Center for Research on Human Aging

California Pacific CURRENTS: The online journal of CPMC Research Institute

mitochondrial DNA helix

Shown here is a mitochondrial DNA helix color-coded to show genetic variants, or mutations, at specific locations within the helix. Mutations or damage in mitochondrial DNA have been linked with age-related illnesses, which is one aspect of longevity research at CPMCRI.


Investigators in CPMCRI's Center for Research on Human Aging are translating discoveries for healthy aging.


Through a partnership with the San Francisco Coordinating Center (SFCC), CPMCRI has long been at the forefront of research into longevity. As the home of the Longevity Consortium—funded by the National Institute on Aging to foster collaboration among longevity researchers from different countries and disciplines—CPMCRI's Center for Research on Human Aging and the SFCC coordinate the work of laboratory scientists, biostatisticians, genomics researchers, epidemiologists, and clinical investigators to understand genes associated with human aging and longevity. The overall purpose is to identify molecular targets for interventions to slow or delay the aging process.

New and ongoing research at the SFCC builds on longitudinal data collected via the Longevity Consortium from several cohorts of long-lived men and women. Taken together, these studies about aging represent the largest, richest data sets on longevity in the U.S.

Review a list of research studies at the SFCC.

Learn more about our Research Areas

How does sleep impact cognition in older individuals? Get perspectives from Katie Stone, Ph.D., as she describes the MrOS study which linked poor sleep quality with cognitive decline.

Poor peripheral nerve function commonly afflicts the elderly, and can severely impact quality of life, physical functioning, and wellbeing. Greg Tranah, Ph.D., studies mitochondrial dysfunction in age-related illnesses including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Learn about Dr. Tranah's research in this area.

Millions of older adults in the U.S. are at risk of sarcopenia—age-related low muscle mass and weakness accompanied by reduced physical functioning. Peggy Cawthon, Ph.D., is leading research to identify at-risk individuals, help guide treatment decisions, and prevent complications of sarcopenia. Find more information on Dr. Cawthon's sarcopenia project.

Impaired mobility in older adults limits their independence and is associated with the progression of chronic illnesses. Learn about research in this area by Steve Cummings, M.D., and a new diagnosis of dismobility.

Investigators and Key Publications

Multi-cohort observational studies on sarcopenia, and osteoporosis in men
Peggy Cawthon, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Multi-center studies in women’s and men’s health, aging, cognitive function, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer prevention, osteoporosis, arthritis, and dementia
Steven Cummings, M.D.

Epidemiology and genetic variants associated with cardiovascular disease and dysfunction, osteoarthritis, and sleep disorders
Dan Evans, Ph.D.

Impact of sleep disturbances and disorders on age-related outcomes
Katie Stone, Ph.D.

Molecular epidemiology of aging and age-related diseases; mitochondrial DNA dysfunction and cognitive decline
Greg Tranah, Ph.D.