About NIA

NACA Meeting: September 18-19, 2012

General Information/Staff Awards

Meetings and Exhibits

The formation of a trans-NIH interest group (named GSIG, for GeroScience Interest Group), under the leadership of DAB and the NIA was reported in January, and the group’s official membership has now expanded to 20 different ICs. Among the initial set of activities being pursued, the GSIG has sponsored 3 seminars:  Dr. James Kirkland on March 8th, Dr. Francis Collins on July 12th, Dr. Richard Miller on August 21st.  A seminar by Dr. Jie Shen will be on November 1, 2012.  In addition, a trans-NIH workshop on “The role of inflammation on age-related diseases” has been organized for September 6-7, 2012 (see below).  Dr. Luigi Ferrucci will give the keynote presentation, and 16 speakers have confirmed participation in 4 sessions. A Summit on aging and disease is being considered for FY 2013, and other activities include discussion of potential cross-collaborations and initiatives (FOAs, Common Funds, or co-funding of proposals that span several ICs).

Contact:  Dr. Felipe Sierra, DAB, 301/496-6402.

The 5th Annual NIA Postbac Poster Day was held on Friday, April 20, 2012 in the BRC Atrium. Dr. Corrie Detweiler from the University of Colorado at Boulder presented a seminar entitled, “Cellular Mechanisms of Persistent Infection.”

Winners of “The Scientific Directors Award” at the Postbac Poster Day:

Kevin M. Najarro (B.S. 2010)
University of California, Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA
Telomere Length in Adaptive Immune Response of the Elderly
Mentor: Nan ping Weng, M.D., Ph.D.

Hector H. Palacios (B.S. 2011)
University of Texas At San Antonio San Antonio, TX
Long-term Metformin Treatment Improves Health and Lifespan in Mice
Mentor: Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D.

Vasken L. Keleshian (B.S. 2009)
University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
Altered Gene Expression and Epigenetic Modifications in Prefrontal Cortex from Normal Aged Subjects

Megan J. Fitzpatrick (B.A. 2011)
Grinnell College Grinnell, IA
NEIL1 Binding to PARP 1 Plays a Role in the Repair of Oxidative induced DNA damage
Mentors: Nicole Noren Hooten, Ph.D., and Michele Evans, M.D.

The NIH Annual Postbac Poster Day was held on Wednesday, April 25th on the NIH main campus where 265 NIH Postbacs presented their work. NIA had 15 postbacs representing the institute. Of the 58 winners, LMBI’s Megan Fitzpatrick was recognized as one of the top 15 overall presenters for her poster. Vasken L. Keleshian, from BPMS, was recognized in the top 20% of presenters.

Bryan J. Traynor, M.D., Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Neurogenetics, was awarded NIH Director’s Award in recognition of his many contributions to the elucidation of the genetic basis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.

Michele Evans, M.D., Deputy Scientific Director, Office of Scientific Director, received  the Outstanding Service Medal for exhibiting an exceedingly high level of achievements and a genuine sense of public service through outstanding contributions to the mission of the Public Health Service.

The 2013 NIH Fellows’ Award for Research Excellence (FARE) winners were recently announced. The FARE awards provide recognition for the outstanding scientific research performed by intramural postdoctoral fellows.

2013 FARE Winners are as follows:

  1. Yolanda Jimenez-Gomez, Ph.D (LEG), Mentor: Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D
  2. Evi Mercken, Ph.D. (LEG), Mentor: Rafael de Cabo, Ph.D.
  3. Yaning Sun, Ph.D. (LEG), Mentor: Sige Zou, Ph.D.
  4. Suhasini Avvaru, Ph.D. (LMG), Mentor: Robert Brosh, Ph.D.
  5. Jing Huang, Ph.D. (LMG), Mentor: Michael Seidman, Ph.D.
  6. Chandrika Canugovi, Ph.D. (LMG), Mentor: Vilhelm Bohr, Ph.D.
  7. Ameer Taha, Ph.D. (BPMS), Mentor: Jagadeesh Rao, Ph.D.
  8. Kimberly Jacob, Ph.D. (LMBI), Mentor: Michele Evans, M.D.
  9. Majon Muller MD, Ph.D. (LEDB), Mentor: Lenore Launer, Ph.D.
  10. Sarah Rothman, Ph.D. (LNS), Mentor: Mark Mattson, Ph.D

Dr. Sidney Stahl, recently retired from NIA/BSR as Chief of the Individual Behavioral Processes Branch, was selected as the recipient of the 2012 Donald P. Kent Award.  This award is given annually to a member of The Gerontological Society of America who best exemplifies the highest standards for professional leadership in gerontology through teaching, service, and interpretation of gerontology to the larger society.  The award will be presented at the GSA Annual Meeting on November 15, 2012.

