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Foundation for Healthy Aging Faculy, Contributors and Board Members

Robert D. Langer, MD, MPH

Professor Robert D. Langer, MD, MPH, is the Principal Scientist and Medical Director of the Jackson Hole Center for Preventive Medicine and an Emeritus Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. He is a family physician, an epidemiologist and a specialist in preventive medicine, with more than 30 years of experience in studies of cardiovascular disease, postmenopausal hormone therapy, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, osteoporosis, sleep and sedative/hypnotic agents, cognitive function and dementia. An author of nearly 200 manuscripts in the peer-reviewed literature, he has served as the principal investigator for more than 30 national and international clinical trials and observational studies.

Dr. Langer graduated from the University of Illinois School of Medicine in Chicago in 1978, and completed an internship in family medicine under the auspices of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. While in private practice in the early 1980s, initially to address his personal interest in the longitudinal outcomes of clinical practice, he developed one of the first commercially successful electronic health records systems. His early practice experience cemented his desire to focus his career on clinical aspects of successful aging. To further that goal Dr. Langer entered a residency in Preventive Medicine at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) in 1986. Upon completing that program, and simultaneously earning the degree of Master of Public Health in Epidemiology, he joined the faculty of the UCSD Department of Family and Preventive Medicine where he served for nearly 20 years.

Shortly after joining the faculty Dr. Langer became the Project Director for the UCSD Clinical Center in the Postmenopausal Estrogen Progestins Interventions (PEPI) trial, the pioneering earliest NIH collaborative study to address healthy aging in women. Simultaneously, as a co-investigator in the UCSD Rancho Bernardo Chronic Disease Study, Dr. Langer published several groundbreaking papers describing contrasts in characteristics associated with good health between younger elders and the ‘oldest old’. As an early member of the UCSD Peripheral Vascular Disease research group, Dr. Langer published extensively on both Peripheral Arterial Disease and Peripheral Venous Disease. His decades long involvement in sleep research has yielded a number of highly cited papers. And his career long interest in successful aging has led to extensive involvement as an investigator and author in studies assessing hormonal, pharmacologic, behavioral and nutritional strategies that might prevent late life diseases in both women and men.

Professor Langer was the Principal Investigator of the University of California, San Diego Vanguard Clinical Center for the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) for the entire primary study period (1993 -2005). The WHI focused on the prevention of major diseases in women over the age of 50; it remains the most ambitious NIH collaborative study ever conducted. For the WHI he chaired the National Investigators Committee (1995-96) and the Observational Study Committee (1996-2005). Dr. Langer was the Principal Investigator for the largest clinical site of a major clinical trial of prostate cancer prevention, the SELECT study. In the early 2000s, with colleagues at the UCSD Stein Institute for Research on Aging, Dr. Langer created the UCSD Successful Aging Cohort. In 2005 he became the Founding Director of the Outcomes Research Institute for the Geisinger Health System, and in 2008 he founded the Jackson Hole Center for Preventive Medicine (JHCPM) in Wyoming. From 2011 to 2018 he was Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. In 2013, he received the largest competitive NIH award ever received by a Nevada institution, a 5-year $20 million program to bootstrap research at all 13 public research universities in 7 Mountain West states spanning 1/3 of the U.S. landmass and 4 time zones. In 2018, and again in 2020, Dr. Langer was elected by his peers in more than 50 countries to the Board of the International Menopause Society.

Professor Langer lectures frequently internationally on topics in women’s health and was a member of the International Menopause Society’s Writing Groups for recommendations on women’s midlife health and menopausal hormone therapy in both 2013 and 2016. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine, and a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Heart Association Scientific Councils, as well as a member of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology.