U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced the appointment of three new members to the National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA), the group that advises the National Institute on Aging (NIA) on the conduct and support of biomedical, social, and behavioral research and training on the diseases and conditions associated with aging. The new members are:
John T. Cacioppo, Ph.D. -- Cacioppo is the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, Director of the University of Chicago Social Psychology Program, and Co-Director of the University's Institute for Mind and Biology.
A social neuroscientist, Cacioppo investigates how societal influences and personal relationships affect cognition, emotions, and personality processes as well as the immune, endocrine, and autonomic functions. Cacioppo's current research focuses on social isolation and health across the lifespan, with an emphasis on underlying mechanisms, and individual differences in affective processing.
Among his honors are the National Academy of Sciences Troland Research Award, the Society for Psychophysiological Research's Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychophysiology, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology's Campbell Award for outstanding scientific contributions to personality and social psychology, the Society for Psychophysiological Research's Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychophysiology, and the American Psychological Association's Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychology. He is a fellow in five different divisions of the American Psychological Association and in six other scientific societies. Cacioppo earned his bachelor's degree in economics at the University of Missouri, and his master's and doctoral degrees in psychology from Ohio State University.
Alan M. Garber, MD, Ph.D. -- Garber is director of both the Center for Health Policy and the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research at Stanford University in Stanford, California.
An economist and general internist, Garber investigates methods for improving health care in settings of limited resources. His research includes two complementary areas: developing methods for determining the cost-effectiveness of health interventions and structuring incentives to ensure that cost-effective care is actually delivered. His ongoing research includes both methodological and applied work in cost-effectiveness analysis in health care, measurement of quality of life, studies of the role of financial incentives in the utilization of hospital and nursing home care among the elderly, projections of Medicare and other health expenditures, and international comparisons of health care financing and health outcomes.
Garber is a member of the: American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Association of American Physicians. He received his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in economics from Harvard University, and his medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine.
Virginia M.-Y. Lee, Ph.D., M.B.A. -- Lee is a Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She is also Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research and first recipient of the John H. Ware 3rd Professor in Alzheimer's Research.
Lee's research interests focus on neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease, and frontotemporal dementias. She has a particular interest in major lesions found in the brains of patients with AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. A multi-disciplinary approach (including biochemical and molecular studies of neuronal culture systems, animal models and human tissues obtained at autopsy) is used in the laboratory to address research issues that these neurodegenerative diseases may have in common.
Lee studied classical piano at the Royal Academy of Music in London for 2 years before switching to science. She earned her bachelor's and master's of science degrees in chemistry and biochemistry, respectively, at the University of London. She earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of California, San Francisco, followed by a Master's of Business Administration at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.
Lee's research has been recognized by a number of awards including the Allied Signal Award for Aging Research, the Metropolitan Life Foundation Award for Alzheimer's Disease Research, the Potamkin Award for Research on Alzheimer's, Pick's and Related Neurodegenerative Disorders, and the Bristol Myers Squibb Biomedical Research Award in Neuroscience.
Two-thirds of the 18-member Council are from the health and scientific disciplines, particularly the biological and medical sciences, and one-third from the general public, including public policy, law, health policy, economics, and management. Council members are appointed for overlapping terms of 4 years.
The NIA, a component of the National Institutes of Health within HHS, is the lead federal agency supporting and conducting biomedical, social, and behavioral research and training related to aging and the special needs of older people. For more information on the Institute and research on aging, visit www.nia.nih.gov  .