My research has always been translational, seeking to define and target risk and mechanistic pathways contributing to functional declines involving voiding, cognition, mobility and host defense. In order to move the field from a description of associations to an understanding of mechanisms, my colleagues and I have sought to overcome barriers between studies involving human subjects and research conducted using cells and animal models. Thus, over the years my own research activities have moved back and forth between the bench and more clinical and translational settings.
My ability to accomplish these scientific objectives and to also mentor trainees involving such multifaceted experimental approaches is made possible by the fact that the UConn Center on Aging is the multidisciplinary home to clinical investigators, population and social scientists, as well as basic researchers - all supported by a total research portfolio exceeding $ 40 million.
At the UConn Center on Aging, we have established a research program focused on Precision Gerontology. This is an effort to leverage discoveries in the gerontological sciences towards the development of clinical interventions that are more precise and effective by virtue of better addressing increasing variability between individuals with aging. To that end, we are focused on defining risk factors and mechanisms that are implicated in both aging and chronic diseases, using such information to design more specific and effective interventions. Such efforts are enabled by the fact that our Center is the multidisciplinary home to basic scientists, clinical investigators and population researchers whose work is supported by a broad funding portfolio.
Areas of Expertise (8)
Mobility and Frailty
Voiding Issues and Urinary Incontinence
Vaccines and Immunology of Aging
Delirium and Dementia
Mount Sinai School of Medicine: Postdoctoral Fellowship 1992
Harvard: Postdoctoral Fellowship 1989
Harvard: Fellowship, Geriatrics and Gerontology Fellowship 1987
Montreal General Hospital: Int. Med. Residency 1985
Montreal General Hospital: Internship 1981
McGill University: M.D. 1980
Vanier College: D.E.C., Health Sciences 1975
- UConn John Dempsey Hospital
Media Appearances (9)
The flu kills older adults more than anyone else. UConn and Jackson Lab are studying the immune system to learn more.
Hartford Courant print
“Older adults are the most likely to be hospitalized or die from any infection, but particularly an influenza infection or COVID for that matter,” said George Kuchel, a professor of medicine and director of the UConn Center on Aging. Influenza causes about 36,000 deaths each year in the U.S. and disproportionally affects adults over the age of 65, researchers say. The vulnerability to infections is due to an age-related decline in the immune system, Kuchel said.
Which next-generation flu vaccines best boost immunity among older adults? A CT study seeks to find out.
Connecticut Public Radio online
In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended specific flu vaccines for adults 65 and older, including higher dose and adjuvanted flu vaccines. “The goal is to give them this year, the Fluzone high dose vaccine, and the next year give them the FluAD vaccine,” said Dr. George Kuchel, director of the UConn Center on Aging at the University of Connecticut, as well as chief of geriatric medicine at UConn Health.
CT team developing COVID drug to reverse aging ... really
Hearst Connecticut Media print
The older you are, the more likely your COVID-19 infection will be more severe, and even fatal. Of the nearly 5,000 COVID-related deaths in Connecticut to date, 81 percent are people over 70 years old. But what if you could turn back the clock? A team of researchers at UConn are working on ways to literally reverse the effects of aging, as a way to mitigate the severity of a COVID infection. “The goal here is not to erase aging, but rather we’re testing interventions that are designed to slow the rate of biological aging, and therefore help prevent severe COVID,” according to George Kuchel, director of UConn’s Center on Aging and chief of geriatric medicine at UConn Health.
VIDEO: Study Researches COVID's Impact on Seniors
NBC Connecticut tv
Dr. George Kuchel, a researcher at UConn Health, helped lead a study into COVID-19’s impact on seniors and he spoke with NBC Connecticut.
ACC Geriatric Cardiology Member Section Virtual Section Meeting
American College of Cardiology
We invite you to view the recording to hear from distinguished geriatrician and gerontologist George A. Kuchel, MD, FRCP, AGSF, FGSA, on the vulnerability of older adults to COVID-19; to explore the latest research in abstract presentations; to learn more about FIT and early career involvement in the Section; and much more!
