Dr. Adam J Santanasto, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor, Epidemiology


R-znvy: nwf06@cvgg.rqh
Primary Phone: 967-838-6850
Secondary Phone: 165-450-1979

Personal Statement

I have a K01 from the NIH aimed at studying the molecular epidemiology of physical function in older adults. Specifically, my current research interests are to develop a program dedicated to understanding the biological causes of age-related declines in physical function and to uncover novel therapeutic targets (primarily related to skeletal muscle aging) to preserve physical function, prevent disability and prolong years of active life expectancy in older adults. Maintaining the independence of older adults is an extremely important and growing public health challenge and the long-term goal of my research is to develop novel interventions to improve or prevent age-related declines in physical function and disability. I am expanding these interests to include the investigation of DNA, RNA and protein-based biomarkers for physical function. Preliminary results of the K01 have also lead to an interest in systemic and skeletal muscle fibrosis and its affect on physical function in older adults.

We also have been following a cohort of African-Caribbean men for over 20 years and I am to expand the research I have been conducting in US-based cohorts to this population.



2008 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA | BS, Health Information Management

2010 | University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA | MPH, Epidemiology

2013| University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA | PhD, Epidemiology


Selected Publications


Full bibliography: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/adam.santanasto.1/bibliography/public/

  1. Jones G*, Trajanoska K*, Santanasto AJ*, Stringa N*, Kuo C-L*, Atkins JL*, Lewis JR, Duong T, Hong S, Biggs ML, Luan Ja, Sarnowski C, Lunetta KL, Tanaka T, Wojczynski MK, Cvejkus R, Nethander M, Ghasemi S, Yang J, Zillikens MC, Walter S, Sicinski K, Kague E, Ackert-Bicknell CL, Arking DE, Windham BG, Boerwinkle E, Grove ML, Graff M, Spira D, Demuth I, van der Velde N, de Groot LCPGM, Psaty BM, Odden MC, Fohner AE, Langenberg C, Wareham NJ, Bandinelli S, van Schoor NM, Huisman M, Tan Q, Zmuda J, Mellstrom D, Karlsson M, Bennett DA, Buchman AS, De Jager PL, Uitterlinden AG, Volker U, Kocher T, Teumer A, Rodriguez-Manas L, Garcia Garcia FJ, Carnicero JA, Herd P, Bertram L, Ohlsson C, Murabito JM*, Kuchel GA*, Ferrucci L*, Melzer D*, Karasik D*, Rivadeneira F*, Kiel DP*, Pilling LC*. Genome-wide meta-analysis of muscle weakness identifies 15 susceptibility loci in older men and women. medRxiv:2020.2005.2014.20100354; 2020. Under Review at Nature Communications. *Denotes equal first/senior authors.
  2. Santanasto AJ, Cvejkus RK, Wojczynski MK, Marron MM, Schupf N, Christensen K, Thyagarajan B, Zmuda JM. Circulating Procollagen type III N-terminal peptide (P3NP) and Physical Function in Adults from The Long Life Family Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2020. Under Review.
  3. Grosicki GJ,. Travison TG, Zhu H, Magaziner J, Binder EF, Pahor M, Correa-de-Araujo R, Cawthon PM, Bhasin S , Orwig D, Greenspan S , Manini T, Massaro J, Santanasto A, Patel S, Fielding RA. Application of Selected Cut-Points for Low Muscle Strength and Lean Mass in Mobility-Limited Older Adults. J Am Geriatr Soc, 2020. Accepted, In Press.
  4. Patel SM, Duchowny KA, Kiel DP, Correa-de-Araujo R, Fielding RA, Travison T, Magaziner J, Manini T, Xue Q, Newman AB, Pencina KM, Santanasto AJ, Bhasin S, Cawthon PM. SDOC defined low grip strength in two cross-sectional, population-based cohorts. J Am Geriatr Soc, 2020. Accepted, In Press.
  5. Cawthon PM, Manini T, Patel SM, Newman AB, Travison T, Kiel DP, Santanasto AJ, Ensrud KE, Xue Q, Shardell M, Duchowny K, Erlandson KM… Bhasin S. Putative cut-points in sarcopenia components and incident adverse-health outcomes: an SDOC analysis. J Am Geriatr Soc, 2020. Accepted, In Press.
