Thomas Michael Gill MD

Humana Foundation Professor of Medicine (Geriatrics) and Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases) and of Investigative Medicine; Director, Yale Program on Aging; Director, Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center; Director, Yale Center for Disability and Disabling Disorders; Director, Yale Training Program in Geriatric Clinical Epidemiology and Aging-Related Research

Research Interests

Epidemiology and prevention of functional decline; Disability among community-living older persons; functional assessment; clinical trials

Current Projects

1. Yale PEP Study: Epidemiology of Disability and Recovery in Older Persons?

2. STRIDE: Prevention of Serious Fall Injuries in Older Persons

3. LIFE Study: Physical Exercise to Prevent Disability

4. Testosterone Trial


Research Summary

Dr. Gill's research is directed towards understanding the mechanisms underlying the development of functional decline and disability among community-living older persons and towards developing preventive strategies to forestall the onset and progression of disability among those who are most vulnerable. The results from the Yale Precipitating Events Project (PEP), Dr. Gill's ongoing NIA-funded cohort study, which includes monthly assessments of functional status for over 15 years, are revolutionizing our understanding of disability, a problem of immense importance to older persons, their families, and society. In a landmark clinical trial, Dr. Gill's research group demonstrated that functional decline among frail older persons can be prevented through a prehabilitation program targeting underlying impairments in physical capabilities.

Extensive Research Description

Dr. Gill's research is directed towards understanding the mechanisms underlying the development of functional decline and disability among community-living older persons and towards developing preventive strategies to forestall the onset and progression of disability among those who are most vulnerable. The results from the Yale Precipitating Events Project(PEP), Dr. Gill's ongoing NIA-funded cohort study, which includes monthly assessments of functional status for over 15 years, are revolutionizing our understanding of disability, a problem of immense importance to older persons,their families, and society. In a landmark clinical trial, Dr. Gill's research group demonstrated that functional decline among frail older persons can be prevented through a prehabilitation program targeting underlying impairments in physical capabilities. Dr. Gill's other research interests include the epidemiology of frailty and the aging lung.

Current research includes two large multi-site clinical trials. The first is evaluating the effectiveness of a physical activity intervention inpreventing major mobility disability and other clinically relevant outcomes in at-risk older persons, while the second is evaluating the benefit of testosterone treatment in symptomatic older men with low serum testosterone. Additional research includes the epidemiology and assessment of the aging lung.

Dr. Gill directs the Center on Disability and Disabling Disorders, which conducts longitudinal studies and clinical trials to enhance the scientific knowledge base of the disablement process and to rigorously evaluate promising intervention strategies. The Center includes an expanding number of clinical investigators, across disciplines, who are pursuing aging research related to disability and disabling disorders. This includes functional assessment in general as well as the functional consequences of highly prevalent disease-specific conditions such as arthritis, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), influenza, diabetes, stroke, depression, and dementia.



Selected Publications

  • Gill TM. Disentangling the Disabling Process: Insights from the Precipitating Events Project. Gerontologist 2014; 54:533–549.
  • Pahor M, Guralnik JM, Ambrosius WT, Blair S, Bonds DE, Church TS, Espeland MA, Fielding RA, Gill TM, Groessl EJ, King AC, Kritchevsky SB, Manini TM, McDermott MM, Miller ME, Newman AB, Rejeski WJ, Sink KM, Williamson JD for the LIFE Study Investigators. Effect of Structured Physical Activity on Prevention of Major Mobility Disability in Older Adults: The LIFE Study Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA 2014; 311:2387-2396.
  • Gill TM, Murphy TE, Gahbauer EA, Allore HG. Association of Injurious Falls with Disability Outcomes and Nursing Home Admissions in Community-Living Older Persons. Am J Epidemiol 2013; 178:418-425.
  • Vaz Fragoso CA, Gill TM. Respiratory Impairment and the Aging Lung: A Novel Paradigm for Assessing Pulmonary Function. J Gerontol Med Sci 2012; 67A: 264–275.
  • Gill TM, Gahbauer EA, Murphy TE, Han L, Allore HG. Risk Factors and Precipitants of Long-Term Disability in Community Mobility: A Cohort Study of Older Persons. Ann Intern Med 2012; 156:131-140.
  • Gill TM, Allore HG, Gahbauer EA, Murphy TE. Change in Disability after Hospitalization or Restricted Activity in Older Persons. JAMA 2010; 304:1919-1928.
  • Gill TM, Gahbauer EA, Han L, Allore HG. Trajectories of Disability in the Last Year of Life. N Engl J Med 2010; 362:1173-1180.
  • Bartali B, Frongillo EA, Guralnik JM, Stipanuk MH, Allore HG, Cherubini A, Bandinelli S, Ferrucci L, Gill TM. Serum Micronutrient Concentrations and Decline in Physical Function among Older Persons. JAMA 2008; 299:308-315.
  • Gill TM, Allore HG, Holford TR, Guo Z. Hospitalization, Restricted Activity, and the Development of Disability Among Older Persons. JAMA 2004; 292:2115-2124.
  • Hardy SE, Gill TM. Recovery from Disability Among Community-Dwelling Older Persons. JAMA 2004; 291:1596-1602.

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