About NIA

NACA meeting: May 24-25, 2011

General Information/Staff Awards

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) awarded the distinction of AAAS fellow to Dr. Mark P. Mattson, Chief, Laboratory of Neurosciences. Election as a fellow is an honor bestowed on AAAS members by their peers. The AAAS Council selected Dr. Mattson “For distinguished contributions to the field of neuroscience, particularly for elucidating cellular signaling mechanisms involved in neural plasticity and the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders.”

Shih-Chieh Lin, M.D., Ph.D., Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology, was awarded a Young Investigators grant from NARSAD: The Brain and Behavior Research Fund. This year, NARSAD selected 214 researchers from a pool of over 1,000 applicants that spanned the globe and awarded a total of $12.6 million in funding.

The Women Scientist Advisors (WSA) held a special program in conjunction with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to honor the WSA Achievement Awardees. Lenore Launer, Ph.D., Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography and Biometry, received the NIA Investigator Award, Deborah Croteau, Ph.D., Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology, received the Staff Scientist/Research Fellow Award and Robin Minor, Ph.D., Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology, received the NIA Fellow Award.

Stuart Maudsley, Ph.D., Laboratory of Neurosciences, is a collaborating investigator with scientists from NICHD on a project entitled, “Amitriptyline treatment for BDNF haploinsufficiency”, that was awarded a $270,000 Bench-to-Bedside grant.

Dr. Barbara Torrey, a special volunteer at BSR since 2009, received the Robert J. Lapham Award on April 1, 2011, at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America. This prestigious award is given biennially to individuals who have distinguished themselves by their (1) contributions to population research, (2) application of demographic knowledge to improve the human condition, and (3) service to the population profession.

Press Releases:

Department of Veterans Affairs, March 1, 2011. VA’s Caregiver Support Program Expanding – REACH Program Improves Quality of Life for Caregivers and Veterans. “This program has been proven to provide the right resources, training and a renewed focus on personal health that can make a world of difference to those caregivers and their Veterans.”

The Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer’s Caregiver Health (REACH) program, developed by a consortium of NIA-funded investigators, is about to become the standard of care for caregivers of Veterans Administration patients with Alzheimer’s disease. In the March 1, 2011 News Release, the VA announced that it “…will roll out REACH VA on a national basis through home-based primary care programs across the country. In addition, the program will be modified to assist caregivers of Veterans with other diagnoses like spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury.” NIA funded research produced a successfully tailored program to reduce caregiver depression and burden and to lengthen the time prior to institutionalization of the care recipient. (Belle, et al. 2006. Enhancing the quality of life of dementia caregivers from different ethnic or racial groups. A randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med 145:727-738.) This first ever, multi-site, randomized clinical trial was successfully emulated in a pilot conducted by the VA (Nichols, et al. 2011. Translation of a dementia caregivers support program in a health care system—REACH VA. Arch Intern Med 171:353-359). Based on this trial, the VA has decided to disseminate the original NIA-funded work throughout its system.


Assessing the Impact of a Severe Economic Recession on the Elderly: Summary of a Workshop. National Academies Press. Released March 9, 2011. This workshop report summarizes the preliminary and ongoing research findings presented by participants in an expert meeting convened to review potential research questions raised by the current recession and to discuss measurement and methodological challenges, as well as examine available data sources.

Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries: Panel Report. National Academies Press. Released January 25, 2011. The Report from the Panel on Understanding Divergent Trends in Longevity in High-Income Countries examines existing data resources and delineates trends in life expectancy at older ages. This work is an attempt to identify and compare risk factors, and to consider the implications of these ongoing trends for future mortality, as well as to suggest future research priorities and improvements for data collection and analysis.

Preparing for the Challenges of Population Aging in Asia. National Academies Press. Released December 8, 2010. Issued jointly by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Indian National Science Academy, the Indonesian Academy of Sciences, the Science Council of Japan, and the National Research Council of the US National Academies, this report outlines the key challenges facing Asian countries as their populations age and outlines a strategy for developing a scientific basis for policy development.

OCPL Publications and Related Activities

The following new publications and other products were developed, updated, or reprinted:

  • El envejecimiento y sus ojos (AgePage: Aging and Your Eyes)
  • Fumar: nunca es demasiado tarde para dejar de hacerlo (AgePage: Smoking: It’s Never Too Late to Stop)
  • NIA Go4Life Exercise Campaign website launched (http://www.nia.nih.gov/go4life)
  • NIA Go4Life -- 11 tip sheets translated to Spanish and added as online resources

The following new topic was added to NIHSeniorHealth.gov:

(For more information about NIA’s publications or NIHSeniorHealth, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph: 301-496-1752.)

NIA News Releases

The following press releases were distributed to audiences in print and on the Internet:

(For more information about NIA’s media activities, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph: 301-496-1752.)

Meetings and Exhibits

NIA/ADEAR exhibited at the following conferences:

  • National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, Baltimore, MD
  • Frontotemporal Dementia/Primary Progressive Aphasia Caregiver Conference, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
  • American Pharmacists Association, Seattle, WA
  • American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Washington, DC
  • American Geriatrics Society, National Harbor, MD
  • Medical Library Association, Minneapolis, MN

NIA/ADEAR exhibited or disseminated materials at:

  • ADC/ADCS Meetings, Los Angeles, CA
  • Mid-America Seniors Expo, MN

NIA staff met with the Society for Social Work and Research, American Occupational Therapy Foundation, American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association, Child Neurology Society, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and American Geriatrics Society. The Friends of the NIA met on February 25.

(For more information about OCPL’s meetings and exhibits, contact Vicky Cahan, 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.)