  6. Glynn NW, Gmelin T, Santanasto AJ, Lovato LC, Lange-Maia BS, Nicklas BJ, Fielding RA, Manini TM, Myers VH, de Rekeneire N, Spring BJ, Pahor M, King AC, Rejeski WJ, Newman AB. Impact of Baseline Fatigue on a Physical Activity Intervention to Prevent Mobility Disability. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020 Mar;68(3):619-624. doi: 10.1111/jgs.16274. Epub 2019 Dec 22. PubMed PMID: 31867713.
  7. Marron MM, Wendell SG, Boudreau RM, Clish CB, Santanasto AJ, Tseng GC, Zmuda JM, Newman AB. Metabolites associated with walking ability among the oldest old from the CHS All Stars study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2020 Jan 23;. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glaa030. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31970383.
  8. Farsijani S, Cauley JA, Santanasto AJ, Glynn NW, Boudreau RM, Newman AB. Transition to a More even Distribution of Daily Protein intake Is Associated with Enhanced Fat Loss during a Hypocaloric and Hhysical Activity Intervention in Obese Older Adults. J Nutr Health Aging. 2020;24(2):210-217. doi: 10.1007/s12603-020-1313-8. PubMed PMID: 32003413.
  9. LaSorda KR, Gmelin T, Kuipers AL, Boudreau RM, Santanasto AJ, Christensen K, Renner SW, Wojczynski MK, Andersen SL, Cosentino S, Glynn NW. Epidemiology of Perceived Physical Fatigability in Older Adults: The Long Life Family Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 Dec 12;. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glz288. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31828303.
  10. Santanasto AJ, Miljkovic I, Cvejkus RK, Wheeler VW, Zmuda JM. Sarcopenia Characteristics are associated with Incident Mobility Limitations in African Caribbean Men: The Tobago Longitudinal Study of Aging. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 Oct 8;. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glz233. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31593581.
  11. Duan-Porter W, Vo TN, Ullman K, Langsetmo L, Strotmeyer ES, Taylor BC, Santanasto AJ, Cawthon PM, Newman AB, Simonsick EM, Waters TM, Ensrud KE. Hospitalization-Associated Change in Gait Speed and Risk of Functional Limitations for Older Adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 Sep 15;74(10):1657-1663. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glz027. PubMed PMID: 30715162; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6748735.
  12. Braganza A, Corey CG, Santanasto AJ, Distefano G, Coen PM, Glynn NW, Nouraie SM, Goodpaster BH, Newman AB, Shiva S. Platelet bioenergetics correlate with muscle energetics and are altered in older adults. JCI Insight. 2019 May 23;5. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.128248. PubMed PMID: 31120438; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6629251.
  13. Santanasto AJ, Marron MM, Boudreau RM, Feitosa MF, Wojczynski MK, Arbeev KG, Thyagarajan B, Schupf N, Stallard E, Sebastiani P, Cosentino S, Christensen K, Newman AB. Prevalence, Incidence and Risk Factors for Overall, Physical and Cognitive Independence among those from exceptionally long-lived families: The Long Life Family Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 May 14;. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glz124. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31086986.
  14. Cooper R, Popham M, Santanasto AJ, Hardy R, Glynn NW, Kuh D. Are BMI and inflammatory markers independently associated with physical fatigability in old age?. Int J Obes (Lond). 2019 Apr;43(4):832-841. doi: 10.1038/s41366-018-0087-0. Epub 2018 May 24. PubMed PMID: 29795469; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6477893.
  15. Santanasto AJ, Miljkovic I, Cvejkus RC, Gordon CL, Bunker CH, Patrick AL, Wheeler VW, Zmuda JM. Body Composition Remodeling and Incident Mobility Limitations in African Ancestry Men. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 Feb 15;74(3):400-405. doi: 10.1093/gerona/gly067. PubMed PMID: 29659706; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6376082.
