AGE Research Group

The AGE Research Group works to improve lives through world-class research in ageing, sarcopenia and multiple long-term conditions.





Based at the Newcastle University Campus for Ageing and Vitality, our interdisciplinary team includes clinicians, epidemiologists, data scientists, and sport and exercise scientists working in partnership with patients and members of the public.  Our aim is to translate findings from discovery science into advances in prevention, diagnosis and treatment, with maximum benefit for individuals and for society. A focus on research capacity building by supporting and training the next generation of researchers is central to this aim.

Our research is closely linked to the Ageing, Sarcopenia and Multimorbidity Theme within the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre.



Benchmarking exercise programmes for older people

(April 2024) First paper published from the Benchmarking Exercise Programmes for Older People (BEPOP) project.

New paper on delirium in Parkinson's Disease

(April 2024) New paper shows that people living with Parkinson’s disease are at high risk of delirium when admitted to hospital.

Blog post: The NIHR Newcastle BRC Showcase of Research Excellence

(March 2024) Spring seems to be the new conference season, and the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Showcase of Research Excellence took place on the 13th of March 2024.

Bringing together physical and clinical scientists for translational research

(March 2024) On 21st February, the ART (Ageing Research Translation) of Healthy Ageing Network joined forces with Rosetrees Physics of Medicine network to deliver a one-day workshop focused on translational ageing research.

Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Case Study

(March 2024) How to design a public engagement event for an underserved group of older study participants.

A Seaside Celebration of our Research Participants

(March 2024) Even the grey March skies couldn’t dampen the mood as we gathered with over 70 of our research participants, guests and colleagues at the iconic Spanish City on Whitley Bay seafront on Thursday 7 March.

Experiences of hospital care for people with multiple long-term conditions

(February 2024) Scoping review of qualitative research highlights challenges to providing person-centred care for multiple long-term conditions in hospital settings

2 x Fully-funded PhD Studentships open for applications

(February 2024) Kickstart your research career and achieve a PhD with world-class interdisciplinary training alongside clinicians, epidemiologists, data scientists, sport and exercise scientists and patients and the public.

Seasons Greetings from the AGE Research Group – Dec 2023

(December 2023) 2023 has been another busy year at the AGE Research Group as we continue to expand our research activity. We are very grateful to everyone who supports us. Download a copy of our newsletter to read more.

AGE Research Taster Week for visiting junior doctor

(December 2023) The AGE Research Group hosted a visit from a junior doctor with an interest in geriatrics and research, for an introduction to translational clinical research in ageing, sarcopenia and multiple long-term conditions.

Sarcopenia as front-page news

(December 2023) Successful AGE Research Group collaboration results in a published article with a cover page image in the Clinical Science journal.

We're hiring! Clinicians - launch your research career with us

(November 2023) Kickstart your research career and achieve a PhD with world-class interdisciplinary training alongside clinicians, epidemiologists, data scientists, sport and exercise scientists and patients and the public.

AGE Research Group hosts a visit from Dr Stephen Lim, University of Southampton

(November 2023) The AGE Research Group were delighted to host a visit from Dr Stephen Lim, Principal Clinical Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Geriatrician at the University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton (UHS).

ISTRC 2023 - “Where Worlds Meet”

(October 2023) The AGE Research Group and NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre welcomed almost 100 researchers and clinicians to Newcastle for the second International Sarcopenia Translational Research Conference (ISTRC).

Tea, cake and study results with Professor Miles Witham and Dr Claire McDonald

(September 2023) The MET PREVENT study team at the AGE Research Group recently hosted two tea parties to present the study results, thank participants for their valuable contributions and collect feedback.

Poetic praise from MASS Lifecourse Participant

We were delighted to receive feedback from one of our recent MASS Lifecourse research study participants. Valerie’s experience was so positive that she was inspired to write a poem about her time taking part in our research study.

Prof Avan Sayer win prestigious NIHR Senior Investigator Award

Congratulations to Avan who has been re-appointed as NIHR Senior Investigator – a title given to the most outstanding leaders in the NIHR research community.

Nurse Specialist Ashley Shields: Researching older people’s nutrition

Nurse Specialist Ashley Shields discusses his work researching ways to support older people’s nutrition carried out during his time with the AGE Research Group and NIHR Newcastle BRC.

Why research is trying to MUSCLE IN on ageing?

Dr Christopher Hurst has worked with Kaleidoscope CFA to produce a short, animated video to increase public awareness and understanding of research into muscle ageing.

Prof Sian Robinson gives plenary lecture at the 22nd IUNS International Congress

Prof Sian Robinson attended the IUNS Congress in December to give a plenary lecture ‘Nutrition through the life course and lifelong health’.

Seasons Greetings from the AGE Research Group – Dec 2022

It has been a very busy year for the AGE Research Group. We are very grateful to everyone who supports us. Download a copy of our newsletter to read more.

