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Sparking good science: Connect to the legacy of Dr. Nathan Shock

Dr. Luigi Ferrucci
Scientific Director,
Office of the Scientific Director (OSD)
Christy Carter, Ph.D.
Christy CARTER,
Health Scientist Administrator,
Division of Aging Biology (DAB)

Next month, NIA will provide the aging-research community with an opportunity to celebrate a science of aging luminary by honoring an emerging leader in the field at the 32nd Annual Nathan W. Shock Award Lecture.

Nathan W. Shock, Ph.D., was one of the first American researchers to focus on extending years of good health and independence for older adults. He formally established the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) in 1958, when the study of aging was still in its infancy. Today, the BLSA is a world-renowned resource that has led to thousands of peer-reviewed scientific publications and made major contributions to our understanding of healthy aging.

Join us on Nov. 10!

This year’s Shock Award Lecture will be held virtually Nov. 10, from 1 to 3:50 p.m. ET. The event will honor Jamie Justice, Ph.D., assistant professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest University, as an emerging leader in translational gerontology. Her former mentor and previous Nathan W. Shock awardee, Nir Barzilai, M.D., director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, will give an introductory lecture titled “How Can Jamie Justice Die Young at a Very Old Age?” Justice will then present her talk, “Breaking Ground in Translational Geroscience: From Biomarkers to Aging Outcomes.”

A nationwide network for aging science

Since 1995, NIA’s Division of Aging Biology has supported a network of Nathan Shock Centers (NSCs) across the country. Much like Shock was himself, these centers are a source of mentorship and inspiration for a new generation of scientists seeking to extend the healthy, active years of life. Visit the NSC and NSC Coordinating Center websites to learn about pilot awards, conferences and workshops, and networking and career development opportunities for emerging aging-biology researchers.

For more information about the science supported by the NSCs, check out this special issue of GeroScience, which features papers and perspectives from each center.

Shock’s legacy continues in Baltimore

The BLSA continues to be an innovative and robust resource for scientists from around the globe, thanks to the more than 3,200 volunteers who made the lifelong commitment to be part of the research. NIA’s Intramural Research Program leadership and staff continue to strengthen it to advance use and sharing of its rich trove of longitudinal data. Future BLSA research questions to explore include identifying factors that contribute to exceptional aging and searching for interventions that may prevent disease and promote healthy aging.

Tune in, be inspired, collaborate

We hope the multitude of ways Shock influenced the science of aging will continue to inspire a new generation. Be sure to tune in on Nov. 10 and keep exploring collaboration opportunities with the NSCs and BLSA into 2023 and beyond. If Shock’s legacy has been meaningful to your work, please leave a comment below!

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