Thomas M. Gill, M.D., newly named the Humana Foundation Professor of Geriatric Medicine, is a leading authority on the epidemiology and prevention of disability among older persons.
Gill, co-director of the Yale Program on Aging, focuses on understanding the causes of functional decline and disability among community-living older persons, and on developing strategies to forestall the onset and progression of disability among at-risk elders.
In 1997, Gill embarked on an ambitious study known as the Precipitating Events Project. Since then, Gill and his team have overturned previous views about chronic disability among the elderly and revealed that older Americans surmount most physical setbacks with remarkable resiliency, and that functional decline can be prevented through targeted preventive measures.
In 2006, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) recognized Gill’s accomplishments with a $3.2 million merit award that allowed him to follow his study group for several more years.
Gill’s other research interests include the epidemiology and prevention of bathing disability and the epidemiology of frailty. He is currently a key investigator, with primary responsibility for assessments, for two large, NIA-sponsored multisite clinical trials. Gill’s mentorship program in disability and disabling disorders has been supported for the past seven years by a Midcareer Development Award from the NIA.
At Yale, Gill is also the director of the Research Career Development Core at the Claude D. Pepper Older American Independence Center, director of the Section of Geriatrics of the Center for Disability and Disabling Disorders, and co-director of the Yale Fellowship in Geriatric Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology. He received his research training in clinical epidemiology as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Yale and joined the faculty in 1994 after completing an additional year as a geriatrics fellow, and subsequently competed successfully for an NIA Academic Award, the Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholars in Aging Research Award, and the Robert Wood Johnson Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar Award.
For his professional contributions, Gill has been honored with the 2001 Outstanding Scientific Achievement for Clinical Investigation Award from the American Geriatrics Society, the 2009 Ewald W. Busse Research Award in the Biomedical Sciences, and election to American Society of Clinical Investigation and Interurban Clinical Club.