Opportunities for Advancing Behavioral and Social Research on Aging: An Introduction for Psychological Scientists – May 22, 2008
In collaboration with the Association for Psychological Science (APS), the Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR) coordinated a pre-conference workshop at the APS 20th Annual Convention in Chicago, IL. This workshop brought established psychological scientists up to date on emerging directions in behavioral and social science research on aging and provided strategic guidance on incorporating aging-relevant questions into their scientific research programs. The workshop included sessions on (1) grant writing for aging research; (2) neuroimaging and the aging mind; (3) opportunities for secondary analysis of archived social and behavioral data on aging which featured the Health and Retirement Study (Weir, PI) and MIDUS (Ryff, PI); and (4) panel discussions on the themes of “Integrative Research in Social and Personality Psychology of Aging,” “Psychology, Neuroscience and Economics: An Interdisciplinary Collaboration toward Understanding Decision Making and Economic Behavior over the Life-span,” and “Advances in Cognitive Aging Research.” The workshop was supported by the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR) and DBSR. (For more information, contact Dr. Lis Nielsen, DBSR, Ph: 301-402-4156.)
Division of Aging Biology New Investigators Forum – May 27-29, 2008
The Second Annual Division of Aging Biology New Investigators Forum was held in Boulder, CO, May 27– 29. The purpose of the forum was to bring together new awardees of grants from the Division of Aging Biology (DAB) in the spring of the year following their award, to encourage their continued success in this field by allowing them to get acquainted with NIA program staff as well as network with each other. New investigators gave talks describing their planned work (or results to date) with an emphasis on how it relates to the area of aging research. Boulder was chosen as the venue (rather than meeting in Bethesda) because the American Aging Association (AGE) was meeting in Boulder from May 30 through June 2. (For further information, contact Dr. David Finkelstein, DAB, Ph: 301-496-6402).
2008 NIH Director’s Awards:
- Dr. Luigi Ferrucci, Senior Investigator, Chief, Longitudinal Studies Section, was awarded in recognition of his visionary leadership of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) is a valuable national resource that has been invigorated by Dr. Ferrucci's dynamic leadership and ideas. Innovation and leadership by Dr. Ferrucci have added greatly to the effectiveness of this study in enhancing our understanding of both normal aging and age-related disorders. Dr. Ferrucci is an outstanding clinical geriatric investigator whose work has defined risk factors for the development of frailty and functional decline. He is the most highly cited geriatrician in the world, based on ISI citation analysis, and has had a major impact on enhancing the quality of science related to geriatrics and aging.
- Dr. Andrew Singleton, Chief, Laboratory of Neurogenetics, was awarded in recognition of his many important contributions to elucidating the genetic bases of neurodegenerative diseases. Two of the most important molecular findings in Parkinson's research have been the identification of the triplication of the synuclein locus in the Iowa kindred and the identification of the dardarin gene as a cause of Parkinson's disease. Dr. Singleton has made both of these discoveries, which have drastically altered the way we think about Parkinson's disease. Dr. Singleton's work has substantially advanced the mission of the Department of Health and Human Services. It has led to the initiation of a large research program on a novel pathway involved in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, with potential for development of genetic testing to aid in the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and for identification of people "at risk" for the disease in whom the earliest signs of the disease can be identified and in whom preventative treatments can be tested.
- Dr. Kevin G. Becker, Staff Scientist (Facility Head), Research Resources Branch, was awarded in recognition of his participation as a member of the Genetic Association Database (GAD) Collaboration, for exceptional contributions in the development of the GAD and related tools for improving discovery of knowledge from scientific literature. This database is one of the largest databases of its kind available on the web.
- Lynn C. Hellinger, Director of Management, Office of Administrative Management, was awarded in recognition of her participation as a member of the NIH AO Competencies Toolkit Committee for exceptional creativity in the conceptual design of competencies for administrative occupations at the NIH and extraordinary leadership of the administrative community in embracing the concept.
