Davide Liborio Vetrano

Davide Liborio Vetrano

Assistant Professor | Docent
Telephone: +46852485836
Visiting address: Tomtebodavägen 18 A, 17165 Solna
Postal address: H1 Neurobiologi, vårdvetenskap och samhälle, H1 ARC Medicin Vetrano, 171 77 Stockholm

About me

  • I am a geriatrician and an epidemiologist, and I work as an associate professor of Geriatric Research at the Aging Research Center of Karolinska Institutet. Since 2023, I am research group leader, and together with a large group of collaborators, I investigate the determinants, longitudinal evolution and consequences of several geriatric syndromes, with a special focus on multimorbidity, frailty and dementia. 


  • Among other commitments, I am currently: 

    • PI of several national and international research projects, most of them focused on multimorbidity and frailty in older adults.
    • Supervisor and co-supervisor of several PhD students both at KI and abroad, postdoctoral fellows and visiting researchers.
    • Board member of the European Academy for Medicine of Ageing (EAMA), an advanced postgraduate course in geriatrics.
    • Member of the steering group of the Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K), a large longitudinal population-based study with more than 20 years of follow-up.
    • Scientific promotor of the National E-Infrastructure on Aging Research (NEAR), a Swedish infrastructure devoted to increasing the collaboration among several high-quality aging cohorts in the country.
    • Fellow of InterRAI, a consortium of researchers from all over the world committed to designing and validating reliable comprehensive geriatric assessment tools for the assessment of vulnerable people.


  • Degrees

    2020 - Graduation European Academy for Medicine of Ageing

    2019 - PhD in Geriatric Epidemiology, Karolinska Istitutet

    2016 - Specialization in Geriatrics, Catholic University of Rome

    2010 - Medical doctor degree, Catholic University of Rome


  • By recognizing the aging process as a complex and heterogeneous phenomenon, my primary goal is to identify clinically relevant health phenotypes in the older population. By decomposing and combining meaningful health domains – including disease, physical and cognitive functioning – my research groups looks for robust models to group people in homogeneous classes. Multimorbidity, frailty, disability and dementia are some of the geriatric syndromes we exploit to this end. These phenotypes can simultaneously serve as targets for personalized prevention and intervention, as well as function as metrics for risk stratification. Much of my research is devoted to the understanding of the biological, clinical and psychosocial determinants of geriatric syndromes, as well as their impact on one’s future health trajectory.


  • More specifically – in collaboration with several Swedish and international researchers – I am focused on the following research areas:


  • Multimorbidity development and progression

    Multimorbidity is defined as the co-occurrence of multiple diseases in the same individual and is often the trigger of complex clinical profiles, including frailty and dementia. In our group, great emphasis is given to the understanding of systematic clustering of diseases in the same individuals. Specific aspects investigated by us are:

    1. The definition of rigorous models to classify older people – both cross-sectionally and longitudinally – in clinically relevant multimorbidity patterns
    2. How milder multimorbidity patterns evolve toward more complex phenotypes and frailty
    3. What is the prognosis of different multimorbidity patterns across diverse outcomes and clinical settings or patient group


  • Frailty assessment and population stratification

    Frailty is a clinical syndrome characterized by an increased susceptibility to minor stressors, highly associated to reduced survival and poor functioning. By applying novel analytical strategies, our group is strongly focused on the following aspects:

    1. Validation of robust models to measure frailty in older people across different settings, with a huge emphasis on primary care
    2. Investigation of frailty secular trends on large populations
    3. Understanding of the determinants of accelerated frailty progression


  • Geriatric syndromes’ biological signature

    Multimorbidity, frailty, sarcopenia, disability and dementia are among the most burdensome and prevalent syndromes affecting the older population. By exploiting a selected large panel of blood-based biomarkers, analyzed alone or in combination, we aim to:

    1. Clarify the main biological pathways involved in the development and progression of the above mentioned geriatric syndromes
    2. Shed light on the biological underpinnings of the intricate relation between somatic and mental health
    3. Build stratification tools to identify individuals at higher risk of experiencing negative health-relate outcomes


  • Impact of acute events on health trajectories

    Health trajectories of older adults can be shaped, among others, by the occurrence of acute events that include infections, cardiovascular accidents, and traumatic injuries. Our group is interested in untangling the following specific aspects:

    1. The impact of acute events on clinical and functional trajectories, as on cognitive decline or frailty
    2. The impact of acute events on healthcare utilization patterns
    3. The interplay of acute events and pre-existing geriatric syndromes in the further development of negative outcomes


  • Risk profiles of intense and avoidable healthcare utilization

    Older adults living with complex combinations of clinical and functional impairments are frequent users of healthcare services. While maintaining the main focus on the different combinations of clinical and functional phenotypes, our aims include the identification of risk profiles for:

    1. The occurrence of frequent and multiple transitions of older individuals across diverse living and healthcare settings
    2. The incidence of avoidable and unplanned episodes of care, with a main focus on hospitalizations


  • Several data sources have been used and are currently used by our group, including population-based studies (SNAC-K,  

  • NEAR), Nordic Countries National Patient Registers, and InterRAI data from several European, North American and Asian countries.


  • As part of my pedagogical activity, I regularly lecture to both master's and PhD students, at KI and as invited teacher at other universities. 


All other publications


  • Pursuing new frontiers for a healthier aging: simulation-based manipulation of biological pathways involved in multimorbidity, frailty and dementia development
    Strategic Research Area in Epidemiology and Biostatistics (SFOepi)
    1 January 2023 - 1 January 2026
  • Impact of lower respiratory tract infections on older individuals’ global health status and healthcare utilization: results from a longitudinal population-based study
    MSD-Karolinska Institutet partnership
    1 January 2022 - 1 January 2023
  • Biomarker signatures of progressing multimorbidity: in pursuit of personalized approaches to clinically complex older individuals
    Swedish Research Council
    1 January 2021 - 1 January 2025
  • Trajectories of care needs and care transitions after age 60: the interplay between individuals’ frailty, their environment, and personal perspectives
    Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
    1 January 2021 - 1 January 2025
  • Biomarker signatures of the multimorbidity-frailty continuum: in pursuit of personalized medicine for older adults
    Strategic Research Area in Epidemiology and Biostatistics (SFOepi)
    1 January 2021 - 1 January 2023
  • Atrial Fibrillation integrated approach in FraIl, multimoRbid and polyMedicated Older people (AFFIRMO)
    European Commission
    1 January 2020 - 1 January 2025
  • Individualized CARE for OLDer persons with complex chronic conditions in-home care and nursing homes (I-CARE4OLD)
    European Commission
    1 January 2020 - 1 January 2025
  • Immunization, frailty and healthy aging
    MSD-Karolinska Institutet Partnership
    1 January 2019 - 1 January 2019


  • Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, 2021-2025

Degrees and Education

  • Docent, Karolinska Institutet, 2023
  • Degree Of Doctor Of Philosophy, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, 2019
  • Specialist in Geriatric Medicine, Catholic University, 2016
  • Medical Doctor (MD), Medicine and Surgery, Catholic University, 2004

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