Geriatrics and Gerontology Education and Research Program

GGEAR is a state-funded program developed in 1987 to support interprofessional educational and research activities in the field of geriatrics and gerontology that are designed to bolster the well-being of older adults and improve quality of later life. 


Geriatrics: the branch of medicine focused on medical care and treatment of older persons

Gerontology: the field of scientific study examining the bio-psycho-social processes and implications of aging 

Geriatrics and gerontology are specialties with an inherent relationship—a focus on older adults and the aging process with the goal of maximizing functioning to achieve a high quality of life. GGEAR-supported activities and initiatives embrace the perspectives of these fields as we work collaboratively with partners on and off campus to cultivate educational and research activities and increase the campus profile as a national training and research center in the field of aging and a designated age-friendly university.


The Geriatrics & Gerontology Education and Research Program is a University of Maryland, Baltimore-based program that facilitates interprofessional education and interdisciplinary research activities in the field of aging in partnership with campus affiliates and agencies and organizations serving Maryland’s older adults and their caregivers.



Optimize care provided to older adults to promote quality of life through education, research, and training.














On-Campus Activities Include:

  • Interprofessional case conferences and panel discussions sponsored for students and faculty and planned with faculty from UMB’s six professional schools and our graduate school. 

  • Lectures and student research forums co-sponsorship with the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Research on Aging. 

  • GGEAR sponsors two types of awards:

  • Graduate Research Conference Awards (2). GGEAR recognizes one basic science and one applied science research project presented during the spring graduate research conference (GRC) hosted by the Graduate Student Association at University of Maryland, Baltimore. The recipients of these awards receive $100 and a certificate of recognition at the GRC awards reception.

  • Spring Awards (multiple): Awardees are selected by their respective school/program faculty based on criteria that demonstrate the student’s exceptional expertise and interest in working with older adults. The recipients of these awards receive $100 and a certificate of recognition.

Off-Campus Programs Include:

  • Our non-academic Age-Friendly Specialist Certificate of Achievement Program is designed to broaden understanding of the processes of aging and diversity of older adulthood and to enhance skills important to interactions and work with and for older adults. Learn more about this program at Geri-ED.  

  • UMB dental hygiene, nursing, pharmacy, and physical therapy students can participate in one-day training opportunities in Baltimore-area long-term care communities. These programs provide opportunities for students to conduct team assessments of older adults under the supervision of participating UMB faculty and site staff.

  • In partnership with the Maryland Agencies on Aging and organizations such as the Maryland chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Beacon Institute, GGEAR co-hosts a variety of conferences for professionals, paraprofessionals, and the lay community, including the annual Family Caregiver Conference in Southern Maryland (since 1992) and annual conferences for nursing Assistants in the greater Baltimore metropolitan area and on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

  • GGEAR sponsors the Geriatric Assessment Interdisciplinary Team (GAIT) Project in partnership with the MAHECs, GAIT brings together health professional, social work, and law students from all University System of Maryland (USM) campuses for didactic and clinical sessions at geriatric sites located in medically underserved communities across the state, including medical & rehabilitative hospitals, independent living & long-term care communities, and hospice & palliative care settings.

  • In partnership with the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center (ESAHEC), GGEAR sponsors an annual Assessment Tool Workshop for students at Salisbury University and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore majoring in Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Nursing, Dietary/Nutrition and Social Work. This half-day interdisciplinary training program supports the development of clinical skills relevant to the care of older adults and emphasizes the importance of a team approach in geriatric health care planning and delivery.


For further information about the GGEAR Program or our offerings, please contact Diane Martin, Ph.D., Director, at or 410-706-4327.