What explains Covid-19’s lethality for the elderly? Scientists look to ‘twilight’ of the immune system
“It is not chronological age alone that determines how one does in the face of a life-threatening infection such as Covid-19,” cautioned geriatrician and gerontologist George Kuchel of the University of Connecticut. “Having multiple chronic diseases and frailty is in many ways as or more important than chronological age. An 80-year-old who is otherwise healthy and not frail might be more resilient in fighting off infection than a 60-year-old with many chronic conditions.” Reason: She may have a younger immune system.
COVID-19: Can the Science of Aging Move Us Forward?
Featuring Nir Barzilai, MD, Sean Leng, MD, PhD, George Kuchel, MD, and Joan Mannick, MD.
Will you age well? It might depend on your parents' lifespan
Medical News Today
Study co-author Prof. George Kuchel, of the Center on Aging at the University of Connecticut, notes that aging is a major risk factor for chronic diseases, such as heart disease, and the team's findings highlight the important role our parents play in the development of such conditions...
Strong link between delirium, inflammation in older patients
"Previous studies had used an older method to analyze patients' inflammatory markers," explained co-senior author George Kuchel, MD, a geriatrician at the University of Connecticut Health Center. "But this method can measure only one cytokine at a time. Inflammation is a complicated phenomenon, and we wanted a complete picture of what was taking place. We needed to simultaneously measure multiple cytokines in order to evaluate networks of inflammatory pathways." Kuchel and his colleagues adapted and optimized a customized technique using a commercially available system to measure multiple cytokines from the same sample...
Aging Augments the Impact of Influenza Respiratory Tract Infection on Mobility Impairments, Muscle-Localized Inflammation, and Muscle AtrophyAging
2016 Although the influenza virus only infects the respiratory system, myalgias are commonly experienced during infection. In addition to a greater risk of hospitalization and death, older adults are more likely to develop disability following influenza infection; however, this relationship is understudied. We hypothesized that upon challenge with influenza, aging would be associated with functional ...
Human Longevity is Influenced by Many Genetic Variants: Evidence from 75,000 UK Biobank ParticipantsAging
2016 Variation in human lifespan is 20 to 30% heritable in twins but few genetic variants have been identified. We undertook a Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) using age at death of parents of middle-aged UK Biobank participants of European decent (n=75,244 with father's and/or mother's data, excluding early deaths). Genetic risk scores for 19 phenotypes (n=777 proven variants) were also tested ...
A Geriatric Perspective on Benign Paroxysmal Positional VertigoJournal of American Geriatrics Society
2016 Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo in older adults. Beyond the unpleasant sensation of vertigo, BPPV also negatively affects older adults' gait and balance and increases their risk of falling. As such it has a profound effect on function, independence, and quality of life. Otoconia are the inner ear structures that help detect horizontal and vertical movements ...
T-Cell Immunity to Influenza in Older Adults: A Pathophysiological Framework for Development of More Effective VaccinesFrontiers in Immunology
2016 One of the most profound public health consequences of immune senescence is reflected in an increased susceptibility to influenza and other acute respiratory illnesses, as well as a loss of influenza vaccine effectiveness in older people. Common medical conditions and mental and psychosocial health issues as well as degree of frailty and functional dependence accelerate changes associated with ...
Any Versus Long-Term Prescribing of High Risk Medications in Older People Using 2012 Beers Criteria: Results from Three Cross-Sectional Samples of Primary Care Records for 2003/4, 2007/8 and 2011/12BMC Geriatrics
2015 High risk medications are commonly prescribed to older US patients. Currently, less is known about high risk medication prescribing in other Western Countries, including the UK. We measured trends and correlates of high risk medication prescribing in a subset of the older UK population (community/institutionalized) to inform harm minimization efforts ...