We are interested in the application of advanced analytical and statistical methods to problems related to population health and to fundamental biological questions, particularly related to the aging process.


Research interests

The core lab interest is in using an understanding of complex systems dynamics in physiological regulation to generate simple, valid ways to measure and understand physiological state and its changes with age. These findings are also integrated into an evolutionary framework of how physiology – and with it the aging process – evolves in response to selection and constraints. From an applied perspective, we are developing metrics of many aspects of physiological state that are more precise than can be obtained from single biomarkers. Long-term, this has the potential to upend the way medical professionals use blood tests to guide treatment, and may also provide useful measures of health state in fields as diverse as ecology, economics, demography, and clinical trials.


Selected Publications

Li, Q., Wang, S., Milot, E., Bergeron, P., Ferrucci, Fried., and Cohen, A.A. (2015). Homeostatic dysregulation proceeds in parallel in multiple physiological systems. Aging Cell, 14(6):1103-12. [pubmed] [pdf]

Cohen, A.A. (2015). Complex systems dynamics in aging: new evidence, continuing questions. Biogerontology, 17(1):205-20. [pubmed] [pdf]

Cohen, A.A., Milot, E., Li, Q., Bergeron, P., Poirier, R., Dusseault-Bélanger, F., Fulop, T., Leroux, M., Legault, V., Metter, E.J., Fried, L.P., Ferrucci, L. (2015). Detection of a novel, integrative aging process suggests complex physiological integration. PLoS ONE, 10(3):e0116489. [pubmed] [pdf]

Cohen, A.A., Milot, E., Yong, J., Seplaki, C.L., Fulop, T., Bandeen-Roche, K. & Fried, L. P. (2013). “A Novel Statistical Approach Shows Evidence for Multi-system Physiological Dysregulation During Aging,” Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 134(3-4):110-7. [pubmed]

Cohen, A.A., Martin, L.B., Wingfield, J.C., McWilliams, S.C. (2012). “Physiological Regulatory Networks: Ecological Roles and Evolutionary Constraints” Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 27 (8): 428-435. [pubmed]

Cohen, A.A., Tillinghast, J., and Canudas-Romo, V. (2010). “No Consistent Effects of Prenatal or Neonatal Exposure to Spanish Flu on Late-Life Mortality in 24 Developed Countries,” Demographic Research, 22(20): 579-634. [pubmed] [pdf]

Cohen, A.A. and McGraw, K.J. (2009). “No Simple Measures for Antioxidant Status in Birds: Complexity in Inter- and Intraspecific Correlations Among Circulating Antioxidant Types,” Functional Ecology, 23(2): 310-320. [link to article]

Cohen, A.A. (2004). “Female Post-Reproductive Lifespan: A General Mammalian Trait,” Biological Reviews, 79: 733-750. [pubmed]


Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine




We are part of the PRIMUS Research Group (Programme de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur la Médecine et l'Utilisation des Soins - Interdisciplinary research program on medicine and health care utilization), which unites expertise in the fields of medicine, biology, epidemiology, psychology, mathematics, biostatistics, geomatics and computer science. Please visit the PRIMUS Research Group website for further informations.