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Leslie I. Katzel, MD, PhD

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Associate Director for Clinical of the Baltimore GRECC; Assistant Program Director University of Maryland GCRC


Baltimore VA Medical Center, Room 4B-183

Phone (Primary):

(410) 605-7248


(410) 605-7913

Education and Training

I received my undergraduate degree (BS) in Physics from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, PhD in Biophysics from the Johns Hopkins University, MD from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, internal medicine residency at the University of Maryland, fellowship training in geriatrics at Johns Hopkins with additional training as a medical staff fellow at the National Institute of Aging/Gerontology Research Center. I am board certified in internal medicine and geriatrics.

I have over 25 years of experience in conducting human clinical investigations including numerous studies of the effects of exercise and weight loss on metabolic and physiologic function in older adults with numerous medical comorbidities. I have authored or coauthored > 110 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, authored-or coauthored 125 abstract presented at national meetings, and is a co-editor of a textbook currently in press. I am co-PI of the NIH funded University of Maryland Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center and is co-director of the Applied physiology and Leadership cores. I serve as PI (Dr. Fink co-PI) of a VA Patient Safety Center of Inquiry, PI of VA Spire grant (Improving balance and function in Older Veterans), PI of a VA merit grant (Multimodal Exercise and Weight Loss in Older Veterans with Dysmobility) and co-investigator on several other NIH and VA grants. Over my career I have been PI or coinvestigator on > 30 grants including PI of a NIH K08, NIH K24, 4 VA Merit grants, and several VA T21 and VA Office for Rural Health initiatives.

Administratively, I have served as chair of the VA Maryland Health Care System Research and Development Committee since 2006. I am a former vice chair and chair of the University of Maryland Institutional Review Board (IRB) and continue to serve as an IRB member. I also chair the University of Maryland Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (ESCRO) Committee and have served on the University of Maryland institutional conflict of interest committee.

Highlighted Publications

Addison O, Steinbrenner G, Goldberg AP, Katzel LI Aging, Fitness, and Marathon Times in a 91 Year-old Man who Competed in 627 Marathons. British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research 2015; 8(12),1074-1079, DOI : 10.9734/BJMMR/2015/17946.

Waldstein SR, Katzel LI Considering Cumulative Risk for Cardiovascular Disease in Relation to Cognitive Function: a Comment on DeRight et al. Ann Behav Med. 2015 Jun;49(3):305-6. doi: 10.1007/s12160-015-9700-9. PubMed PMID: 25776580;PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4426004.

Prior SJ, Ryan AS, Blumenthal JB, Watson JM, Katzel LI, Goldberg AP. Sarcopenia Is Associated With Lower Skeletal Muscle Capillarization and Exercise Capacity in Older Adults. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016 Aug;71(8):1096-101. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glw017. Epub 2016 Feb 17. PubMed PMID: 26888434.

Seliger SL, Salimi S, Pierre V, Giffuni J, Katzel L, Parsa A. Microvascular endothelial dysfunction is associated with albuminuria and CKD in older adults. BMC Nephrol. 2016 Jul 13;17(1):82. doi: 10.1186/s12882-016-0303-x. PubMed PMID:27412615; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4944235.

Addison O, Ryan AS, Prior SJ, Katzel LI, Kundi R, Lal BK, Gardner AW. Changes in Function After a 6-Month Walking Intervention in Patients With Intermittent Claudication Who Are Obese or Nonobese. J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2016 Jun 23. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27341324.

Additional Publication Citations

Kisser JE, Allen AJ, Katzel LI, Wendell CR, Siegel EL, Lefkowitz D, Waldstein SR. Relations of blood pressure and head injury to regional cerebral blood flow. J Neurol Sci. 2016 Jun 15;365:9-14. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2016.03.033. Epub 2016 Mar 25. PubMed PMID: 27206865; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4876016.

Wendell CR, Zonderman AB, Katzel LI, Rosenberger WF, Plamadeala VV, Hosey MM, Waldstein SR. Nonlinear Associations Between Plasma Cholesterol Levels and Neuropsychological Function. Neuropsychology. 2016 Jun 9. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 27280580.

Waldstein SR, Dore GA, Davatzikos C, Katzel LI, Gullapalli R, Seliger SL, Kouo T, Rosenberger WF, Erus G, Evans MK, Zonderman AB. Differential Associations of Socioeconomic Status with Global Brain Volumes and White Matter Lesions in African Americans and Whites: the HANDLS SCAN study (In press Psychosomatic Medicine)

Katzel LI, Bleecker ER, Colman EG, Rogus EM, Sorkin JD, Goldberg AP. Effects of weight loss vs aerobic exercise training on risk factors for coronary disease in healthy, obese, middle-aged and older men. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 1995 Dec 27;274(24):1915-21. PubMed PMID: 8568984.

Katzel LI, Bleecker ER, Rogus EM, Goldberg AP. Sequential effects of aerobic exercise training and weight loss on risk factors for coronary disease in healthy, obese middle-aged and older men. Metabolism. 1997 Dec;46(12):1441-7. PubMed PMID: 9439540.

