About Us

Group Respite

Relatives as Parents

Leadership in Aging





The Brookdale Foundation Group


Frank W. Burr Blvd

Suite 13

Teaneck, NJ









Elena Volpi, MD, PhD

Dr. Volpi is the Daisy Emery Allen Distinguished Chair in Geriatric Medicine, Director of the UTMB Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, the Associate Director of the Institute for Translational Sciences-CTSA, a Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Neuroscience and Cell Biology at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Galveston. She received her MD and PhD in Applied Pathophysiology from the University of Perugia, Italy, where she also completed a Residency in Endocrinology and Diabetes. She then moved to UTMB for a two-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in metabolism and gerontology and later became a UTMB faculty member. In 2000 she was nominated a Brookdale National Fellow and moved to the University of Southern California where she completed the fellowship.  In 2004 she returned to the University of Texas Medical Branch.

As a Brookdale National Fellow, Dr. Volpi focused her research program on sarcopenia, the involuntary loss of muscle in the elderly. Specifically, she studied the role of nutritional interventions as a means of preserving muscle size in the elderly. She found that amino acids can normally stimulate muscle growth in older people, whereas the combination of amino acids with carbohydrate, as it occurs in a meal, is not beneficial and may be detrimental as it slows down the turnover of muscle protein, thereby reducing muscle plasticity, which is important for the muscle to adapt to anabolic stimuli.  Recent research that derived from these original data indicates that such a negative effect of carbohydrate on aging muscle is due to a relative insulin resistance of muscle proteins in older persons.  Dr. Volpi's current research program is centered on dissecting the mechanisms responsible for the age-related insulin resistance of muscle proteins, on ways to restore a normal muscle response to insulin, and on preventing sarcopenia and functional dependence in older adults.

Brookdale Fellow Class of 2000

Last updated 5/10