- Debbie L. Butcher, Administrative Officer, Administrative Management Branch, was awarded in recognition of her participation as a member of the NIH AO Competencies Toolkit Committee for exceptional creativity in the conceptual design of competencies for administrative occupations at the NIH and extraordinary leadership of the administrative community in embracing the concept.
- Dr. Evan C. Hadley, Division Director, Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology, was awarded in recognition of his participation as a member of the Genome-Wide Association Studies Policy Development Team for contributions in the development of NIH-wide policy and guidelines for sharing genotypic and phenotypic data from NIH-funded genome-wide association studies.
- Winifred Rossi, M.A., Deputy Division Director, Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology, was awarded in recognition of her participation as a member of the Genome-Wide Association Studies Policy Development Team for contributions in the development of NIH-wide policy and guidelines for sharing genotypic and phenotypic data from NIH-funded genome-wide association studies.
- Kate Nagy, Program Analyst, Office of Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation, was awarded in recognition of her participation as a member of the NIH Biennial Report Leadership Team, for efforts in reconceptualizing, gathering information for, and coordinating the writing and editing of the FY 2006-07 NIH Biennial Report under parameters laid out in the NIH Reform Act.
Coca Cola Company Research Award:
- Dr. Robin Minor, Technical IRTA Fellow, Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology, received the Coca Cola Company Research Award at the 2008 Experimental Biology, Today’s Research: Tomorrow’s Health meeting, April 4-7, 2008, in recognition of excellent research quality and technical presentation.
NIA Women Scientist Advisor Award:
- Dr. Ashani Weereratna, Staff Scientist, Laboratory of Immunology, was selected as the 2008 NIA WSA Investigator Awardee due to her scientific achievements in the field of melanoma research and for her outstanding commitment as a mentor for junior scientists.
- Dr. Stella Martomo, Visiting Fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology was selected as the 2008 NIA WSA Postdoctoral Awardee for her mature thinking, which reaches beyond the technical aspects of her work on immunology into its broader scientific implications.
The following new publications were printed:
- Can We Prevent Aging? (replaces Pills, Patches, and Shots)
- Menopause: Time for a Change
The following publications were updated or reprinted:
- Acute Hospitalization and Alzheimer’s Disease
- ADEAR Publications List
- Alzheimer’s Disease Center Directory
- Caregiver Guide for People with Alzheimer’s Disease
- Cuídese de los tratamientos de salud fraudulentos (Health Quackery Age Page)
- Dietary Supplements (Age Page)
- Exercise: A Guide from the National Institute on Aging
- Hormones and Menopause (Tip Sheet)
- Making Your Printed Health Material Senior Friendly (Tip Sheet)
- NIHSeniorHealth Toolkit
- Osteoporosis: The Bone Thief (Age Page)
- Presión arterial alta (High Blood Pressure Age Page)
- Prostate Problems (Age Page)
- Stroke (Age Page)
- Talking with Your Doctor: A Guide for Older People
(For more information about NIA’s publications, contact Ms. Vicky Cahan, Communications Director, OCPL, Ph: 301-496-1752.)
NIA/OCPL Media Activities
The following press releases were distributed with a potential audience in print and internet outlets of 44,000,000 people:
- Study Seeks Long-Lived Families to Learn More About Long and Healthy Life 
- Resveratrol Found to Improve Health, But Not Longevity in Aging Mice on Standard Diet 
- Scientists Isolate a Toxic Key to Alzheimer’s Disease in Human Brains 
- Smokers Flock Together and Quit Together 
- NIHSeniorHealth Offers Tips on Eating Well as You Get Older 
- Kidney Disease Newest Offering on NIHSeniorHealth 
Americans Living Longer, Enjoying Greater Health and Prosperity, but Important Disparities Remain, Says Federal Report 
Older Americans 2008: Key Indicators of Well-Being. The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics. Available online at http://www.agingstats.gov .
OCPL coordinated NIA’s media relations at the 2008 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (ICAD) meeting held in Chicago arranging for nearly two dozen interviews between the press and Division of Neuroscience staff.
