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Geriatric Medicine


Academic Lead(s):
Professor Clive Ballard
Professor Stephen Jackson
Professor Finbarr Martin
Dr Claire Steves

Kings Health Partners have the only two remaining academic Departments of Clinical Gerontology in London. It has two busy emergency departments admitting substantial numbers of acutely unwell older adults with 27 consultant geriatricians leading a range of subspecialty services in both Trusts not seen elsewhere in the UK, including flagship Proactive care of Older People Undergoing Surgery (POPS) and Dementia and Delirium (DAD) teams which work closely with Old-Age Psychiatry. In addition, the academic environment of KCL makes Kings an ideal location.

Academic geriatric medicine training in Kings benefits from an award winning training programme, and a productive research team working across Molecular Medicine & Genetics and the Wolfson Centre for Age Related Diseases at King’s College London, and the Biomedical Research Unit for Dementia (BRU-D) at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN). Based within both the Medicine Clinical Academic Group (CAG) and the Mental Health of Older Adults and Dementia CAG, there are currently two professors of geriatric medicine, four professors of old-age psychiatry and neuropsychiatry interested in dementia, and professors of imaging science and neuropsychology. In addition, we have a fast moving Senior Lecturer who is a clinical gerontologist based in the Division of Molecular Medicine & Genetics, researching ageing, frailty and cognitive change using epidemiology and multi-omic technology. A Clinical Lecturer in Geriatric Medicine whose research interests lie in the genetics of inflammatory disorders underlying frailty and inflammageing. We are about to appoint an academic clinical fellow to join the team. Research grant funding includes programme grants from NIHR, MRC and Wellcome.

Fellows who join the program can attend in-house research methods training. Research blocks will usually take place within the Department of Twin Research (Division of Molecular Medicine & Genetics) at KCL linking closely with researchers at KCH Clinical Age Research Unit, the BRU-D and Centre for Age Related Diseases (CARD). The Department of Twin Research has a research program on biomarkers in frailty and cognitive change using multi-level genomics data with a dynamic team of bioinformaticians and clinicians working closely together. The BRU-D hosts the on-line PROTECT study with more than 30,000 participants over 50 receiving annual cognitive assessments and providing DNA. Together with other large datasets from the CARD and the BRU-D, this forms an impressive resource to investigate genomics of cognitive ageing and frailty and to develop precision medicine approaches to prevention and enabling healthy cognitive ageing. The ACF will be expected to develop a unique research project in genomics and geriatrics, likely to have clinical relevance within five years.

The clinical component of the fellowships take place within the award winning Specialist Training Programme at GSTT and KCH. The Specialist Training Programme Director and the Specialist Geriatric Training leads at both GSTT and KCH are hugely supportive of building academic geriatric medicine and also ensuring fellows can complete clinical competencies in accelerated time. The programme will enable incumbents to gain experience in all aspects of geriatric medicine particularly inpatient and outpatient care of people with dementia, frailty and in surgical/ liaison services.

In particular, geriatric medicine (dementia) is a priority area based on the need to train academic dementia clinicians and the need to develop independent research capacity to meet the challenge of an ageing population. We have a strong track record of research into dementia, delirium and cognitive change and its relationship to frailty. We are uniquely placed to have both a Clinical Lecturer and Senior Clinical Lecturer in geriatrics working in genomics using three large cohorts with multilevel genomic data. Therefore this is a fantastic setting for fellows to develop both in Academic Geriatrics and in Genomics medicine.

Our research and collaborators are both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, spanning old-age psychiatry, neuroimaging, neuropsychology, twin research, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics and public health. Both trusts in King’s Health Partners have developed, instituted and evaluated new models of service for older patients. The close working relationships with researchers in the BRU-D broadens the choice of research programmes. Collaboration with ACFs and CLs in Old-Age Psychiatry on dementia related research is already underway.

Follow some of our research, as featured by TwinsUK.

About the IAT programme

About the IAT programme

The King's College London NIHR-funded Integrated Academic Training programme allows medical and…