About NIA

NACA Meeting: September 17-18, 2013

General Information/Staff Awards

The 6th Annual NIA Postbac Poster Day was held on Friday, April 26, 2013 in the BRC Atrium. Dr. Virginia Zakian from Princeton University presented a seminar entitled, “Pif1 Helicases Promote Replication Fork Progression Through Natural Replication Barriers.”

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

Shakeela Faulkner (B.S. 2012)
Brown University – Providence, RI
Protection Against Oxidant-induced Alteration in Cellular Homeostasis
Mentor: Rafael deCabo, Ph.D., TGB

Megan J. Fitzpatrick (B.A. 2011)
Grinnell College - Grinnell, IA
Identification of microRNAs in Serum with Human Age
Mentors: Michele Evans, M.D., and Nicole Noren Hooten, Ph.D. LEPS

Vincent M. Gutierrez (B.S. 2012)
Salisbury University - Salisbury, MD
CYB5R3 and the Case of the Missing Lipids
Mentor: Rafael deCabo, Ph.D. TGB

The NIH Annual Postbac Poster Day was held on Wednesday, May 1st on the NIH main campus where 300 NIH Postbacs presented their work. Of the 66 fellows that were ranked as outstanding, 7 were from the NIA:

Shakeela Faulkner (B.S. 2012)
Brown University – Providence, RI
Protection Against Oxidant-induced Alteration in Cellular Homeostasis
Mentor: Rafael deCabo, Ph.D., TGB

Megan J. Fitzpatrick (B.A. 2011)
Grinnell College - Grinnell, IA
Identification of microRNAs in Serum with Human Age
Mentors: Michele Evans, M.D. and Nicole Noren Hooten, Ph.D., LEPS

Vincent M. Gutierrez (B.S. 2012)
Salisbury University - Salisbury, MD
CYB5R3 and the Case of the Missing Lipids
Mentor: Rafael deCabo, Ph.D. TGB

Ming-yang Hung (B.S. 2011)
Carnegie Mellon University- Pittsburgh, PA
Comparison of Objectively Measured Physical Activity in Patients Undergoing Transcatheter versus Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement
Mentor: Tamara Harris, M.D., M.Sc. LEPS

Vanessa A. Lukas (B.A. 2011)
Washington University in St. Louis - St. Louis, MO
Classification of OARSI Scored Human Articular Cartilage Explants Through Multiparametric MRI Analysis at 3T
Mentors: Richard Spencer, M.D., Ph.D., and David Reiter, Ph.D. LCI

Lindsey E. Montefiori (B.S. 2011)
North Carolina State University- Raleigh, NC
The three-dimensional Conformation of the Immunoglobulin Heavy Chain Gene Locus
Mentors: Ranjan Sen, Ph.D., and Tatiana Gerasimova, Ph.D. LMBI

Jason Yolitz (B.S. 2011)
Virginia Tech- Blacksburg, VA
Mitochondrial Protein ATP synthase-d Interacts with Macronutrients to Modulate
Lifespan in Drosophila
Mentor: Sige Zou, Ph.D.

At the 2013 Behavior Genetics Conference, Dr. Jennifer Harris received the James Shields Award for her work in Behavior Genetics and contribution to the twin research field.

On December 7, 2012, the American Psychological Association and Board of Scientific Affairs presented Dr. Molly Wagster with the Meritorious Research Service Award in recognition of her outstanding contributions to psychological science through her service as a research program administrator at the NIA.

Dr. Molly Wagster was also recently elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division of Behavioral Neuroscience and Comparative Psychology.

NIA Web Activities

“Instruments to Detect Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults,” a web-based, searchable database created by NIA staff in consultation with experts in the field, provides a way for clinicians and researchers to identify published instruments for use in their outpatient practice or community studies. Users may search by specific criteria such as time to administer, language, or format, may identify instruments that have been evaluated in specific populations (for example, African-American and Hispanic), and may obtain information on cost, level of expertise necessary to administer, and psychometric properties of the instruments. The database may be accessed at www.nia.nih.gov/research/cognitive-instrument. For further information, contact Dr. Samir Sauma, NIA Office of Planning, Analysis and Evaluation, at saumas@mail.nih.gov.