New Research Capacity Development Lead - Dr Jonny Bunn

Hear more from Jonny about his new role as Research Capacity Development lead for the AGE Research Group

Prof Witham discusses sarcopenia & frailty at Northern Vascular Meeting

Sarcopenia, frailty & geriatric medicine were very much on the agenda at the recent Northern Vascular meeting where Professor Miles Witham spoke to a multidisciplinary vascular surgical audience.

Sharing our research at EuGMS 2022

We were delighted to showcase the breadth of our research and enjoy a return to in-person conferencing at the European Geriatric Medicine Society (EuGMS) 2022 event.

Prof Witham steps down as NIHR CRN National Speciality Lead for Ageing

After 3 years, Prof Miles Witham has stepped down as National Speciality Lead for Ageing for the NIHR CRN.

Daniela Carpinelli awarded University Spotlight Award

Our Research Coordinator, Daniela Carpinelli has been awarded a University Spotlight award in recognition of her excellent contributions to our research delivery.

New Publication- Ageing Research Translation: a new era for UK Geroscience

Members of the AGE Research Group and their colleagues from the UKRI-funded ART of Healthy Ageing Network, have published a correspondence piece in Nature Aging.

AGE Research Group hosts a visit from Prof Rob Daly, Deakin University

The AGE Research Group were delighted to host a visit from Prof Robin Daly from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia.

New paper on multiple long-term conditions and emergency hospital admissions

A new paper just published describes how multiple long-term conditions relate to increased likelihood of emergency hospital admission.

Professor Rachel Cooper awarded funds for a month-long research visit to Finland

Prof Rachel Cooper has been awarded a University of Jyväskylä (JYU) Visiting Fellow Programme Grant that will fund a month-long research visit to Finland.

Let’s Talk Research- discussing research with retirement community residents

AGE Research Group members met with residents from Pilgrims Court in Jesmond for coffee, cake, and a discussion about research participation.

ADMISSION Collaborative & AGE Research Group host inaugural MLTC Symposium

Inaugural Multiple Long-Term Conditions Symposium attracts big name speakers, sparks conversation & champions collaboration.

Welcome to our new cohort of students joining AGE

Welcome to our new cohort of students who are joining us to complete their research projects on ageing, multiple long-term conditions and sarcopenia.

Geriatric Medicine Registrar Dr Jonny Bunn awarded BGS Research Funding

Dr Jonny Bunn has successfully been awarded £7,700 research funding from the British Geriatrics Society to investigate the relationship between skeletal muscle and gut bacteria.

Rachel Cooper joins AGE as Professor of Translational Epidemiology

We are delighted to announce that Rachel Cooper has joined Newcastle University as Professor of Translational Epidemiology within the AGE Research Group

UKRI (BBSRC-MRC) funding for the ART of Healthy Ageing Network

Prof Witham & Prof Sayer, in collaboration with colleagues from Manchester Metropolitan University & Liverpool John Moores University have been awarded UKRI(BBSRC-MRC) funding for the Ageing Research Translation of Healthy Ageing Network

New publication - Resistance exercise as a treatment for sarcopenia

Following a multidisciplinary collaboration between AGE members and movement and exercise experts, a new paper provides guidance on resistance exercise as a treatment for older adults living with sarcopenia.

Visting Researcher Dr Jonas Johansson joins AGE from UiT Tromsø, Norway

Dr Jonas Johansson from The Arctic University of Norway has joined the AGE Research Group for a four-month research visit to collaborate and network internationally with colleagues who focus on translational sarcopenia research.

Dr Sarah Richardson is awarded prestigious Dhole-Eddlestone Memorial Prize.

Dr Sarah Richardson has been awarded the prestigious Dhole-Eddlestone Memorial Prize. The award highlights the most deserving medical research relating to the needs of older people published in the past year in the journal Age & Ageing.

AGE Research Projects awarded Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Funding

We are delighted to announce that two AGE Research Group projects have recently been awarded funding through the Wellcome Trust ISSF small grant scheme.

Season's Greetings from the AGE Research Group - Dec 21

The past 12 months have been incredibly productive with new studies being launched and we are very grateful to all members of the public who give their time to support our research. Download a copy of our newsletter to read more.

AGE Research Group at the British Geriatrics Society Autumn Meeting

Prof Witham & Dr Hurst presented their work at the BGS meeting this week, speaking in both the President's Round and Association of Academic Geriatric Medicine session.

Data collection begins on the BEPOP project

Data collection has started for the Benchmarking Exercise Programmes for Older People project, an innovative UK-wide service improvement initiative aimed at improving exercise interventions for older people living with sarcopenia & frailty.

Living with muscle weakness - what are the most important issues for research?

In the first in a series of online PPIE workshops, the AGE Research Group met with a group of research participants who have sarcopenia to discuss research priorities.

