, a monthly newsletter for consumers. She is well known for her annual Updates in Geriatric Medicine at the American Geriatrics Society and the Society of General Internal Medicine, as well as for similar sessions at the American College of Physicians, the British and the German Geriatrics Societies.  Dr. Leipzig is the Editor for the Journal Club and Breaking News sections of the Merck Institute of Aging & Health (MIAH) website, and oversees the article appraisals and breaking news summaries. Dr. Leipzig is a leading educator in her field and is known as being a mentor of mentors, providing a framework of teaching-improvement skills to medical and science educators from around the United States, who in turn teach faculty at their home universities.  In 2003 Dr. Leipzig was named one of the first McCann Scholars, recognizing her expertise in mentoring and medical education.