NIA research was featured at the opening night, July 9, of the 2008 Science in the Cinema at the American Film Institute (AFI) Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD. The series is organized each summer by the NIH Office of Science Education (OSE), which worked with the NIA’s OCPL to arrange the full-house event. Following the screening of the movie Away From Her, Dr. Neil Buckholtz from the Division of Neuroscience led the audience question and answer period. OCPL provided the audience of 400 with packets of information on AD.
OCPL conducted a 2-hour media training session on July 13 for the 35 participants at the 2008 Summer Institute on Aging Research at Aspen Wye River Conference Center. The participants received practical guidance on communicating their key messages to the media and tips on dealing with a variety of press situations.
NIHSeniorHealth.gov television public service announcements (PSA’s) were aired 3,500 times, bringing the total number of plays to nearly 7,000 since January. Over 2,000 bookmarks promoting NIHSeniorHealth.gov were sent out to public libraries; 15,000 bookmarks were sent to patient libraries at Veterans Administration hospitals and bus cards with NIHSeniorHealth.gov contact information were displayed in 600 Metro buses in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
(For more information about NIA’s media activities, contact Ms. Vicky Cahan, Communications Director, OCPL, Ph: 301-496-1752.)
NIA/OCPL Exhibits and Meetings
NIA exhibited and disseminated materials at the following conferences:
- American Geriatrics Society in Washington, DC
- Visiting Nurses Association in Nashville, TN
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists conference in New Orleans, LA
- American College of Physicians – Internal Medicine conference in Washington, DC
- Medical Library Association conference in Chicago, IL
- Red Hat Society conference in Orlando, FL
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners conference at National Harbor, MD (Washington, DC)
- Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Conference in Garden Grove, CA
NIA staff met with the representatives from the American Geriatrics Society.
(For more information about NIA’s exhibits, contact Ms. Vicky Cahan, Communications Director, OCPL, Ph: 301-496-1752. For more information about meetings with professional organizations or associations, contact Dr. Tamara Jones, Legislative Officer, Ph: 301-451-8835.)
NIA Website Activities
- FDA Spanish publications – OCPL has implemented an interagency cooperative agreement between NIA and the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Women’s Health, adding 42 Spanish health-related publications to the NIA Spanish website and online ordering system. See: http://www.nia.nih.gov/espanol/ .
- Rodent Ordering System – The new online ordering system for the Biological Resources Program, Division of Aging Biology, was launched. This system automates the process of making aged rodent colonies available to qualified investigators. See: http://arc.niapublications.org/acb/stores/1/ .
- Study Investigators Toolkit – A series of resources providing a web-based information repository for investigators and staff involved in clinical research was added to the NIA website. The Toolbox contains templates, sample forms, guidelines, regulations and information materials to assist investigators in the development and conduct of clinical research studies. See: http://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dgcg/clinical-research-study-investigators-toolbox .
- NIHSeniorHealth.gov -- The expansion of topics and features on NIHSeniorHealth led to its first redesign since the website’s launch in 2003. The redesign includes a new home page with enhanced navigation for health topics, plus interior pages that link to NIA’s Age Pages. In addition, two new topics have been added to the website. See: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/ .
(For more information about NIA’s web activities or NIHSeniorHealth, contact Ms. Vicky Cahan, Communications Director, OCPL, Ph: 301-496-1752.)
The following were selected for 2008 APEX Awards for Publications Excellence:
“Living Long and Well in the 21st Century – Strategic Directions for Research on Aging” on the NIA Web site in the Campaigns, Programs & Plans – Government Agency Communications category
“Spotlight on Aging Research: News and Notes from the National Institute on Aging” electronic newsletter in the Newsletter – Web and Electronic category
- Spotlight on Aging Research article: “SardiNIA Project Steps Up Global Research in Genetics, Aging“ in the Writing – Health and Medical Writing category
(For more information about NIA/OCPL awards, contact Ms. Vicky Cahan, Communications Director, OCPL, Ph: 301-496-1752.)