AGE hosts introductory workshop: How do it take my first steps in research?

AGE members hosts NIHR Newcastle BRC training to encourage a range of healthcare professionals to get involved with clinical research for older people.

Celebrating successful recruitment in the Lifestyle in Later Life – Older People

In the AGE Research Group we are excited to celebrate the UN International Day of Older Persons on 1st October.

European Consortium, APPETITE recruits first participants.

The APPETITE study, a new European consortium, recruits first participants to explore reasons for declining appetite in older age.

AGE Research Group Hosts the Inaugural Virtual ISTRC.

Following the success of the AGE Research Group’s Inaugural ISTRC event, we reflect on our experience of hosting an international conference online for the interdisciplinary translational sarcopenia research community.

Spotlight on the Academic Multidisciplinary Team

The 3rd NIHR Newcastle BRC Academic Geriatric Medicine Workshop was held virtually on 19th March. The day was focused on the Academic Multidisciplinary Team and aimed to share research knowledge, activity, and experience across disciplines.

Dr Chris Hurst awarded funding to involve older people in research discussions

Dr Chis Hurst recently led a successful funding application to Engage FMS to support a new project: Let’s talk research: Involving older people with multiple long-term conditions and frailty in discussions about research.

AGE Research Group receives £3.85 million funding award

A new four year collaboration led by Prof Avan Sayer has received a £3.85 million funding award from the MRC and NIHR to research multiple long-term conditions.

New study shows increased risks of mortality in COVID-19 patients with frailty

AGE Research Group members Dr Sarah Richardson and Professor Miles Witham have been involved in a new study that has revealed the extent to which frailty increases the risk of mortality in COVID-19 patients.

AGE Research Group contributes to House of Lords report on healthy ageing.

Prof Avan Sayer and Prof Miles Witham gave evidence as part of an in-depth inquiry into healthy ageing which led to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee report on Ageing: Science, Technology & Healthy Living.

Tom Stubbs: AGE Group Experience

MRes Student Tom Stubbs tells us about his time with the AGE Research Group

Katherine Bowden-Brown - National successes for AGE MRes Students

Katherine Bowden-Brown selected to present poster in the prestigious BGS President’s Round.

UK NRP Workshop: Nutrition and Frailty

The AGE Research Group hosted a MRC funded ‘hot topic’ workshop with Dr Mary Ni Lochlainn (King's College, London), bringing together researchers to discuss the role of nutrition as an influence on frailty.

Richard Dodds: Winner of EuGMS best oral communication award

Richard Dodds won the EuGMS best oral communication award for the work he led on the prevalence and factors associated with poor performance in the 5-chair stand test, in collaboration with the MRC Cognitive Function and Ageing Study.

'At 75 all my muscles are in pretty good shape!'

We were delighted to hear from a participant of our recent virtual engagement event who is enjoying the benefits of resistance exercise training.

Richard Dodds: BGS Joint Rising Star Award for Research 2020

We are delighted that Dr Richard Dodds has been jointly awarded this year's British Geriatrics Society Rising Star Award for Research

New Paper: Consent and electronic medical records

AGE Group members discuss research consent and electronic medical records: "Making consent for electronic health and social care data research fit for purpose in the 21st century"

AGE Research Group delighted to welcome Lorelle Dismore back to work with us

Lorelle returned to join us in March 2020, and will be leading the qualitative research in a new project investigating the influence of lifestyle on health in later life

Research with older people in a world with COVID-19

AGE Research Group members including Dr Sarah Richardson, Professor Avan Sayer, and Professor Miles Witham have recently led work exploring how research will need to change in a world with COVID if we are to meet the needs of older people.

Welcome Sarah Richardson!

The AGE Research Group are delighted to welcome Sarah, an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Older People's Medicine.

New paper: Milk for skeletal muscle health and sarcopenia in older adults

Milk is part of a healthy diet – but is it good for muscle health in older age? Dr Antoneta Granic and colleagues review the current evidence of the benefits of drinking milk.

New paper: Study of Older Adults’ Motivator and Barriers Engaging in Exercise

A new paper was published this week on findings from the MIlkMAN study, which investigates the motivators as well as barriers to taking part in community-based intervention.

AGE Group at Newcastle University helps older people rehabilitate after COVID-19

Older people who are recovering from COVID-19 infection in Newcastle received a boost to their rehabilitation this week courtesy of exercise training equipment provided by Newcastle University.

The importance of physical activity during lockdown

The UK population have been strongly advised to remain at home to slow the spread of COVID-19. This is likely to reduce physical activity levels nationally, which may have significant long-term implications on muscle strength and mass.

New paper: Identifying probable sarcopenia in early old age

The AGE Group has recently published a new paper. We used data from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development to determine how common probable sarcopenia is at age 69 and which risk factors should alert clinicians to its presence.

