Coleman joins Wellderly Study


Padres announcer Jerry Coleman, 85, has worn many hats during his lifetime. Now, the World Series MVP, World War II hero and Hall of Fame broadcaster, has enrolled in the Wellderly Study, a genetic research program at Scripps Health.

Scripps researchers are studying the DNA of the healthy elderly (those 80 and older with no history of chronic disease) to help unlock the genetic secrets behind lifelong health.

“We all carry genes that make us susceptible to diseases,” said Dr. Eric Topol, Scripps’ chief academic officer and the study’s principal investigator. “But some people have modifier genes that cancel out their risk. It’s nature’s way of protecting them. These so-called ‘wellderly’ are harboring the secrets of good health.”

Coleman is among the 850 volunteers who have enrolled in the Wellderly Study, but hundreds more are still needed. Enrollment involves a brief health assessment and a one-time blood or saliva sample. More information is available by calling (800) SCRIPPS.

“I walk my German shepherd Gus five miles every day,” said Coleman, a non-smoker who drinks only occasionally. “And I’ve always had some goal in my life to shoot for, not a lot of party time. I think the most important thing for anyone is to have a goal to keep you going, so you don’t just drift around.”