Instiute on Aging awards funding
Investigators receive pilot research grants
Photos by Andrew Shurtleff
Salthouse (below left) directs the Institute on Aging.
Sara Agre (left) is the institute administrator. Above
(left to right) are the pilot grant awardees: Bethany Teachman,
Bernhard Maier, Chad Dodson, Barry Condron, Carol Manning
and John Lach.
researchers who are conducting age-related studies were honored
and awarded research grants during a reception June 1 at the
new offices of the University’s Institute on Aging.
of the primary goals of the institute is to stimulate research
related to issues of aging, and to encourage the formation
of collaborative teams to pursue innovative approaches to topics
relevant to later life. To support that goal, the institute,
with funding from the Office of the Vice President for Research
and Graduate Studies, is providing “seed money” of
up to $30,000 for pilot projects that have a likelihood of
generating substantial funding from government agencies or
six pilot projects receiving funding range from a project for
developing a model system for testing therapies for degenerative
disorders, to developing a wearable health monitoring device,
to studying the effects of age on memory and cognition. More
than 40 U.Va. investigative teams involving more than 100 researchers
submitted applications for the pilot grants.
aging of America is a major societal issue,” said Timothy
Salthouse, director of the Institute on Aging and the Brown-Forman
Professor of Psychology. “People are living longer, and
are healthy longer, but ultimately many older people will develop
Alzheimer’s disease and other long-term health problems.
These pilot projects have great potential for future funding
and are designed to address several important areas of aging.”
primary mission of the Institute on Aging is to enrich the
lives of those who are old today and those who will be old
tomorrow by acting as a catalyst and coordinator for interdisciplinary
research, education and service programs within the University
of Virginia. The institute promotes basic and applied research
on topics related to aging, serves as an information and education
resource about aging issues, and seeks to influence the development
and implementation of public policy that addresses the needs
of older adults.
the coming academic year, the institute will sponsor two public
lectures on aging, featuring eminent speakers. Caleb Finch,
director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at
the University of Southern California, will present “Evolution
Shapes the Schedule of Aging in Neural Systems” on Oct.
1 at 3:30 p.m. in the McLeod Hall Auditorium. Finch’s
research has led to breakthroughs in the understanding and
treatment of Alzheimer’s.
Deary of the University of Edinburgh will speak March 18, 2005,
on “A Lifetime of Intelligence: Following up the Scottish
Mental Surveys of 1932 and 1947.” Deary is the principal
investigator of interdisciplinary studies examining late-life
correlates of childhood intelligence.
learn more about the Institute on Aging, visit its website
Six Awardees Are:
Associate professor of biology. Condron is conducting genetics studies using
fruit flies for developing a model system for testing therapies for age-related
neurological degenerative disorders.
Assistant professor of psychology, is looking at the effects of age on monitoring
and regulating memory accuracy. He will use several methods to test older adults’ memory
and their ability to improve memory.
Assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is developing a
noninvasive portable monitoring system that could be worn by a user in a nonmedical
environment to continually measure biological, physiological and functional
Assistant professor of neuroscience, will investigate the interactions of longevity
genes with each other and a cellular growth suppressor. Maier and his team
hope to develop chemical compounds to reverse the aging of cells and organisms.
Associate professor of neurology. Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Manning’s
team will examine differences in biochemical activity in relevant areas of
the brains of healthy elderly people, people with mild cognitive impairment
and people with Alzheimer’s disease. Their long-term goal is to use the
data to help identify healthy individuals and those with mild cognitive impairment
who are at increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Assistant professor of psychology. This project will look at aging, perceived
cognitive decline and the development of anxiety.
hopes to establish norms for obsessive-compulsive disorder
in older populations to ensure proper diagnosis as well as
to more deeply examine the cognitive model of obsessive-compulsive
disorder in older populations.