Macko RF, Ivey FM, Forrester LW, Hanley D, Sorkin JD, Katzel LI, Silver KH, Goldberg AP. Treadmill exercise rehabilitation improves ambulatory function and cardiovascular fitness in patients with chronic stroke: a randomized, controlled trial. Stroke. 2005 Oct;36(10):2206-11. Epub 2005 Sep 8. PubMed PMID: 16151035.

Gardner AW, Katzel LI, Sorkin JD, Bradham DD, Hochberg MC, Flinn WR, Goldberg AP. Exercise rehabilitation improves functional outcomes and peripheral circulation in patients with intermittent claudication: a randomized controlled trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2001 Jun;49(6):755-62. PubMed PMID: 11454114

Shulman LM, Katzel LI, Ivey FM, Sorkin JD, Favors K, Anderson KE, Smith BA, Reich SG, Weiner WJ, Macko RF. Randomized clinical trial of 3 types of physical exercise for patients with Parkinson disease. JAMA Neurol. 2013 Feb;70(2):183-90. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.646. PubMed PMID: 23128427

Ivey FM, Katzel LI, Sorkin JD, Macko RF, Shulman LM. The Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale as a predictor of peak aerobic capacity and ambulatory function. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012;49(8):1269-76. PubMed PMID: 23341319.

Katzel LI, Ivey FM, Sorkin JD, Macko RF, Smith B, Shulman LM. Impaired economy of gait and decreased six-minute walk distance in Parkinson's disease. Parkinsons Dis. 2012;2012:241754. doi: 10.1155/2012/241754. Epub 2011 Sep 12. PubMed PMID: 21922051; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3171762

Katzel LI, Sorkin JD, Macko RF, Smith B, Ivey FM, Shulman LM. Repeatability of aerobic capacity measurements in Parkinson disease. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Dec;43(12):2381-7. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31822432d4. PubMed PMID: 21606869; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3701959.

Waldstein SR, Wendell CR, Lefkowitz DM, Siegel EL, Rosenberger WF, Spencer RJ, Manukyan Z, Katzel LI. Interactive relations of blood pressure and age to subclinical cerebrovascular disease. J Hypertens. 2012 Dec;30(12):2352-6. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e3283595651. PubMed PMID: 23107913; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3742068

Sims RC, Katzel LI, Lefkowitz DM, Siegel EL, Rosenberger WF, Manukyan Z, Whitfield KE, Waldstein SR. Association of fasting glucose with subclinical cerebrovascular disease in older adults without Type 2 diabetes. Diabet Med. 2014 Jun;31(6):691-8. doi: 10.1111/dme.12385. Epub 2014 Jan 17. PubMed PMID: 24344757; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4028383

Waldstein SR, Lefkowitz DM, Siegel EL, Rosenberger WF, Spencer RJ, Tankard CF, Manukyan Z, Gerber EJ, Katzel L. Reduced cerebral blood flow in older men with higher levels of blood pressure. J Hypertens. 2010 May;28(5):993-8. PubMed PMID: 20408259; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2878614.

Research Interests

  1. Aging
  2. Exercise
  3. Functional performance
  4. Multimorbidity
  5. Neurocognition
  6. Patient safety

Clinical Specialty Details

Clinical geriatrics

Grants and Contracts

VA Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC) 09/01/95-present
Role: Director, Associate Director Clinical

P30 AG028747 Magaziner (PI), Katzel/Ryan (Co-PI) 07/01/16-06/30/21
Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC)
Role: Co-PI, Co-Core Leader: Applied Physiology and Tissue Mechanisms Core

R01AG034161 Waldstein (PI) 09/15/09-8/31/15 (NCE)
HANDLS Scan Substudy: Race, Socioeconomic Status, and the Brain
Role: Site PI

VA Merit Seliger (PI), Katzel (Co-PI) 12/09/09-12/09/15 (NCE)
Neurocognition and Functional Performance in Older Veterans with CKD
Role: Co-PI

VA RR&D VA Merit Ivey (PI) 10/01/10-09/30/15 (NCE)
Effects of Exercise and Cognitive Training on Executive Function in PD
Role: Co-Investigator

R01 DK090401-01 Seliger (PI)10/01/11-09/30/15 (NCE)
Effects of Exercise Training on Cognition and Physical Performance in CKD
Role: Co-Investigator

VA Merit 1 I01 RX000667 (Oursler) 4/1/2014- 3/30/18
Effect of Exercise Training on Inflammation and Function in HIV Infected Veterans
Role: Co-Investigator

VA RR&D Role VA SPIRE 5I21RX001574-02 Katzel (PI) 04/01/15-03/31/17
Improving Balance and Function in Older Veterans
Role: PI

VA Transformational Initiative (T21) Katzel (PI) 10/01/15-09/30/17

VA Patient Safety Center of Inquiry Katzel (PI)/Fink (Co-PI) 10/01/15-09/30/18
Role: PI

VA RR&D Merit 1I01RX001813-01A1 Katzel (PI)
Multimodal Exercise and Weight Loss in Older Veterans with Dysmobility\
Role: PI