The AGE team embarks on remote working

The AGE team held their weekly meeting virtually; linking up remotely from home. We are able to keep all sorts of activities on the move - sharing slides and documents as well as screen sharing.

AGE group at 'Mind the Gap' Clinical Research Network Event

AGE group members were present at the NIHR North East and North Cumbria Clinical Research Network annual event. The event was themed on finding ways to tackle inequality in research delivery.

Welcome to our latest AGE Research Group Student

George Smith has joined the AGE research group for his undergraduate research project work.

Guest Speaker: Professor Rachel Cooper, Manchester Metropolitan University

We were delighted to welcome Professor Rachel Cooper to visit us here in Newcastle on 13th February. Rachel delivered an excellent seminar discussing her work using a lifecourse approach to musculoskeletal health and ageing.

Vitamin D in Musculoskeletal Health and Beyond

Dr Terry Aspray as guest editor, has invited international experts to contribute to a special edition of Calcified Tissue International, presenting state-of-the-art reviews on vitamin D as nutrient.

New research shows how long-term conditions are linked to sarcopenia

New analysis conducted by the AGE Research Group has found that 5% of people are likely to have sarcopenia, which became more common with age and the number of long-term conditions.

Season's greetings from the AGE Research Group!

We have recently written to all participants of the Muscle Ageing and Sarcopenia Studies (MASS) and Milk Intervention Muscle AgeiNg (MIlkMAN) to wish them all the best for the festive period and a Happy New Year.

AGE Research Group summer student Rebecca wins student poster award

AGE Research Group summer student Rebecca Chungath won the MedSci Faculty prize for her poster at last week’s Medical School student symposium.

AGE Research Group at the British Geriatrics Society Autumn Scientific Meeting

AGE Research Group team members were busy presenting work spanning from epidemiology, through clinical trials and improvement science at the Autumn BGS meeting in Leicester last week.

AGE Research Group experts give evidence to House of Lords Select Committee

Professor Avan Sayer and Professor Miles Witham from the AGE Research Group have both given evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee in the last two weeks.

Recruiting and training future clinicians and scientists

Over recent weeks members of the AGE Research Group and NIHR Newcastle BRC have be involved in some fantastic events and training opportunities for early career clinicians and scientists interested in ageing research.

EUGMS 2019, Krakow, Poland

AGE group members attended the 15th International Congress of the EUGMS. Prof. Robinson presented an overview of the nutritional treatment of sarcopenia & it was great to see our work included in presentations throughout the congress.

Welcome to James Murray

This week we welcome our newest member of the AGE Team, James Murray who joins the group as our new Research Assistant in Medical Statistics.

New Paper Published

Although the health benefits of physical activity (PA) are firmly established, little is known about PA in older age, particularly among the very old. A new paper led by Dr Antoneta Granic (AGE Senior Research Associate) addresses this gap.

Professor Miles Witham appointed as NIHR CRN National Lead for Ageing.

The AGE Research Group’s Professor Miles Witham, Professor of Trials for Older People, has been appointed as the National Speciality Lead for Ageing for the NIHR’s Clinical Research Network (NIHR CRN).

2019 BioFocus conference

Professor Miles Witham, chair of trials for older people, took part in the 2019 BioFocus conference, held at the County Hotel in Newcastle on the 10th of July 2019. Speaking on the topic of “Making trials for older people fit for purpose”.

AGE Research Group member taking part in prestigious pan-European course

Richard Dodds, intermediate clinical fellow and honorary consultant Geriatrician in our group has recently attended the second of the four weeks in the European Academy for Medicine of Ageing (EAMA) programme.

Poster presentation at NU Professional Services Conference

AGE Research Secretary, Gayle Cain presented her poster ‘The role of Professional Services in building a new research group’ at the inaugural Newcastle University Professional Services Conference.

Guest Speaker: Professor Rebecca Hardy, Director of CLOSER

Professor Rebecca Hardy, Director of CLOSER (Cohort and Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources) and Professor of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics at University College London, visited the AGE Research Group on 11th July.

Evidence Review Report: Transforming the Future of Ageing

A new Evidence Review Report has been published for SAPEA bringing together the expertise of a world-leading scientists, including Prof Sayer, to address the challenges faced by ageing populations.

A new review of sarcopenia is published in the Lancet

A comprehensive review of sarcopenia has been published in the Lancet. The review, co-authored by Professor Avan Aihie Sayer, is the first Lancet Seminar on Sarcopenia and provides a clinically focused cutting-edge review of the condition.

A party at The Parks marks the end of the MIlkMAN study!

A final get-together was held at The Parks, with 24 participants joining the MIlkMAN team to celebrate the successful completion of the study. Huge thanks go to all the participants for their time, enthusiasm and commitment to the study.