- Dr. Rubin Andres, 1923-2012: Sadly Dr. Andres passed away in September 2012. Dr. Andres received his M.D. from Southwestern Medical College in Dallas and interned at the Gallinger Municipal Hospital in Washington DC. He began his gerontological career in 1962 when he joined the Metabolism Section at the National Institute on Aging (NIA). He was named the first Clinical Director of NIA and played a critical role in the development of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA). Dr. Andres promoted most of the clinical research conducted at the Gerontology Research Center and for all NIA intramural studies on human subjects. He also served as a professor at Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Medicine
- The NIA IRP Awards Ceremony was held on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at the Biomedical Research Center in Baltimore. At the ceremony, winners from FY 2012 were acknowledged. NIA staff was recognized for Special Act Awards, On-the-Spot Awards, and many other monetary and non-monetary awards received between October 2011 and September 2012.
- Dr. Rafael de Cabo, Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology (LEG), was awarded the Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging in June 2012. Glenn Awards were initiated in 2007 to provide unsolicited funds to researchers investigating the biology of aging. The grants are to assist scientists, where funding shortages threaten to impede scientific progress. Award recipients are selected from nominees provided to an anonymous scientific advisory committee and receive a $60,000 grant.
- Dr. Bryan Traynor, Investigator, Laboratory of Neurogenetics (LNG), was awarded the Derek Denny-Brown Young Neurological Scholar Award in June 2012. The American Neurological Association annually awards a prize of one thousand dollars to a young member of the association who it is deemed has achieved a significant stature in neurological research and whose promise of continuing major contributions to the field of neurology is anticipated.
- Dr. Irving Wainer, Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (LCI), received the Dal Nogare Award from the Chromatography Forum of the Delaware Valley in June 2012. Dr. Irving was chosen on the basis of his contribution to the fundamental understanding of the chromatographic process.
- Dr. Andrew Singleton, Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Neurogenetics (LNG), received the Jay Van Andel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Parkinson’s Disease Research in June 2012. He received an award of five thousand dollars. The Van Andel Institute stated “We honor Dr. Singleton for his tireless efforts, his seminal discoveries and his tremendous contributions to the field of Parkinson’s research. His presence strengthens the recognition of Van Andel Institute and West Michigan as a growing, internationally-recognized center of disease research
- On November 19, 2012, Drs. Richard Suzman and Lisbeth Nielsen were elected to the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, the premier scientific organization for scientists working at the interface of behavior and medicine.
- National Health Information Merit Award for Understanding Alzheimer's Disease, in the Government Booklet/Brochure/Pamphlet category
- W3 Silver Award for the National Institute on Aging website
- MarCom Awards for 2010 Progress Report on Alzheimer’s Disease: A Deeper Understanding, Gold Award; Links: Minority Health & Training e-newsletter Honorable Mention
(For more information about NIA’s awards, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph. 301-496-1752.)
Federal report details health, economic status of older Americans. August 16, 2012. Today’s older Americans enjoy longer lives and better physical function than did previous generations, although, for some, an increased burden in housing costs and rising obesity may compromise these gains, according to a comprehensive federal look at aging. The report, Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well-Being, tracks trends at regular intervals to see how older people are faring as the U.S. population grows older.
NIA distributed the following press releases, new research highlights, and participated in a variety of outreach activities:
- Risk gene for Alzheimer’s disease associated with lower brain amyloid
- NIH study finds calorie restriction does not affect survival
- Information for older drivers is newest topic on NIH Senior Health site
- Federal report details health, economic status of older Americans
Research Highlights, Announcements
- NIH-supported international teams identify rare Alzheimer’s disease risk gene variant
- NIH-supported scientists find genes influence susceptibility to problems from vitamin D deficiency
- The NIH "Toolbox" Is Open
- Genetic variation linked to age-related hearing loss
- New database aims to capture international Alzheimer’s disease research efforts
- NIA encourages applications to GEMSSTAR research program for early-career physicians moving into aging research
- Investigators create “brain map” of key epigenetic processes
(For more information about NIA’s media and outreach activities, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph: 301-496-1752.)
The Continuing Epidemiological Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Workshop Summary. National Research Council (NRC) 2012.
