Center on Aging
Dr. Roy G. Smith, Ph.D., Director
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza, M320
Houston, TX 77030
In September 1998, Roy G. Smith, Ph.D. returned to Baylor as the Director of the Huffington Center on Aging. For the previous 11years, Dr. Smith served as Senior Director and then as Vice President for Basic Research at Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co., where he was primarily involved in identifying new drug targets for metabolic diseases and drugs that would improve the quality of life in the elderly. Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Smith was a Professor at BCM where, in addition to conducting basic research, he directed the Endocrine Subspecialty Fellowship Program for the OB/GYN Department and the AUA Fellowship Program in Urology. Since returning to Baylor, Dr. Smith has continued to work on the function of the orphan growth hormone secretagogue receptor that was cloned in his laboratory at Merck. This research is focused on the prevention of frailty in the elderly and inhibiting age-related changes in cognitive functions. His research interests include the molecular mechanisms relating to aging, age-related neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. New areas of research direction for the Center include Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, and tumor suppressor genes. The past three years have been eventful ones, with much progress made in basic research, clinical activities, and numerous successes in education.
The Huffington Center on Aging has one of the most advanced aging research programs in the country. Especially prominent are our programs in cell and molecular biology of aging, cardiovascular diseases, ethics and outcomes research. Research geriatricians and gerontologists are trained through a NIA-funded aging research training grant and an approved geriatrics fellowship program that offers two additional years of research training for those interested in academic research careers. Research enrichment, including opportunities to visit laboratories in this country and abroad, is afforded by the generosity of several foundations.
The Huffington Center is extensively involved in undergraduate and graduate education. Education in aging and aging-related topics extends through college, medical school, residency training and post-graduate training for physicians and allied health professionals. We also have an extensive program of education for the lay public. The geriatric fellowship training program is based on the great variety and depth of clinical training sites which reflect the multi-racial, multi-ethnic composition of Houston. Geriatric fellows have the opportunity to train in managed care organizations and community institutional and non-institutional long term care and residential facilities.
The center and its faculty have received numerous awards and accolades. The Huffington Center on Aging is a John A. Hartford Foundation, Inc. of New York designated Center of Excellence in Geriatrics.