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Join us at the 40th anniversary symposium, other NIA activities at GSA 2014

Dr. Marie Bernard
Deputy Director,
Office of the Director (OD)

If life begins after 40, then NIA is poised to celebrate our move into middle age!

In a special session at this year’s Gerontological Society of America (GSA) meeting in Washington, D.C., NIA Director Richard Hodes, along with NIA’s scientific leadership, intramural scientists and grantees, advocates, and alumni, will reflect on major accomplishments in research to improve the health of older people since the establishment of the Institute in 1974. The session will look to the future of the NIA and the study of aging, and will highlight an opportunity to provide feedback on NIA strategic directions in the coming years. If you are attending the GSA meeting this November, please join us for this symposium on Saturday, November 8, from 3 – 6 p.m. GSA has made this symposium open to all, including non-registrants. We look forward to seeing many of you who helped build NIA and aging research, past and present, at this very special event.

NIA 40th Anniversary Symposium

From Cells to Society:

NIA at 40 – Past, Present, and Future

Saturday, November 8

3 – 6 p.m.

Room 202A, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C.

The 40th anniversary celebration will also be marked by the appearance of the NIH Director Francis S. Collins. His keynote speech at the President’s Opening Plenary Session promises to be a highlight of the conference. He will share his own view of aging research, discuss the emerging concept of geroscience, and more. You can hear Francis Collins on Thursday, November 6, between 1 – 2:30 p.m. in the Marquis Ballroom at the Washington Marriott Marquis Hotel conference center.

Exchanging ideas, providing guidance

The 40th anniversary symposium and other keynote events will be complemented by more in-depth sessions where NIA staff are available to interact with researchers from across the disciplines supported by Institute funding. One opportunity specially aimed at younger researchers or those new to the field of aging is the annual Symposium for Junior Researchers, held this year on Saturday morning, November 8, from 8 – 9:30 a.m. in the Liberty Salon M at the Washington Marriott Marquis. Richard Hodes will provide an update on the latest research findings from studies supported and conducted by the NIA, followed by a brief and engaging update on funding mechanisms and grantsmanship from Division of Extramural Activities Director Robin Barr. You’ll have the chance to meet and talk with representatives from the Office of the Director (myself and Carl Hill), along with staff from NIA’s divisions of Extramural Activities (Robin Barr, Chyren Hunter, and Ramesh Vemuri), Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology (Sue Zieman), Behavioral and Social Research (John Haaga), Aging Biology (Felipe Sierra), and Neuroscience (Tony Phelps).

Special sessions on geroscience, health disparities

Beyond sessions focusing on research and applications strategies, several NIA-led and co-led sessions at the conference will focus on specific areas of research. These include discussions with members of the Trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group. A central concept of geroscience is that multiple human diseases arise from the common cause of aging itself, and the group looks at the intersection of aging and chronic disease. A newly developed NIA framework for health disparities research will be the focus of another important session. This framework was developed by the Task Force on Minority Aging Research and endorsed by the National Advisory Council on Aging. Also of note, the Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) are sponsoring a preconference workshop on cognitive health disparities research and national policy. An additional fee and registration is required.


When: Friday, November 7 from 8 – 9:30 a.m.

What: An NIH Cross-Institute Round Table on Geroscience, chaired by Felipe Sierra of NIA, will outline approaches and priorities in geroscience being implemented in different NIH Institutes

Where: Liberty Salon L at the Marriott Marquis


When: Friday, November 7 from 1 – 2:30 p.m.

What: Felipe Sierra will lead a scientific session on Geroscience: Aging Biology as the Common Risk Factor for Chronic Diseases. The session will discuss progress in the development of new tools, models and paradigms that address the basic biological underpinnings of many age-related diseases.

Where: Liberty Salon L at the Marriott Marquis


When: Thursday, November 6 from 3 – 4:30 p.m.

What: An overview of health disparities research at the NIA, chaired by Dr. Carl Hill, director of the NIA Office of Special Populations and Dr. Roland J. Thorpe, Jr., chair of the GSA Task Force on Minority Issues in Gerontology, will highlight research resources and opportunities aimed at reducing or eliminating health disparities.

Where: China Town room of the Marriott Marquis

Health resources, research info

And, don’t forget to stop by the always-popular NIA booth in the meeting’s exhibit hall—Booth 413-415. We’ll have a selection of NIA’s award-winning publications for consumers and information for researchers. There, you can also find key NIA scientific staff at specified times, happy to engage in informal chats and respond to questions from current and prospective grantees.

Don’t miss this chance to connect with NIA staff at GSA. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C. on November 5 – 9!

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