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Daniel Forman, MD, Assumes New Supporting Leadership Role at Aging Institute

February 3, 2020

Earlier this year, Daniel Forman, MD, was named as the new Director of Emerging Therapeutics at the Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services and the University of Pittsburgh. 

Daniel Forman, MD

A cardiologist and geriatrician, Dr. Forman, who also is a professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology and chair of the Section of Geriatric Cardiology, was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh four years ago from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston to launch a new geriatric cardiology program that extends from his areas of expertise. That program has flourished, and Dr. Forman has advanced as a national leader in efforts to broadly integrate geriatric precepts into specialty medicine in order to better achieve care that responds to the distinctive needs of older adults. Management of a specific disease process is coupled to expanding insights regarding associated frailty, comorbidity, cognitive decline, falls, and other health care challenges that become pervasive with age and that commonly confound standard medications, procedures, and assessments. His leadership in the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American Geriatrics Society, and the National Institutes of Health have catalyzed more novel holistic approaches to patient care, and have even sparked funding initiatives to further grow the field.

Dr. Forman’s research on older adults at the University of Pittsburgh is multifaceted, extending from novel approaches of clinical care in older adults to cellular and subcellular mechanisms, all with prevailing goals of enhancing function and quality-of-life in older adults. His expertise in cardiovascular disease and clinical care is complemented by broad expertise in pertinent cellular science.
Soon after coming to Pittsburgh, Dr. Forman received funding from the Aging Institute to pursue a novel pilot study of nitrite supplementation in older heart failure patients. The study showed that nitrites improved bioenergetics in skeletal muscle mitochondria and boosted exercise performance. These data have subsequently led to multiple NIH studies and an expanding body of work.

While much of Dr. Forman’s initial research focused on older adults with cardiovascular disease, his studies have expanded to include those with and without cardiovascular disorders. He is the principal investigator of a cardiac rehabilitation trial that will advance strategies to better enable older patients who are weakened and debilitated after hospitalization to regain function, confidence, and independence. Simultaneously, he is leading multiple studies that target biological mechanisms underlying physical decline and novel strategies to remedy them. Body composition, nutrition, and inflammation are among the factors considered in this work.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Aging Institute and its work,” says Dr. Forman. “I see it as an exceptional crucible for ideas, insight, and energy among idealistic and dazzling colleagues, which seems certain to propel innovation in the care of older adults.” As the Aging Institute’s first director of emerging therapeutics, he will help organize and lead its translational program.