Ageing and geriatric medicine

Our aim is to enable better health for people who are old, or who are frail

Our team is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of older adults through academic and clinical research. Our research program embraces researchers from diverse backgrounds — either as part of our core team (medicine, nursing, allied health, pharmacy, psychology) or as collaborators (biomedical engineering, health economics, data analytics, health informatics).

We work closely with Queensland Health to ensure that our research findings are translated into practice. This means that older adults in Queensland have access to the latest and best possible care.

Mission Statement 

Our mission is to: 

  • ensure that people in hospital receive treatment that is appropriate for their frailty status and helps them to achieve their own goals of care  

  • better understand how frailty develops to underpin effective public health measures to promote healthy ageing for community-dwelling men and women 

  • partner with people who are old, or who are frail, and their caregivers to address the research questions and issues of greatest importance to them, and

  • train and mentor health professionals and researchers across disciplines to equip them with the skills and ambition to undertake high quality geriatric research and translation. 

Program lead: Professor Ruth Hubbard


  • Professor Ruth Hubbard

    Program Lead
    Ageing and geriatric medicine
    Masonic Chair of Geriatric Medicine
    Centre for Health Services Research


Professional staff

Higher Degree by Research

As one of Australia's most successful geriatric medicine research organisations, our centre has a strong multi-disciplinary focus and conducts research across multiple program areas.

View current grants

The FITTEST Trial: Supporting older people to participate in frailty prevention programs

In the FITTEST trial, health professionals and researchers will be studying how to improve the health and wellbeing of older people by preventing frailty.

We know that programs that promote good nutrition, regular exercise, optimisation of medicines, and social support networks can reduce frailty levels. However, these programs are not routinely available and, where they are, people do not always join in.

The FITTEST trial will compare dfferent ways to support older people to participate in frailty prevention programs.

Professor Ruth Hubbard

"Frailty is the most significant challenge to 'ageing well' in Australia. More than 20% of people become frail as they age. With the FITTEST trial, we want to find the best way to slow the progression of frailty by supporting older people with what we call 'The Four Pillars of Frailty Prevention and Management'. These are good nutrition, regular exercise, the right medicines, and good social networks."

— Professor Ruth Hubbard, Geriatrician and Principal Investigator


About the trial

The FITTEST study will investigate the implementation and effectiveness of a multicomponent frailty program, integrating exercise, nutrition, optimisation of medicines and social connectedness. People living in the community aged ≥ 65 years with mild frailty will be randomised to a supported or self-directed intervention. The supported group will have a customised program with a health coach, exercise physiologist and dietitian and can access online information about reversing/slowing frailty, whereas the self-directed group will solely have access to online information.

The FITTEST study will commence recruitment in January 2024, and will recruit 390 participants with mild frailty from geriatric medicine clinics across Australia. We need geriatricians to identify people who they have seen in clinic that may be eligible to participate.

Become a recruiting clinic

If you would like to be an involved as a recruiting geriatric medicine clinic, please contact the team at

Study team and funding

This study is funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Dementia Ageing and Aged Care Mission (APP2016045).

Professor Ruth Hubbard, Masonic Chair of Geriatric Medicine at the Centre for Health Services Research, is the Principal Investigator for this study.

The team includes Australia's leading researchers in ageing, exercise, nutrition, pharmacology, social connectedness, and implementation science.

Aegium Foundation 

The Aegium Foundation of Queensland has provided extensive funding since 1989 to support the Masonic Chair in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Queensland.  

Find more information on the Aegium website.

Geriatric and Rehabilitation Unit, Princess Alexandra Hospital

The Princess Alexandra Hospital Geriatric and Rehabilitation Unit strives for excellence in patient care, education, and research. The unit's mission is to work with patients and their carers to promote, maintain and improve the health, well-being and independence of patients through the provision of multi-disciplinary, diagnostic, therapeutic and outreach services.

The aim of the unit is to establish a quality geriatric service to meet current needs of the region and to improve the health of the elderly in the region. 

The newly established Australian Frailty Network (AFN) will transform how Australians age by creating knowledge, sharing evidence and supporting training. By forging a consumer-driven frailty research agenda, the AFN will ensure that the Australian health system can enable older people to remain active and independent for longer.

An interdisciplinary training framework – encompassing frailty training modules, mentorship, and collaboration opportunities for early-to-mid career researchers – will integrate diverse expertise and science to support the translation of frailty research into policy and practice. The AFN will also be well-positioned as the coordinating network for conducting frailty-focused clinical trials, including project management, recruitment, regulatory and monitoring services, statistical and data management, as well as provide expertise in implementation and health economics.

The AFN’s multidisciplinary team and partnership with consumers strengthens the network’s ability to broadly disseminate frailty research to clinicians and community. This will have the potential to increase accessibility to frailty programs for older Australians, inform and support future research and prepare the health system to support Australians to age well.

To guide the work of the AFN, its vision, statements of purpose, and values have been established through consultation with key internal and external stakeholders.

Our vision

To deliver a national response to frailty and help all Australians age well.

Our purpose

  • Establish stakeholder priorities for frailty and ageing research
  • Facilitate and conduct high quality research that generates new knowledge to improve health outcomes
  • Share evidence-based information about frailty and ageing with the public and health professionals
  • Build capacity in multidisciplinary and translational frailty research
  • Enable translation of research into practice and policy through collaborations and partnerships

Our values

  • Collaboration
  • Consumer-focus
  • Inclusivity
  • Courage
  • Excellence

Our current research

The AFN’s infrastructure is currently supporting several research projects including the FITTEST Study: Supporting older people to participate in frailty prevention programs, funded by a MRFF Targeted Call for Research Grant, Organ Transplantation as a Model of Reversible Frailty, funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Ideas Grant, and Frailty ADD: Improving Hospital Outcomes for Frail Patients Across Different Disciplines, funded by the NHMRC’s Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) scheme.

Join our network

The AFN’s establishment is being led by Professor Ruth Hubbard at the University of Queensland in collaboration with national and international institutions and partner organisations.

Our current partners:

  • Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG)
  • Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM)
  • Council of the Ageing (COTA) QLD and WA
  • Queensland Dementia Ageing and Frailty Network (QDAF)

Further partnerships will position the AFN as a self-sustaining, financially viable entity, and to work as an enabling network for frailty researchers, healthcare professionals and consumers across Australia. If you would like to join the AFN, or would like to learn more about the network please contact us.