Dr. Lewis Lipsitz: Geriatrics is still one of the frontiers of medicine, since it's really only recently that people have begun experiencing old age - a century ago, the average life expectancy was 47, and today, it's well over 80. So it's exciting to be in a field on the cutting edge.
What did you find most rewarding about it?
Dr. LL: Old people are fun! They have a wonderful amount of history, great stories to tell, and a wide breath of experience that teaches me every day.
The Massachusetts ADRC and the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center have joined forces to fund the best novel ideas for pilot projects aimed at understanding and developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Together, we are pleased to announce a joint call for pilot study applications from investigators within the Harvard community. Grants with a dollar value up to $30,000 (direct costs) will be awarded for the duration of one-year. A total of $240,000 is available.
The Program on the Global Demography of Aging at the Harvard School of Public Health funds pilot project grants in the area of the Economics and Demography of Aging. The aim is to provide assistance to Harvard faculty in undertaking preliminary research that may subsequently lead to a larger research project. The PGDA is a center for research on the Economics and Demography of Aging funded by the by the National Institute of Aging.
The objective of The Ellison Medical Foundation (www.ellisonfoundation.org) New Scholars Program is to support new investigators of outstanding promise in the basic biological sciences relevant to understanding lifespan development processes and age-related diseases and disabilities. The award is intended to provide significant support to new investigators needed to permit them to become established in the field of aging.
Jack Szostak, a genetics professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital, has won the 2009 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for pioneering work in the discovery of telomerase, an enzyme that protects chromosomes from degrading.
The work not only revealed a key cellular function, it also illuminated processes involved in disease and aging.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that it is awarding $348 million to encourage investigators to explore bold ideas that have the potentail to catapult fields forward and speed the translation of research into improved heatlh.
Rudy Tanzi has identified several different genes that can lead to diminished brain function in Alzheimer's, aging, and Down syndrome. He is also working to use information from gene defects that influence healthy aging of the brain, and to develop novel therapies for Alzheimer's.