Location: Barshop Institute 1000.5


Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology & Palliative Medicin

Sara E. Espinoza, MD, MSc

Professor and Associate Chief for Research
Dr. F. Carter Pannill, Jr. Professor of Internal Medicine
Director, San Antonio GRECC, South Texas Veterans Health Care System

Personal Statement:

I am an Internist/Geriatrician with the Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, and the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies. My research focuses on understanding the geriatric syndrome of frailty through epidemiologic and clinical translational research. I provide clinical care at Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital, where I serve as the Director of the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC). In this role, I collaborate with other providers and interdisciplinary team members to design and implement new models of care to improve care for the aging veteran. I am actively engaged in research mentoring and clinical teaching to trainees.


Year Degree Discipline Institution
1995 BS Psychology (With Distinction) George Mason University
Fairfax , VA
2000 MD Medicine University of Virginia School of Medicine
Charlottesville , VA
2001 Internship Internal Medicine Strong Memorial Hospital-University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester , NY
2003 Residency Internal Medicine Strong Memorial Hospital-University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester , NY
2006 Clinical Fellowship Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Baltimore , MD
2010 MS Clinical Investigation University of Texas Health Science Center
San Antonio , TX


Dr. Sara E. Espinoza’s primary research focuses on the understanding of frailty, a common geriatric syndrome that places older adults to be at high risk for decline. She has conducted epidemiologic and clinical translational research in frailty. Her epidemiologic work was the first to directly compare the prevalence and incidence rates among Mexican Americans and European Americans using the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (SALSA) cohort, in collaboration with Dr. Helen Hazuda, Principal Investigator of SALSA. This work identified that diabetes is a strong predictor of future frailty in older adults. Her translational research has investigated the underlying biological mechanism of frailty. Her work has identified novel inflammatory biomarkers for frailty using proteomics techniques collaborating with basic scientists within the Barshop Institute. This work has led to her current research which focuses on metformin as a potential therapeutic agent for the prevention of frailty in older adults with pre-diabetes.

Dr. Espinoza is Co-Leader of the Clinical Core of the San Antonio Older Americans Independence Center. In this role she facilitates the initiation and conduct of all clinical studies supported by the San Antonio Pepper Center.

As Associate Director of Clinical Programs for the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC), she provides clinical care at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System and is actively engaged in research mentoring and clinical teaching to students, residents, and fellows. In this role she also oversees several clinical demonstration projects which serve to improve the care provided to older veterans in South Texas.