Among the poorest and least developed regions in the world, sub-Saharan Africa has long faced a heavy burden of disease, with malaria, tuberculosis and, more recently, HIV, being among the most prominent contributors to that burden. Yet in most parts of Africa—and especially in those areas with the greatest health care needs—the data available to health planners to better understand and address these problems are extremely limited. The vast majority of Africans are born and will die without being recorded in any document or appearing in official statistics. With few exceptions, African countries have no civil registration systems in place and hence are unable to continuously generate vital statistics or to provide systematic information on patterns of cause of death. Recognizing the need to continuously monitor how mortality patterns are changing in sub-Saharan Africa over time, NIA asked the Committee on Population of the National Academy of Sciences to convene a workshop to review a number of issues related to the epidemiological transition in sub-Saharan Africa.
Aging and the Macroeconomy: Long-term implications of an Older Population. National Research Council (NRC) 2012.
The shifting balance between young and old—in particular, between working-age people and retirees—is forcing governments around the world to rethink or revamp policies and programs that affect many aspects of peoples’ lives. In the US and elsewhere, this has given rise to an increasingly contentious debate about how to address current and looming fiscal deficits associated with various age-related entitlement programs.
It is important to recognize that population aging also will have important effects on the broader economy. We need to better understand how macroeconomic factors—such as savings rates, stock market exposure, productivity, consumption patterns, and global capital flows—react to demographic shifts. These factors must be inputs to any analysis of fiscal health and of the solvency of entitlement programs. At the request of Congress and with support from Treasury and NIA, the NRC undertook a study of the long-term macroeconomic challenge facing the US because of these shifts in demographics.
The Subjective Well-Being Module of the American Time Use Survey: Assessment for Its Continuation. National Academies Press 2012.
The American Time Use Survey (ATUS), conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, included a Subjective Well-Being (SWB) module in 2010 and 2012. The module, funded by the NIA, is being considered for inclusion in the ATUS for 2013. The National Research Council was asked to evaluate measures of self-reported well-being and offer guidance about their adoption on official government surveys. The charge for the study included an interim report to consider the usefulness of the ATUS SWB module and specifically the value of continuing it for at least one more wave. Among the key points raised in this report are: Value; Methodological Benefits; Cost and Effects on the ATUS; New Opportunities.
The following new publications, online resources, and other products were developed, updated, or reprinted:
- Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet (updated and reprinted)
- A Good Night’s Sleep (updated and reprinted)
- Diabetes In Older People: A Disease You Can Manage (updated and reprinted)
- Falls and Fractures (updated and reprinted)
- Forgetfulness: Knowing When To Ask For Help (updated and reprinted)
- Nursing Homes: Making the Right Choice (updated and reprinted)
- Finding Your Way—Resources for Early Career Researchers: Tips from the National Institute on Aging (updated and reprinted)
- National Institute on Aging Research Program Contacts (updated and reprinted)
- NIA Publications CD (updated and reproduced)
Alzheimer’s caregiving tip sheets (new online):
- Disaster Preparedness
- Holiday Hints
- A new topic was added to the NIH Senior Health website: Older Drivers
(For more information about NIA’s publications and online resources, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph: 301-496-1752.)
Meetings and Exhibits
OCPL/ADEAR attended, coordinated, participated in or sent materials to the following conferences and meetings:
- Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA
- Baltimore Senior Expo/IDEAL Study, Baltimore, MD
- NIH Community College Day, Bethesda, MD
- ADC/ADCS Meetings, Boston, MA
- Go4Life partner events at FedStrive and Greenspring Retirement Community
- Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting, San Diego, CA
NIA leadership and staff met with the following individuals and professional organizations:
- September 11, 2012: Karl Ulrich Mayer, President of the Leibniz Association and K. Lehnhard Rudolph, head of the Leibniz Institute of Age Research
- October 24: Sleep Research Society
- November 20: Mr. George Handy, Activity for Innovation and Economic Growth, representing the Poland-USA Aging Study
- November 26: Population Association of America/Association of Population Centers
- November 27: Rep. Chaka Fattah
- November 28: Friends of NIA tour
- December 12: Friends of NIA meeting
- December 20: American Academy of Neurology
- January 11, 2013: Endocrine Society
(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.)