OCPL Awards

  • 2013 Communicator Silver Award of Distinction for NIHSeniorHealth “Older Drivers” module in the Interactive MultiMedia/Special Interest category
  • 2013 Award of Excellence from APEX Awards for Publication Excellence for Go4Life e-cards in the Website/Microsite category
  • US Department of Health and Human Services “HHS Ignites” Award, Recruiting Older Adults for Research (ROAR) -- This project, which brings together NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Centers (ADCs) with the Administration for Community Living’s (ACL) aging services agencies and the CDC network of State and local public health departments and its Healthy Aging Research Network, will test a new strategy to engage older adults to volunteer for participation in clinical research, focusing specifically in the first year on Alzheimer’s research. Through ROAR, these HHS entities will collaborate with grantees and private organizations to enhance knowledge and connect gatekeepers and older adults with easy, actionable opportunities for research participation.

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

Press Releases:

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:

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


A report from the White House workshop on Psychological Science and Behavioral Economics in the Service of Public Policy was published on the BSR website. http://www.nia.nih.gov/research/announcements/2013/07/white-house-workshop-psychological-science-and-behavioral-economics. Contact Dr. Lisbeth Nielsen, workshop organizer (301-402-4156), for more information.

On May 22, 2013, the National Institute on Aging (NIA), NIH, in collaboration with the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and the Association for Psychological Science (APS), convened a meeting of eminent scientists from the fields of psychology and behavioral economics to highlight the potential for social and behavioral research to play a more influential role in the service of public policy, discuss strategies for bringing important research findings to the attention of policy makers, and identify lessons that can be learned from approaches undertaken in the United Kingdom Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team to leverage behavioral research findings, a great deal of which has been from research conducted in the United States. While NIA does not support policy research per se, findings from the basic behavioral and social science research that it does support are an important resource for informing policies that address the multiple causes of the U.S. health disadvantage.

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

AgePages (English):

  • Crime and Older People (updated and reprinted)
  • Dietary Supplements (updated and reprinted)
  • Exercise and Physical Activity: Getting Fit For Life (updated and reprinted)
  • Hearing Loss (updated and reprinted)
  • Mourning the Death of a Spouse (updated and reprinted)

AgePages (Spanish):

  • Incontinencia urinaria (Urinary Incontinence, updated and reprinted)

Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Tip Sheets (new online):

  • Sundowning

Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Tip Sheets (new e-book format):

  • Behaviors
  • Caregiver Health
  • Communication
  • Everyday Care
  • Legal and Financial Issues
  • Middle- and Late-Stage Care
  • Relationships
  • Safety


  • Caring for a Person With Alzheimer’s Disease: Your Easy-To-Use Guide From the National Institute on Aging (updated and reprinted)
  • Safe Use of Medicines (updated and reprinted)
  • Understanding Memory Loss (updated and reprinted)


  • LINKS Minority & Training—Summer 2013
  • Spotlight on Aging Research: News & Notes from the National Institute on Aging at NIH—June 2013

Go4Life materials:

  • Go4Life bookmarks: READ To Stay Informed and Curl Up With a Good Book (updated and reprinted)
  • Go4Life Be Active poster (reprinted)
  • The following online tip sheets were developed:
    • Yoga and Older Adults
    • Driving Safely
    • Exercise Tips for Travelers
    • Food Safety When Cooking
    • Shopping for Food That’s Good for You
    • Indoor Activities


  • New topic on healthy eyes added

New Online Design:

Spanish Resources (new online translations):

  • Understanding Memory Loss
  • Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease

Social Media

New videos added to NIA’s YouTube channel:

  • Butler-Williams Scholars Program Announcement
  • Dr. Felipe Sierra Discusses the Trans-NIH GeroScience Interest Group
  • Healthy Eyes Topic on NIHSeniorHealth
  • What To Drink As You Get Older
  • The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) - Howard University
  • Volunteering for an Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Trial
  • Choosing Nutrient Dense Foods Eating for Health

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

Media & Outreach

NIA distributed the following press releases:

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

Meetings and Exhibits

OCPL/ADEAR participated in the Administration for Community Living/ Administration on Aging National Title VI conference, Washington DC

OCPL staff led the webinar, “How Senior Friendly is Your Website?” presented with NCOA/Illuminage to 600 aging services organizations

NIA staff met with the Director General of the Instituto Nacional de Geriatría as well as representatives from the American Society of Nephrology, Alzheimer’s Association, and the American Heart Association.

NIA staff participated in and led several research meetings at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC).

(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.)