  16. Pérez LM, Roqué M, Glynn NW, Santanasto AJ, Ramoneda M, Molins MT, Coll-Planas L, Vidal P, Inzitari M. Validation of the Spanish version of the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale for older adults. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2019 Feb;31(2):209-214. doi: 10.1007/s40520-018-0959-0. Epub 2018 May 8. PubMed PMID: 29736892; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6222011.
  17. Wasson E, Rosso AL, Santanasto AJ, Rosano C, Butters MA, Rejeski WJ, Boudreau RM, Aizenstein H, Gmelin T, Glynn NW. Neural correlates of perceived physical and mental fatigability in older adults: A pilot study. Exp Gerontol. 2019 Jan;115:139-147. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2018.12.003. Epub 2018 Dec 4. PubMed PMID: 30528639; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6331252.
  18. Hwang J, Zmuda JM, Kuipers AL, Bunker CH, Santanasto AJ, Wheeler VW, Miljkovic I. Serum Vitamin D and Age-Related Muscle Loss in Afro-Caribbean Men: The Importance of Age and Diabetic Status. J Frailty Aging. 2019;8(3):131-137. doi: 10.14283/jfa.2018.40. PubMed PMID: 31237313; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6621556.
  19. Manini TM, Buford TW, Kairalla JA, McDermott MM, Vaz Fragoso CA, Fielding RA, Hsu FC, Johannsen N, Kritchevsky S, Harris TB, Newman AB, Cummings SR, King AC, Pahor M, Santanasto AJ, Tranah GJ. Meta-analysis identifies mitochondrial DNA sequence variants associated with walking speed. Geroscience. 2018 Dec;40(5-6):497-511. doi: 10.1007/s11357-018-0043-x. Epub 2018 Oct 18. PubMed PMID: 30338417; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6294723.
  20. Simonsick EM, Schrack JA, Santanasto AJ, Studenski SA, Ferrucci L, Glynn NW. Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale: One-Page Predictor of Mobility Decline in Mobility-Intact Older Adults. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 Nov;66(11):2092-2096. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15531. Epub 2018 Oct 13. PubMed PMID: 30315707; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6322394.
  21. Baker JF, Long J, Leonard MB, Harris T, Delmonico MJ, Santanasto A, Satterfield S, Zemel B, Weber DR. Estimation of Skeletal Muscle Mass Relative to Adiposity Improves Prediction of Physical Performance and Incident Disability. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2018 Jun 14;73(7):946-952. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glx064. PubMed PMID: 28958026; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6001879.
  22. Cooper R, Popham M, Santanasto A, Hardy R, Glynn N, Kuh D. Are BMI and inflammatory markers independently associated with physical fatigability in old age?. International Journal of Obesity. 2018-5-; 43(4):832-841. doi: 10.1038/s41366-018-0087-0.
  23. Miller ME, Magaziner J, Marsh AP, Fielding RA, Gill TM, King AC, Kritchevsky S, Manini T, McDermott MM, Neiberg R, Orwig D, Santanasto AJ, Pahor M, Guralnik J, Rejeski WJ. Gait Speed and Mobility Disability: Revisiting Meaningful Levels in Diverse Clinical Populations. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018 May;66(5):954-961. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15331. Epub 2018 Apr 2. PubMed PMID: 29608795; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5992037.
  24. Chen H, Ambrosius WT, Murphy TE, Fielding R, Pahor M, Santanasto A, Tudor-Locke C, Jack Rejeski W, Miller ME. Imputation of Gait Speed for Noncompleters in the 400-Meter Walk: Application to the Lifestyle Interventions for Elders Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 Dec;65(12):2566-2571. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15078. Epub 2017 Sep 8. PubMed PMID: 28884789; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5729108.
  25. Forman DE, Santanasto AJ, Boudreau R, Harris T, Kanaya AM, Satterfield S, Simonsick EM, Butler J, Kizer JR, Newman AB. Impact of Incident Heart Failure on Body Composition Over Time in the Health, Aging, and Body Composition Study Population. Circ Heart Fail. 2017 Sep;10(9). doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.117.003915. PubMed PMID: 28899988; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5658007.
