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Centre for Education and Research on Ageing Research

The Centre for Education and Research on Ageing (CERA) and its members undertake basic science, epidemiological and clinical research.

CERA is part of the Department of Geriatric Medicine at Concord Hospital. CERA is a multidisciplinary hub to foster collaboration between clinical and academic health professionals and facilitate the translation of research findings into clinical practice. The research objectives of CERA are:

  • To improve the health and productivity of older people through research into the ageing process
  • To improve the well-being and quality of life of older people, especially those with frailty or dementia, through research into health care
  • To provide leadership in the education and training of people involved in the care of older people and those involved in ageing research.

Our current research programs include:

  • Oral Health
  • Ageing liver and nanomedicines
  • Novel mechanisms for dementia
  • Surgical liaison and older people in hospital
  • Advanced care directives
  • Polypharmacy and deprescribing
  • Identification and management of delirium in older inpatients
  • Falls prevention in hospital
  • Geriatric Medicine Services in Australia and New Zealand
  • Emergency Hospital in the Home
  • Enhanced Education of Junior Doctors to Improve the Care and Outcomes of Hospitalised Older Adults.

Our Key Achievements

The Biogerontology group continues to explore the targeted use of medicines and other therapeutics. The group is collaborating with the Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques in Barcelona in the use of our nanotechnology for microRNA delivery for the prevention of liver failure.
Treating diabetes with nano insulin: positive mouse and primate studies now completed. Commercialisation with an Australian Biotech company underway in preparation for first in human clinical trials.
Preventing diabetes in an immune model of diabetes with nano insulin: mouse studies currently underway.
Amyloid- beta clearance in the liver, a novel target for preventing Alzheimer's Disease: currently underway by PhD candidate Glen Lockwood.
Targeted nanodelivery of gene therapy: currently underway by PhD candidate Lara Westwood.
Effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and implementation of Emergency Hospital in the Home (EHITH) model of care for older people: In 2022 a new model of care, EHITH, was launched within SLHD.
Collaboration with SLHD AHCC&R Disability Inclusion & Advice Service (DIAS) on development of their project, 'COVID-19 outbreaks in disability group homes within Sydney Local Health District (SLHD)'.
Professor David Le Couteur has a long-term collaboration with Professor of Geriatric Pharmacology, Sarah Hilmer, at the Kolling Institute Royal North Shore Hospital. CERA research pharmacist Sarita Lo is also a member of Professor Hilmer's research team. Their research collaborations include:
  • Optimising quality use of medicines in hospital to improve outcomes in older people (current)
  • 'TO HOME' research project (Towards Optimising Hospitalised Older adults' MEdications) (recently completed and in publication phase)
  • Evaluation of an Intervention Bundle to Reduce Inappropriate Polypharmacy in Older Inpatients: A Pilot Study (recently completed /and in publication phase)
  • Designing decision support to reduce inappropriate polypharmacy in older inpatients - Understanding user perceptions and workflows (completed).
Professor David Le Couteur is a member of the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre (CPC). The CPC is a multidisciplinary research centre committed to improving global health. The projects examine the impact of nutrition on longevity and later life health.
Professor David Le Couteur received the 2023 Ruthven Blackburn Medal.
Understanding and reducing falls in the inpatient hospital setting. Charlotte McLennan (PhD). Lead Supervisor Professor Cathie Sherrington (Institute of Musculoskeletal Health). Professor Vasi Naganathan is in the supervisory team.
The TOP UP Trial - A physiotherapy led telehealth and exercise intervention to improve mobility in older people receiving aged care services: an effectiveness and implementation randomised controlled trial. Rik Dawson (PhD) Lead Supervisor Professor Cathie Sherrington (Institute of Musculoskeletal Health), Vasi Naganathan (investigator).
Investigating a psychological strategy to support older adults in making informed cancer screening decisions. Jenna Smith (PhD). Primary Supervisor Professor Kirsten McCaffery, School of Public Health The University of Sydney. Professor Vasi Naganathan on supervisor team.
Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Protocols Influenza Pandemics Public's view. Dr Winston Cheung (PhD). Professor Vasi Naganathan (Lead Supervisor).

