About NIA

NACA Meeting: May 22-23, 2012

General Information/Staff Awards


The formation of a trans-NIH interest group (dubbed GSIG, for Geroscience Interest Group), under the leadership of DAB and the NIA was reported in January. The goal is to generate discussion and cross-fertilization across the NIH ICs around the notion that aging is the major risk factor for most chronic diseases and it is malleable. Its focus is on basic science and the group’s official membership has now expanded to 20 different ICs. Among the initial set of activities being pursued, a seminar by Dr. James Kirkland on March 8th was well attended, and monthly seminars (both by extramural and intramural researchers) are being organized. In addition, a trans-NIH workshop on “The role of inflammation on age-related diseases” has been organized for September 6-7, 2012. Dr. Luigi Ferrucci has agreed to give the keynote presentation, and 16 speakers have confirmed participation in 4 sessions. A Summit on aging and disease is being considered for FY 2013, and other activities include discussion of potential cross-collaborations and initiatives (FOAs, Common Funds, or co-funding of proposals that span several ICs).

Contact: Dr. Felipe Sierra, DAB, 301/496-6402.

OCPL Awards

  • Generations Awards:
    • NIA’s Go4Life Web site, Platinum
    • Understanding Memory Loss, Gold Award in the Brochure category
  • New Media Awards, Government - Health category: NIA’s Go4Life Web site won Best in Industry
  • National Health Information Silverawards in the Government Patient Education Information category for:
    • Ejercicio y Actividad Fisica
    • 2009 Progress Report on Alzheimer’s Disease: Translating New Knowledge

For more information about OCPL awards, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph: 301-496-1752.)

Honors and Awards

Dr. Stanley Rapoport, BPMS, was recognized by the Society for Fatty Acids in Cell Signaling (FACS), at its November 7, 2011 meeting in New Orleans to deliver its “First Lifetime Achievement Lecture,” summarizing his research. Dr. Rapoport invented original methods to quantify and image brain docosahexaenoic acid metabolism in unanesthetized rodents, and has translated these methods to imaging metabolism in humans using positron emission tomography (PET). His work has broad implications for quantifying and treating defective brain metabolism with regard to aging and progressive brain diseases. The title of his lecture was “Translational studies on the regulation of brain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) metabolism.”

On November 20, 2011, the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) presented Dr. Luigi Ferrucci with the Joseph T. Freeman Award. This accolade is awarded to a prominent physician in the field of aging, both in research and practice. The Society categorizes it as one of the highlights of their annual scientific meeting in which the prior year recipient delivers a lecture.

On November 23, 2011 NIA’s Mark Mattson, Ph.D., Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Neurosciences received the prestigious Tovi Comet-Walerstein Science Award at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. Dr. Mattson, was cited for “being the pioneer in establishing a link between diet and neurodegenerative diseases, and for being a committed mentor and educator”. The Dr. Tovi Comet-Walerstein Science Award was established in memory of the late oncologist, who dedicated her life to medical research. She earned her degree of Doctor of Medicine and Surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Following her death from cancer at the age of thirty-eight, her family created the science award in her honor. David Walerstein, husband of the late Dr. Tovi Comet-Walerstein, presented Dr. Mattson with the Award. Following the presentation, Dr. Mattson delivered the keynote lecture, before a packed audience, entitled "Pathways Toward and Away from Neurodegenerative Diseases," in which he highlighted his groundbreaking research.

The Board of Directors of the Italian Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics (SIGG) conferred the title of Honorary Member to Dr. Luigi Ferrucci at the 56th SIGG National Congress in Florence, Italy on November 29, 2011. Dr. Ferrucci was given this title for his outstanding research in geriatrics. He has brought honor to the Italian Gerontology and Geriatrics, reaching the highest accolades within the international scientific community.

Mature Market Resource Center,Government Web Sites category: Go4Life website received a Bronze Award in the New Product & Technology Awards.

For more information about OCPL awards, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph.: 301-496-1752.)

Press Releases:

NIA adds genetic data to Health and Retirement Study - Move provides new breadth to landmark study of people 50+, March 27, 2012.

News Releases and Announcements

NIA distributed and posted the following press releases:

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


  • Global Health and Aging, published jointly by WHO and NIH in spring 2012.
  • Well-being of Older People Study: A Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) sub-study, published by SAGE in spring 2012.
  • 90+ in the United States: 2006-2008 | American Community Survey Reports. NIA and Census Bureau. November 2011.

The Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL), in conjunction with DAB, published a new booklet on Aging Biology, titled “Biology of Aging – Research today for a healthier tomorrow”. This is a significantly updated and reformatted publication, which replaces the previous “Aging Under the Microscope”. The booklet is available in print from OCPL, or electronically from the NIA web site.

The following print publications and other resources were developed, updated, or reprinted:


Online Resources

NIHSeniorHealth - At the end of March, NIA and the National Library of Medicine (NLM) launched a new version of NIHSeniorHealth, the health and wellness website for older adults. The redesigned site includes an updated look, more menu choices, longer pages, and a new search feature with access to a wider range of senior-related health resources. Presented in an inviting, colorful, and still easy-to-use format, NIHSeniorHealth offers nearly 60 health topics, over 150 open-captioned videos, as well as frequently asked questions, quizzes, and web training materials. The changes to NIHSeniorHealth are based on user feedback and the results of usability testing with adults 60+.

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

Meetings and Exhibits

NIA/ADEAR exhibited at or sent materials to the following conferences:

  • American Society on Aging, Washington, DC
  • Women’s Health Congress, Washington, DC
  • ADC/ADCS Meetings, New Orleans, LA
  • American Geriatrics Society, Seattle, WA

NIA staff met with:

  • Friends of NIA, February 28
  • American Geriatrics Association, March 1
  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, March 16
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, March 26
  • Alliance for Aging Research Board, April 3
  • Dr. Soraya Montoya, Director, Fundación Saldarriaga Concha in Bogotá, Colombia, April 20

(For more information about meetings and exhibits, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph.: 301-496-1752. For more information about NIA staff meetings with professional organizations or associations, contact Dr. Tamara Jones, Legislative Officer, Ph.: 301-451-8835.)


  • Mature Market Resource Center,Government Web Sites category: Go4Life website received a Bronze Award in the New Product & Technology Awards

For more information about OCPL awards, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph.: 301-496-1752.)