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Education & Training


Duke’s research and teaching programs in geriatrics and gerontology are among the nation’s oldest. The Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development was one of five centers for geriatric research established by the Surgeon General of the United States in 1955. It is the only continuously funded member of the original group.

Research Training in Aging and Human Development

The Postdoctoral Research Training Program is a 2-year program for PhDs and MDs and combines research in the trainee’s field of interest with multidisciplinary training in gerontology.

Medical Student Research Mentorship

Third year medical students have the opportunity to work with Aging Center investigators for year-long research mentorships.

Sandra Au

Sandra Au is a third-year medical student conducting research in 2020-2021 under the mentorship of Dr. Heather Whitson. For her research year, Ms. Au is working with the PRIME Collaborative (Physical Resilience: Indicators and Mechanisms in the Elderly) identifying underlying mechanisms and clinical predictors of physical resilience in older adults undergoing elective surgery. More broadly, she is passionate about improving shared decision making and health outcomes in medically complex patient populations.


Geriatrics Professional Training

The Center participates in Geriatrics Training at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate level for a broad variety of health care professions including medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, social work, and psychology.