Our Research Team

CERA Co-Directors

Professor Vasi Naganathan Professor of Geriatric Medicine, University of Sydney and Consultant Geriatrician, Concord Hospital
Professor Victoria Cogger Director, ANZAC Research Institute
Co-Leader Biogerontology laboratory, ANZAC Research Institute

Department of Geriatric Medicine, Concord Hospital

Professor Vasi Naganathan Consultant Geriatrician
Professor David Le Couteur Senior Staff Specialist in Geriatric Medicine and Professor of Geriatric Medicine, The University of Sydney

Clinical Associate Professor John Cullen


Stream Director Sydney Local Health District Aged Health Care, Rehabilitation, General Medicine, Chronic Care, Disability, Endocrinology, Andrology and Ambulatory Care

Clinical Associate Professor, Concord Clinical School, The University of Sydney

Clinical Associate Professor Louise Waite

Senior Staff Specialist Geriatrician. Head of Department of Geriatric Medicine. Clinical Associate Professor, Concord Clinical School, University of Sydney

Dr Janani Thillainadesan Staff Specialist Geriatrician and Conjoint Lecturer, Concord Clinical School, University of Sydney
Clinical Associate Professor Deborah Cockrell Lead for Oral Health, CERA and Clinical Associate Professor, Concord Clinical School, University of Sydney
Dr Natasha Spalding Staff Specialist Geriatrician and Director of RACF Outreach Service
Dr Cameron Korb-Wells Geriatrician
Steven Chu Oral Health PhD student

Biogerontology Lab, ANZAC Research Institute

Professor Victoria Cogger Co-leader Biogerontology laboratory
Professor David Le Couteur Co-leader Biogerontology laboratory
Dr Nicholas Hunt Post-doctoral researcher
Professor Peter McCourt Visiting Scientist
Glen Lockwood Laboratory Manager
Lara Westwood PhD Candidate

CERA Research Support Staff

Leanne Kearney CERA Research Project Officer
Sarita Lo CERA Research Pharmacist
Danielle Hutchinson CERA Research Project Officer
Linda Koria EHITH Project Officer
Donna Bonnici Support Manager

Higher Degree Students

Steven Chu PhD Candidate
Glen Lockwood PhD Candidate
Charlotte McLennan PhD Candidate
Lara Westwood PhD Candidate
Eleni Azarias Masters (MPhil) student
Joshua Makary Masters (MPhil) student
Ganeshwaran Shivapathasundram Masters (MPhil) student
Bethany Stavert Masters (MPhil) student
Atul Wagh Masters (MPhil) student

Selected Grants

Amount awarded Project and investigator details
$497,224 NHMRC Investigator Grant, 2024
Microlearning-Enhanced Education of Junior Doctors to Improve the Care and Outcomes of Hospitalised Older Adults.
Investigator: Thillainadesan J
$2,953,040 NHMRC Investigator Grant, 2024-2028
Harnessing the Therapeutic Potential of Hepatotropic Silver Sulfide Quantum Dot Nanomedicines for Ageing and Age-Related Diseases.
Investigator: Le Couteur D.
$468,879 HCF Research Foundation, 2022-2024
Effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and implementation of Emergency Hospital in the Home model of care for older people
Investigators: Naganathan V, Cullen J, Blyth F, Cunich M.
$2,800,000 MRFF, 2022-2025
Reshaping low back pain management in the emergency department.
Investigators: Maher C (CIA), Naganathan V (CIJ).
$2,500,000 Norway Research Council, 2021-2025
Pack a pill in a PACA: PACA nanomedicines for targeting age-related changes in liver endothelium to prevent age-related disease.
Investigators: McCourt P, Le Couteur D, Cogger V, Citrichs, Ravan, Sorenson, Snistad, Aslund, van Gurnsven.
$2,500,000 NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence Scheme, 2020-2024
NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in the Prevention of Fall-related Injuries
Associate Investigator: Naganathan V.
$1,520,260 NHMRC Targeted Call for Research: Cultural Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity in Dementia Research, 2023-2028
A Community Based Participatory Approach to Decreasing Dementia Stigma and Increasing Help-Seeking.
Investigators: Low LF, Phillipson L, Ji M, Brodaty H, Jeon Y, Naismith S, Naganathan V, Gresham M, Taibi M.

