Maeve Rea

    Emeritus Professor

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 2156

    For media contact email
    or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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    Classical Music, I listen and play piano and organ

    Art and have tried my hand at painting

    Walking and enjoying beautiful places

    Research Statement


    My research work has centred around identifying factors that may contribute to ' successful ageing ', and I am particularly interested in the ' oldest old' , and the approximately 15% of 90 year olds, who seem to be ' ageing 'slowly' with the combination of long 'lifespan ' but also ' healthspan '.

    My research hypothesis has been around demonstrating evidence that 'elite' 90 year olds who have ' aged both long and well' and who seem to be in robust health, should demonstrate a competent immune system, good cardiovascular risk profiles, have facilitatory genes, and a good nutritional profile .

    BELFAST Study 1994-currently

    I set up the B elfast E lderly L ongitudinal F ree-living A geing ST udy ( BELFAST ) , and recruited a large number of ' elite ' community living 90 year old (nonagenarians) as well as 80 year olds (octogenarians), who at recruitment met very robust health and cognition criteria.

    The BELFAST study has produced a regular output of publications in the ageing field, with a particular emphasis on immunological, cardiovascular risk factors, nutrition and genetics and the interaction between genetic and life-style factors, as a contributor/s to 'healthy ageing'.

    The BELFAST study has the acronym BELFAST, which both fits the study aims, but also helps our research at Queens University, to be remembered nationally and internationally.

    EU funded GeHA Project 2004-2010

    I became a Principal Investigator in EU-funded Ge netics of H ealthy A geing ( GeHA ) in 2004 and the GeHA research collaboration is unique in that it is collecting DNA and life-style information from 3000 brothers and sisters (sibling pairs) over the age of 90 years, who lived in 11 countries across Europe.

    Finding and recruiting 2 siblings over 90 years was very challenging and time-consuming, since sibling pairs over 90 years of age, represent only 0.01% of the population, even assuming both siblings agreed to be recruited.

    The Ethical differences and constraints made for further challenges, but provided important learning about consent, biobanking and ongoing responsibilities.

    Recently, the mitochondrial genome of 1000 sibling pairs over 90 years of age has been sequenced by our international partner at the Beiing Genomics Institute and the output from the Linkage analysis from Leiden Genetic Centre is of interest.

    ACUME2 and 'Beyond 90 Together' projects

    These research collaborations, ACUME2, (an EU funded Socrates project), and ' Beyond 90 together' (Changing Ageing Partnership), have brought my research together into a creative fusion between the Arts and Sciences.

    In both the ACUME2 project and ' Beyond 90 together' research projects, the GeHA participants tell us about their lives , in text, in voice and in image.

    The outputs from these projects are a book ( Super Vivere: Reflection of Long life and Ageing Well, Rea & Rea, 2011 ), digitial stories and an Exhibition called Super Vivere, which has been at the Naughton Gallery in Queens, in Newcastle University, Poland during 2011, and is planned for London and the Midlands in 2012.

    It is hoped these outputs will serve as dissemination tools for the GEHA and BELFAST research projects, as teaching tools for medical and nursing education and as a means of improving societal understanding about ageing.


    Phase 4 Undergraduate Medicine.

    Module Co-ordinator Ageing and Health

    *I was ill and unable to teach for 2 semesters 2010-11.

    1994- currently

    280 undergraduate medical students taught in 6 blocks of 44-46, between 1 September and 30 June each academic year.

    42 hours / year for Phase 4 Ageing and Health teaching (direct teaching only.

    Introduction and Welcome, Interactive Lectures x2, Ethics Seminar for each of 6 blocks of 44-46 students.

    Nutrition Lecture introduced during academic year 2010-11, to increase student's awareness of need for nutritional assessment in patients. Few students had this skill completed in Phase 5 Portfolios.

    Speech and Language included in Core Lectures in Week 1 of Ageing and Health Module to ensure that students know about safe swallowing ie after stroke.

    Ageing Long and Ageing Well Lecture, includes digital stories ie audio files and photographs of 90 year old subjects (Changing Ageing Partnership Grant. Beyond 90 together). Associated book Super Vivere: Ageing Long Ageing Well. Rea&Rea 2011

    Year 1 and 2 Undergraduate Medicine

    Portfolio Module


    -Supervision of 12-14 students in Year 1 and then the same goup in year 2, in next academic year.

    -12 hours for module (direct teaching) meet and greet, explanation of requirements of module semester 1 and semester 2 update meeting

    -36 hours (online feedback about portfolios, semester 1, 2 and before submission).

    Year 1 -Undergraduate Medical Students



    Ethical Seminar -8 to 16 students, depending on staff availability.

    3- 4 hours

    Discussion and case study work, to introduce students to concepts of ethics in medical practice. Feedback session to whole group.

    Year 2 Undergraduate Medicine

    Communication skills


    -10-12 students, 3 hours (direct teaching session)

    -preparing brief and students for video session, videoing student interviews, feedback session with students and group.

    Year 2 Undergraduate Medical Students.

    Clinical Skills


    -6-7 medical students.

    -3 x 10 weeks, 30 hours minimum.

    -Bedside case presentation and skills teaching.

    Year 3 Undergraduate Medicine

    Special Study Modules (SSM)

    - Dementia SSM with Dr David Craig


    6-8 students,

    3-4 hours Assessment of SSM with feedback to students.

    Year 3 Undergraduate Medicine and BSc students in Therapeutics

    Special Study Modules (SSM)

    -Therapeutics Module -Dr David Bell.


    6-8 students.

    2 hours (direct).

    Lecture interactive -Medicines use in Older People.

    Final Year Undergraduate Medical Students.

    Specialty Clinical Week

    2000- currently

    -2-4 Medical students x 12 weeks, autumn semester

    - revision in geriatric Medicine with bedside teaching, clinic assessment and supervision.

    -4-6 hours weekly

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    Frequent Journals

    • Experimental Gerontology

      ISSNs: 0531-5565

      Elsevier Inc.

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 3.25 SJR 1.261 SNIP 0.935


    • Mechanisms of Ageing and Development

      ISSNs: 0047-6374

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 0047-6374, 1872-6216

      Elsevier Ireland Ltd

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 3.4 SJR 1.403 SNIP 0.742


    • Age and Ageing

      ISSNs: 0002-0729

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1468-2834

      Oxford University Press

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 3.72 SJR 1.864 SNIP 1.751


    • Atherosclerosis

      ISSNs: 0021-9150

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1879-1484

      Elsevier Ireland Ltd

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 3.74 SJR 1.748 SNIP 1.285


    • Ageing research reviews

      ISSNs: 1568-1637

      Additional searchable ISSN (Electronic): 1872-9649

      Elsevier Ireland Ltd

      Scopus rating (2018): CiteScore 9.82 SJR 4.125 SNIP 2.337


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    Contribution to conference papers, events and activities

    ID: 11166