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Roman Romero-Ortuno

Associate Professor in Medical Gerontology

Roman Romero-Ortuno is Associate Professor in Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin and Consultant Physician in St. James's Hospital, Dublin.


In 2002, he graduated from University of Barcelona with a degree in Medicine, and in 2003 he completed an MSc in European Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has a music degree from the Conservatory of Barcelona. His basic postgraduate medical training took place in Manchester and London and his higher medical training in Geriatric and General (Internal) Medicine was completed in Dublin. Between 2014 and 2018 he worked as a Consultant Geriatrician in Addenbrooke's Hospital (Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust).

Prof. Ortuno is Faculty member of the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) where he brings clinical and academic expertise in frailty, dementia, delirium and comprehensive geriatric assessment. He co-chairs the Frailty and Resilience working group of The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) and the Irish Frailty Network Interest Group (IFN-IG) of the Irish Gerontological Society.

His research contributions have been recognised with the 2015 British Geriatrics Society Rising Star Award, the 2017 Count of Cartagena Award from the Royal National Academy of Medicine of Spain and the 2018 President of Ireland Future Research Leaders Award.


The key direction of my research is towards a better understanding and modelling of the concept of frailty in older adults and translating knowledge into improvements to the care of older people. Frailty is an age-related condition characterised by dysregulation in multiple physiological systems (including the brain) and vulnerability to stressors, with risk of adverse outcomes including premature disability and mortality.


With population ageing worldwide, the early detection of frailty is crucial because some of its drivers can be intervened upon. In this regard, I have made key contributions to evidence synthesis including the 2019 Lancet review on the management of frailty.


My research has contributed new tools for the operationalisation of the clinical concept of frailty in ways that add value to practice and research. A widely cited example is the Frailty Instrument for Primary Care of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, for which I was awarded the British Geriatrics Society Rising Star Award in 2015.


In Cambridge, I studied the characteristics and outcomes of older people in the acute hospital setting and how the measurement of frailty can help target geriatric assessment resources to those who need them the most. This work was recognised with the Count of Cartagena Award from the Royal National Academy of Medicine of Spain.


My current research programme into early detection of frailty in older adults (FRAILMatics) has been awarded €1.5 million in funding as part of the Science Foundation Ireland President of Ireland Future Research Leaders Award programme. FRAILMatics is analysing very large datasets of measurements of mild physiological stresses across physiological systems in participants from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing and a clinical cohort in St James’s Hospital. FRAILMatics will pave the way towards the development of medical devices that can help clinicians identify frailty at an early stage. In another Science Foundation Ireland-funded TROPIC study, we are using our existing clinical expertise and technology-assisted solutions to address features of post-COVID-19 fatigue by quantifying physiological signatures of adverse sequelae in adult patients previously diagnosed with COVID-19, who are now COVID-19 negative. Our suite of clinical assessments encompass four systems: physical deconditioning, orthostatic instability, neurocognitive deficits and respiratory sequelae. This will not only inform accurate objective diagnostics of post-COVID-19 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but will also guide clinicians in directing the most appropriate therapeutic interventions with maximum efficacy and specificity, bringing not only patient-related but also health system and economic benefits.

I am particularly interested in an integrative, network physiology-based approach to the understanding, modelling and predicting brain health.


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