Dr. Amitabh Chandra received the ASHEcon medal, awarded biennially to the economist age 40 or under who has made the most significant contributions to the field of health economics.  Dr. Chandra is a Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). In 2011 he served as Massachusetts' Special Commissioner on Provider Price Reform. He is an editor of the Review of Economics and Statistics, Economics Letters, and the American Economic Journal, and was previously an editor at the Journal of Human Resources. His research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Child Health and Development, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and has been published in the American Economic Review, the Journal of Political Economy, and the New England Journal of Medicine. He is the first-prize recipient of the Upjohn Institute's Dissertation Research Award, the Kenneth Arrow Award for best paper in health economics, and the Eugene Garfield Award for the impact of medical research.

Honors and Awards

Dr. Stanley Rapoport, BPMS, was recognized by the Society for Fatty Acids in Cell Signaling (FACS), at its November 7, 2011 meeting in New Orleans to deliver its “First Lifetime Achievement Lecture,” summarizing his research. Dr. Rapoport invented original methods to quantify and image brain docosahexaenoic acid metabolism in unanesthetized rodents, and has translated these methods to imaging metabolism in humans using positron emission tomography (PET). His work has broad implications for quantifying and treating defective brain metabolism with regard to aging and progressive brain diseases. The title of his lecture was “Translational studies on the regulation of brain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) metabolism.”

On November 20, 2011, the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) presented Dr. Luigi Ferrucci with the Joseph T. Freeman Award. This accolade is awarded to a prominent physician in the field of aging, both in research and practice.  The Society categorizes it as one of the highlights of their annual scientific meeting in which the prior year recipient delivers a lecture.

On November 23, 2011 NIA’s Mark Mattson, Ph.D., Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Neurosciences received the prestigious Tovi Comet-Walerstein Science Award at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.  Dr. Mattson, was cited for “being the pioneer in establishing a link between diet and neurodegenerative diseases, and for being a committed mentor and educator”. The Dr. Tovi Comet-Walerstein Science Award was established in memory of the late oncologist, who dedicated her life to medical research.  She earned her degree of Doctor of Medicine and Surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Following her death from cancer at the age of thirty-eight, her family created the science award in her honor. David Walerstein, husband of the late Dr. Tovi Comet-Walerstein, presented Dr. Mattson with the Award.  Following the presentation, Dr. Mattson delivered the keynote lecture, before a packed audience, entitled "Pathways Toward and Away from Neurodegenerative Diseases," in which he highlighted his groundbreaking research.

The Board of Directors of the Italian Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics (SIGG) conferred the title of Honorary Member to Dr. Luigi Ferrucci at the 56th SIGG National Congress in Florence, Italy on November 29, 2011. Dr. Ferrucci was given this title for his outstanding research in geriatrics. He has brought honor to the Italian Gerontology and Geriatrics, reaching the highest accolades within the international scientific community.

Mature Market Resource Center,Government Web Sites category: Go4Life website received a Bronze Award in the New Product & Technology Awards.
For more information about OCPL awards, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph.: 301-496-1752.)

On July 18th 2012, Dr. Felipe Sierra, Director of the Division of Aging Biology, was awarded an NIH Director’s Award for the creation, organization and leadership in the newly formed trans NIH Geroscience Interest Group.

News Releases and Announcements

NIA distributed and posted the following press releases:

(For more information about NIA’s media activities, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph.: 301-496-1752)


Preparing for the Challenges of Population Aging in Asia:  Strengthening the Scientific Basis of Policy Development, published by National Research Council May 2012.  A collaboration of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, Indonesian Academy of Sciences, National Research Council of the US National Academies, Science Council of Japan.

Almost every country in the world is facing an aging population, reflecting both significant increases in longevity and significant decreases in fertility.  Perhaps nowhere in the world is this demographic transition as stark as in parts of Asia, where rapid population aging is occurring at the same time as a dramatic economic transformation.  There is a clear need to enhance our understanding of how these transformations will affect the well-being of older people, particularly how the changes will influence long-standing societal and familial arrangements that have traditionally been a vital part of the economic support of older people in the region.

