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Lauren Ferrante Awarded R01 Grant for Geriatric Critical Care Research

September 21, 2023
by Serena Crawford

Lauren Ferrante, MD, MHS, assistant professor of medicine (pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine), received a Research Project Grant (R01) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the project Evaluating the Unmet Needs of Older Adults to Promote Functional Recovery After a Critical Illness (LANTERN).

In this project, Ferrante and her team will study adults aged 65 and older who are in the intensive care unit (ICU) due to a life-threatening illness. For those in this age group who survive their ICU stay, only about half achieve functional recovery within six months, according to Ferrante.

“Not achieving functional recovery can have adverse downstream consequences for older ICU survivors, such as becoming persistently disabled and having to rely on other people to do basic activities, or even ending up in a nursing home,” Ferrante said.

Through her research, Ferrante seeks to understand which older adults recover and how to better help those who don’t. Her new project will provide answers to questions raised in her previous work.

“In one of our prior studies, we developed, validated, and pilot-tested a risk prediction tool, administered in the hospital, to identify older ICU survivors who might not recover after discharge,” she said. “But when we spoke to patients every month after discharge, they told us that they had unmet needs in many domains. The unmet needs they described are not typically addressed during follow-up and had not previously been evaluated in studies of younger ICU survivors.”

With the support of her R01 grant, Ferrante will gather in-depth data to identify these unmet needs and evaluate associations with outcomes like functional status, mortality, and rehospitalizations. The LANTERN study data will be used to develop a future intervention to improve functional recovery among older ICU survivors.

“The anticipated findings from Dr. Ferrante’s newly funded prospective longitudinal study have the potential to transform the field of geriatric critical care,” said Thomas Gill, MD, Humana Foundation Professor of Medicine (Geriatrics) and professor of epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, and of investigative medicine at Yale School of Medicine.

The new grant will allow Ferrante to continue to expand her groundbreaking work on outcomes of critical illness in the aged, added Naftali Kaminski, MD, Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary) and chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine (Yale-PCCSM). “This will have a huge impact on our field, and most importantly on patients and their families,” he said.

Ferrante’s grant—her first R01 award—is one of six early-stage investigator R01 awards secured by Yale-PCCSM investigators in the last two years, according to Kaminski.

Ferrante is a past recipient of the Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging from the NIH, among other grants. Her work is also supported by the Yale Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, where she is a core director.

The Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine is one of the eleven sections within Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Internal Medicine. To learn more about Yale-PCCSM, visit PCCSM's website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Submitted by Serena Crawford on September 20, 2023