2015 Scientific Conferences

Jun 1

2015 Scientific Conferences View MoreBACK

Santa Barbara, CA

From June 1 through 5, AFAR convened three scientific meetings in Santa Barbara, California. Nearly 100 attendees-- including AFAR grantees, senior leaders the field, and representatives from foundations--assembled to report on their AFAR-supported research, and senior investigators from top institutions nationwide shared insights on emerging directions in the field.

First, AFAR hosted the New Investigators In Alzheimer’s Disease Grantee Meeting, sponsored by The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation. Grantees from 2007 to the present shared their current research through in 5 minute “Data Blitz” presentations. Kenneth Kosik, M.D., Professor of Neuroscience at UC Santa Barbara, presented his research on the largest family in the world with a genetic form of Alzheimer's disease located in Antioquia, Colombia, and Itamar Kahn, Ph.D. of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology presented on a special transcontinental meeting on AD held in Israel last fall.

The New Investigator grantees then joined recent recipients of the AFAR Research Grants, Ellison/AFAR and Glenn/AFAR Postdoctoral Fellowships, the Breakthroughs in Gerontology awards and the Glenn/AFAR Scholarships for Research in the Biology of Aging for the 28th Annual AFAR Grantee Conference, which kicked off with presentations by Giovanni Bosco, Ph.D of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and a 2013 BIG Award recipient; Arlan Richardson, Ph.D. of the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center; and Felipe Sierra, Ph.D. of the NIA/NIH and the trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG.)

Next, a special joint meeting of the AFAR Grantee Conference and Glenn Workshop was held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research. Moderated by Edward LaKatta, M.D. of the NIA, presentations by AFAR Scientific Director Steven Austad, Ph.D. and Scientific Director Emeritus George Martin, M.D. addressed the theme, “Fifty years of aging research: What have we learned and where do we go from here?”

Moderated by Nature journal’s Erika Check Hayden, a special panel on communications and messaging in the field of aging research paired Richard Farager, Ph.D. of the University of Brighton and the British Society for Research on Ageing with AFAR board member James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D. of the Mayo Clinic and Christopher Scott, Ph.D. of Stanford University.

Moderated by Kevin Lee, Ph.D., an afternoon session explored resistance to aging through presentations by Judi Campisi, Ph.D. of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging; Susan Lindquist, Ph.D. of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT; and AFAR board member Gary Ruvkun, Ph.D. of Harvard University, 

The popular scientific poster session followed, providing an opportunity for the grantees to present and discuss their work among peers and senior leaders in the field.

Later that evening, AFAR was honored to have Stuart Firestein, Ph.D. of Columbia University share a talk “Ignorance, Failure, Uncertainty, and Doubt: Why Science is So Successful” over dinner and was grateful to receive a donation of one million dollars from the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research to support our grant programs that deepen the pipeline of investigators dedicated to the biology of aging.

The Santa Barbara meetings concluded with the 6th annual Paul F. Glenn Workshop on the Biology of Aging. Moderated by Kevin Lee, Ph.D., the workshop focused on presentations by eight Glenn Centers across the country.

AFAR is grateful to The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation for underwriting the New Investigators meeting, the generosity of AFAR supporters for underwriting the Grantee Conference, and The Glenn Foundation for Medical Research for underwriting the Glenn Workshop.


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