Shades of Grey:  A Cross-Country Study of Health and Well-Being of the Older Populations in SAGE Countries, 2007-2010, published by Census May 2012.
The world’s population is aging, primarily as a function of declining fertility, coupled with increasing life expectancy.  The speed of aging in middle- and low-income countries will outpace that of high-income countries.  Although considerable attention has been paid to the aging of populations around the world, the vast majority of this attention and related research has focused on higher-income countries.  Yet about 65 percent of the world’s population 60 years and older lived in less developed countries in 2010, and this proportion is projected to be 80 percent by the year 2050.

Global Health and Aging, published jointly by WHO and NIH in spring 2012.
Well-being of Older People Study:  A Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) sub-study, published by SAGE in spring 2012.
90+ in the United States: 2006-2008 | American Community Survey Reports.  NIA and Census Bureau.  November 2011.

The following new publications, online resources, and other products were developed, updated, or reprinted:

Online/Publications Resources

Alzheimer’s caregiving tip sheets (new online resource):

  • Caring for Yourself
  • Changes in Communication Skills
  • Changes in Intimacy and Sexuality
  • Coping with Agitation and Aggression
  • Daily Activities
  • Driving Safety
  • Exercise and Physical Activity
  • Hallucinations, Delusions, and Paranoia
  • Healthy Eating
  • Helping Family and Friends Understand Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Helping Kids Understand Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Managing Medicines
  • Managing Personality and Behavior Changes
  • Rummaging and Hiding Things
  • Wandering

The newly launched NIHSeniorHealth website design features a new search function and expanded menu options.  Two new topics were added to the website:

Caring for a Person With Alzheimer’s Disease: Your Easy-to-Use Guide from the National Institute on Aging (edited and reprinted)

End of Life: Helping With Comfort and Care (reprinted)

Go4Life conference flyer (reprinted)

Go4Life Everyday Exercises from the National Institute on Aging DVD (reprinted)

Go4Life new tip sheets: (online resource)

  • Choosing Healthy Restaurant Meals
  • Drinking Enough Fluids
  • Exercise and Osteoarthritis
  • Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes
  • Exercising in Cold Weather
  • Exercising Safely in Hot Weather
  • Healthy Snacking
  • Help, I’m Stuck! Getting Over the Exercise Plateau
  • Making Smart Food Choices
  • Nutrition Facts: Reading the Label
  • Overcoming Barriers to Exercise: No More Excuses
  • Overcoming Roadblocks to Healthy Eating
  • Preventing Falls
  • Serving and Portion Sizes
  • Walking for Your Health
  • Walking Safely in Rural Areas

Hormones and Menopause: Tips from the National Institute on Aging (updated and printed)

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease: What Do We Know? (updated and printed)

What’s On Your Plate? Smart Food Choices for Healthy Aging (reprinted)

(For more information about NIA’s publications and online resources, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph: 301-496-1752.)

Media & Outreach

NIA distributed the following press releases, new research highlights, and participated in a variety of outreach activities:

Meetings and Exhibits

The Division of Aging Biology produced an informational Banner that:

  • was displayed at the Genetics Society of America:  Model Organisms to Human Biology – Cancer Genetics on June 17-20, 2012 in Washington, DC. 
  • will be displayed at the American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting on December 15-19, 2012 in San Francisco, CA.

Press Releases

Research Highlights, Announcements

Aging Research News

New Media


OCPL joined with the Administration on Community Living (formerly the Administration on Aging) to develop and launch a new website, www.alzheimers.gov, for people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.

(For more information about NIA’s media and outreach activities, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph: 301-496-1752.)

Meetings & Exhibits

OCPL/ADEAR attended, coordinated, participated in or sent materials to the following conferences and meetings:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit 2012: Path to Treatment and Prevention -- In collaboration with HHS, the Administration for Community Living, and the NIA Division of Neuroscience, OCPL helped plan meeting logistics and media relations for the Summit, including arranging videocast of the meeting.
  • National Women's Health Week at NIH, Bethesda, MD
  • Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • NIA staff met with:
    • American Society of Nephrology  
    • Alzheimer’s Association

(For more information about NIA’s conferences or exhibits, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph. 301-496-1752.  For more information about NIA’s professional meetings, contact Dr. Tamara Jones, Legislative Officer, Ph. 301-451-8835.)

Publication Awards

(For more information about NIA’s awards, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph. 301-496-1752.)