Chief, Division of Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine

Led by Dr. Kenneth Schmader, Chief Division of Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine, the DVTU has conducted numerous studies in our older adult population.  

Dr. Schmader's primary area of research is herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) and vaccines in older adults. He conducts pre-clinical, epidemiological and intervention studies of zoster and PHN, particularly with the zoster and influenza vaccines. He is involved with other adult vaccine development in older adults. With colleagues in the Division of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Schmader investigates other infections in older adults.

Another major research focus is adverse drug reactions, medication prescribing and pharmacoepidemiology in the elderly. The objective of the medication work is to reduce adverse drug reactions, improve inappropriate prescribing and determine drug use patterns in the elderly.

To date, the DVTU has conducted studies assessing novel vaccines, treatments, and post-licensure vaccine safety.

  • POPS SILVER Study: Dr. Schmader is leading a study to determine the population pharmacokinetics of piperacillin-tazobactam and meropenem across age ranges.
  • Clostridium difficile (C. diff): Dr. Schamder is the Duke lead for a study to assess the safety and efficacy of microbial restoration by enema with banked and thawed processed stool in individuals with one or more recurrences of C. diff associated disease.
  • H7N9 in Older Adults Study: Dr. Schmader led the Duke site in a study to assess the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of an adjuvanted monovalent inactivated avian influenza vaccine in older adults.  Furthur information about the trial can be found at
  • FLUAD vs. Fluzone High-Dose Study: Dr. Schmader and Dr. Walter are leading a study to assess the safety and immunogenicity of adjuvanted versus high-dose inactivated flu vaccine in older adults. Further information about the trial can be found at