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Distinguished scientists appointed to National Advisory Council on Aging



January 30, 2008

Anne Decker | 301-496-1752 | nianews3@mail.nih.gov



U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt announced the appointment of three new members to the National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA). The group advises the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the department’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), on the conduct and support of biomedical, social, and behavioral research on the diseases and conditions associated with aging.

The new members are:

Dale E. Bredesen, M.D. – Dr. Bredesen is the founding president and CEO of the Buck Institute for Age Research in Novato, California, an institute devoted to research on the biology of aging and age-related disease.

After receiving a B.S. degree from the California Institute of Technology and an M.D. from the Duke University Medical Center, Dr. Bredesen began studying neurodegenerative diseases in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner, M.D., at the University of California, San Francisco. At UCSF, Dr. Bredesen became known for his work in programmed cell death (apoptosis) and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Dr. Bredesen is a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His honors include the Arthur Cherkin Award for Research in Neurodegenerative Disease, UCLA; the United Way Combined Health Agencies Health Hero (an annual award for outstanding medical research in San Diego); the Lou and Eleanor Gehrig Lectureship at Columbia University given for the most outstanding work on ALS in a given year, and the Cotzias Award from the American Parkinson Disease Foundation.

Burton H. Singer, Ph.D. – Dr. Singer’s interests are many and varied and include the demography and biology of aging, mind and body health and its underlying mechanisms, and tropical diseases. A Princeton faculty member since 1994, Dr. Singer was named in 2005 as a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Currently the Charles and Marie Robertson Professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Dr. Singer’s distinguished academic career began as a teaching assistant at Stanford University, followed by professor of mathematical statistics at Columbia University and Ira Vaughan Hiscock Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University. His training includes a B.S. in engineering science and an M.S. in mechanical engineering, both from Case Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in statistics from Stanford University.

Recent activities include the Visiting Committee of Harvard School of Public Health; the Advisory Board of the Fogarty International Center, NIH; Coordinator of the Malaria Task Force, United Nations Millennium Project; and chair of the National Research Council Panel on Future Directions for Behavioral and Social Science Research at NIH.

Susan L. Swain, Ph.D. – A leading immunologist, Dr. Swain has been president and director of the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake, N.Y., from 1996-2007 and is now president emeritus. Founded in 1884 as a tuberculosis treatment and research facility, the Trudeau Institute is now an independent nonprofit biomedical organization. Trudeau attracts top scientists from the United States and abroad who investigate basic mechanisms used by the immune system to combat viruses so better vaccines and therapies can be developed to fight deadly diseases.

Dr. Swain received her B.A. degree in biology from Oberlin College and her Ph.D. in immunology from Harvard Medical School. Her teaching career began as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology at the University of California, San Diego, where later she was named professor of biology in residence. She joined the Trudeau Institute in 1996. She is also an adjunct professor at the Albany Medical College and the University of Vermont College of Medicine and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The author of numerous articles, Dr. Swain’s research on aging and immunity to infections has been recognized with NIH Merit Awards in 1996 and 2005. She has served on many editorial boards and advisory panels, including president and council member of the American Association of Immunologists, ad hoc member of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council, and member of the NIA Board of Scientific Counselors. She is a member of numerous scientific advisory boards and/or external advisory committees including the La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology, Dartmouth College, and Montana State University.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) leads the federal government effort conducting and supporting research on the biomedical and social and behavioral aspects of aging and the problems of older people. For more information on aging-related research and the NIA, please visit the NIA Web site at www.nia.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) – The Nation’s Medical Research Agency – is comprised of 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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