New Mayo Clinic division puts focus on elderly

Robert Pignolo

Mayo Clinic already owns the No. 1 spot in U.S. News & World Report's ranking , but now plans to expand its focus on health care for the elderly.

The Department of Medicine will now include a Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, which will "promote the health and independence of older adults through clinical care and translational research discoveries," according to a Mayo Clinic press release.

Dr. Robert Pignolo has been appointed the lead the new department, which has more than 50 geriatricians. It's projected to "strengthen collaboration among investigators and clinicians, and will support additional research endeavors and the training of future generations of geriatricians and gerontologists," the press release said.

"I look forward to working with our geriatricians as well as our scientists to find opportunities to strengthen Mayo Clinic's translational research to promote healthier, more independent aging," Dr. Pignolo said.

In addition to leading Mayo's new department, Pignolo will serve as director of the Translation and Pharmacology Program within the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging. He also received a joint appointment in Physiology and Biomedical Engineering, along with Endocrinology. His top career accomplishments are focused around the areas of skeletal aging, stem cell biology, regenerative medicine and rare genetic disorders.


Pignolo's past positions include associate professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; associate professor of Orthopedic Surgery; director of Ralston-Penn Clinic for Osteoporosis and Related Bone Disorders, and the Ian Cali Distinguished Clinician-Scientist.

Mayo was ranked as the top hospital in the country last month by U.S. News & World Report. It received top marks in eight of the 12 specialities examined by the new report, including geriatrics.

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