  26. Santanasto AJ, Glynn NW, Lovato LC, Blair SN, Fielding RA, Gill TM, Guralnik JM, Hsu FC, King AC, Strotmeyer ES, Manini TM, Marsh AP, McDermott MM, Goodpaster BH, Pahor M, Newman AB. Effect of Physical Activity versus Health Education on Physical Function, Grip Strength and Mobility. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 Jul;65(7):1427-1433. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14804. Epub 2017 Feb 21. PubMed PMID: 28221668; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5507738.
  27. Shepherd JA, Ng BK, Fan B, Schwartz AV, Cawthon P, Cummings SR, Kritchevsky S, Nevitt M, Santanasto A, Cootes TF. Modeling the shape and composition of the human body using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry images. PLoS One. 2017;12(4):e0175857. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175857. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28423041; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5397033.
  28. Santanasto AJ, Goodpaster BH, Kritchevsky SB, Miljkovic I, Satterfield S, Schwartz AV, Cummings SR, Boudreau RM, Harris TB, Newman AB. Body Composition Remodeling and Mortality: The Health Aging and Body Composition Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Apr 1;72(4):513-519. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glw163. PubMed PMID: 27567109; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5897837.
  29. Ó Hartaigh B, Lovato LC, Pahor M, Buford TW, Dodson JA, Forman DE, Buman MP, Demons JL, Santanasto AJ, Liu C, Miller ME, McDermott MM, Gill TM. Effect of a Long-Term Physical Activity Intervention on Resting Pulse Rate in Older Persons: Results from the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders Study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Dec;64(12):2511-2516. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14380. Epub 2016 Oct 27. PubMed PMID: 27787876; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5173403.
  30. Santanasto AJ, Coen PM, Glynn NW, Conley KE, Jubrias SA, Amati F, Strotmeyer ES, Boudreau RM, Goodpaster BH, Newman AB. The relationship between mitochondrial function and walking performance in older adults with a wide range of physical function. Exp Gerontol. 2016 Aug;81:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2016.04.002. Epub 2016 Apr 12. PubMed PMID: 27084585; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5483943.
  31. Santanasto AJ, Glynn NW, Jubrias SA, Conley KE, Boudreau RM, Amati F, Mackey DC, Simonsick EM, Strotmeyer ES, Coen PM, Goodpaster BH, Newman AB. Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Function and Fatigability in Older Adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2015 Nov;70(11):1379-85. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glu134. Epub 2014 Aug 28. PubMed PMID: 25167867; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4612379.
  32. Santanasto AJ, Newman AB, Strotmeyer ES, Boudreau RM, Goodpaster BH, Glynn NW. Effects of Changes in Regional Body Composition on Physical Function in Older Adults: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. J Nutr Health Aging. 2015 Nov;19(9):913-21. doi: 10.1007/s12603-015-0523-y. PubMed PMID: 26482693.
  33. Glynn NW, Santanasto AJ, Simonsick EM, Boudreau RM, Beach SR, Schulz R, Newman AB. The Pittsburgh Fatigability scale for older adults: development and validation. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Jan;63(1):130-5. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13191. Epub 2014 Dec 31. PubMed PMID: 25556993; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4971882.
  34. Santanasto AJ, Glynn NW, Newman MA, Taylor CA, Brooks MM, Goodpaster BH, Newman AB. Impact of weight loss on physical function with changes in strength, muscle mass, and muscle fat infiltration in overweight to moderately obese older adults: a randomized clinical trial. J Obes. 2011;2011. doi: 10.1155/2011/516576. Epub 2010 Oct 10. PubMed PMID: 20953373; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2952914.

Adam J Santanasto