Our Publications


Hunt NJ, Lockwood GP, Heffernan SJ, Daymond J, Ngu M, Narayanan RK, Westwood LJ, Mohanty B, Esser L, Williams CC, Kuncic Z, McCourt PAG, Le Couteur DG, Cogger VC. Oral nanotherapeutic formulation of insulin with reduced episodes of hypoglycaemia. Nat Nanotechnol 2024; doi: 10.1038/s41565-023-01565-2

Our Presentations


Naganathan V. Strategy and Development of Geriatric Workforce Capacity Building and Training in Australia. The 4th Vietnam National Geriatric Conference Program Hanoi, Vietnam November 2023.
Thillainadesan J. Perioperative Management of Frailty and Sarcopenia. 9th Asian Conference for Frailty and Sarcopenia Singapore October 2023.
Naganathan V. The Challenges Ahead - An Australasian Perspective. Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM) NZ Retreat Hawke's Nest, New Zealand October 2023.
Cogger V. Big Ideas, the Little Idea that Grew. Sydney Innovation Week Sydney, Australia September 2023.
Thillainadesan J. Innovative Pedagogy Enhances Care of Older Surgical Patients. The Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) 2023 Glasgow, UK August 2023.
Thillainadesan J. Let’s Talk About Microlearning in Medical Education. The Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) 2023 Glasgow, UK August 2023.
Hunt N. Human Duodenum Uptake and Animal Model Toxicity of Oral Insulin Nanotechnology (EA-1). Australasian Diabetes Congress 2023 Adelaide, Australia August 2023.
Cogger V. Insulin: Evolving New Therapies. Cardiovascular Drug Discovery Initiative Annual Workshop Sydney, Australia June 2023.
Hunt N. Oral Insulin from Discovery to Company Formation. Drug Discovery and Innovation & Industry SIG Student & ECR Virtual Symposium Virtual June 2023.
Hunt N. Characterisation of Nano Insulin Formulations. Sydney Analytical 5th Anniversary Symposium Sydney, Australia June 2023.
Naganathan V. Hospital and Out-of-Hospital Services Provided by Public Geriatric Medicine departments in Australia and New Zealand. IAGG Asia/Oceania Regional Congress Yokohama, Japan June 2023.
Le Couteur D. Macronutrients and Aging. The Okinawa Ratio. Journal of Internal Medicine Key Symposia Okinawa, Japan May 2023.
Naganathan V. Successes and Failures: Healthcare Innovations and Ageing Research Falls in Hospital. Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine Annual Scientific Meeting 2023 Brisbane, Australia May 2023.
Naganathan V. Aged Care Perspective. 2023 Healthcare Reform Town Hall Session Plan Virtual May 2023.
Azarias E. Hospital and Out-of-Hospital Services Provided by Public Geriatric Medicine departments in Australia and New Zealand. The Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine Annual Scientific Meeting 2023 Brisbane, Australia May 2023.
Hunt N. Current and Emerging Nanomedicine Therapeutics. Lecture for NANO4001 course (USyd) Sydney, Australia April 2023.
Thillainadesan J. Microteaching in Vascular-Geriatrics. Sydney Health Partners Perioperative and Surgical Education Conference Sydney, Australia March 2023.