The Center for Healthy Aging and Resilience Medicine (CHARM) at Loyola University Medicine focuses on interdisciplinary basic science and clinical research on the molecular mechanisms driving normal aging processes, as well as the investigation of how cellular signaling pathways change across the lifespan.

Our directors place particular emphasis on:
  • women's health
  • genetics/epigenetics of aging
  • cellular repair pathways
  • cellular regeneration
  • telomere biology
  • oxidative stress/metabolism
  • immunity

Meet our Directors

Toni Pak, PhD
Dr. Pak trained as a molecular neuoroendocrinologist and has devoted her career to understanding how fundamental molecular signaling pathways change across the normal lifespan, and in the context of various disease states. An expert in RNA biology with a primary focus on non-coding RNAs and their regulation across the lifespan, Dr. Pak is passionate about leading the initiative to form the Center for Healthy Aging and Resilience Mechanisms. Her proven leadership capabilities in collaborative research across multiple scientific disciplines promise to foster an innovative and excellent future for the center.
Clinical Co-Director
May Reem Bakir, MD
Dr. Bakir has been highly successful in her role as the Medical Driector of the Women's Heart Program. In her residency, Dr. Bakir took a special interest in how cardiovascular disease affects women, receiving the Constance A. Austin Grant which allowed her to complete a specialized combined clinical and research fellowship studying women's cardiovascular disease at Cedars Sania in Los Angeles. Since arriving at Loyola University Medicine, Dr. Bakir has maintained her passion for research focused on heart disease in women, preventative cardiology, coronary physiology, pathophysiology and advanced cardiac imaging.