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June 2009, Volume 3, Number 6

A publication of the University of Utah Center on Aging

News and Events

Announcing the Center on Aging 2009 Pilot Grant Award Recipients

The Center on Aging Steering Committee was extremely pleased to have received 21 high-quality submissions for this year's pilot grant program. The proposals spanned a wide variety of topics in geriatrics and gerontology. Several were from relatively new investigators, as well as some from established investigators new to aging research.

The Steering Committee operated as the study section to review and rank the applications. The Committee faced very challenging decisions given the high quality of the applications and the limitations in our resources to provide funding for a limited number. The proposals' principal investigators and titles are listed below. Click here to view the abstracts of these pilot grant recipients.

Sihem Boudina, PI
"Role of the Insulin Signaling Pathway on Mammalian Cardiac Aging"

Paul J. Carlson, PI
"In vivo creatine kinase activity as a potential biomarker in Alzheimer's Disease"

Annette Kirchgessner, PI
"Role of Sirtuins in the Aging Gut"

Rajasekaran N. Soorappan, PI
"Role of Nrf2 on Age Dependent Regulation of Antioxidant Defense Mechanisms in the Mouse Heart"

Cathleen D. Zick, PI
"Retirement Planning Responses to Economic Shocks"

Since the pilot grant program's inception in 2006, 49 faculty have submitted a total of 56 applications (42 from Health Sciences and 14 from Main campus). Including these 2009 awards, 17 applications have been funded with an investment to date of $523,000. The overall funding success rate has been just over 30% (31% for Health Sciences faculty and 28.6% for Main campus faculty). The steady growth in the number of applications and in their quality speaks to the growing interest in aging research. We are confident that the investment in the pilot grant program will continue to stimulate this growth, foster new collaborations in aging research, and lead to future external grant funding.

We congratulate these five investigators and look forward to having them present their preliminary results at the Spring 2010 Center on Aging Research Retreat.

Please Attend Rice Chair in Healthy Aging Candidate Presentations

Three candidates for the The Robert L. and Joyce T. Rice Presidential Endowed Chair in Healthy Aging - newly established in the College of Nursing - will be giving research presentations this month. The endowment will support a distinguished scholar whose work will be focused on 'the prevention and management of age related diseases.' The Chair holder's responsibilities will include furthering a distinguished program of externally funded research/scholarship, mentoring students, serving as a role model for faculty, teaching, and engaging in College-wide and University programs in aging.

Since this Chair will have important connections with Center on Aging programs and faculty, you are encouraged to attend these presentations.

Darryl Wieland, PhD, MPH
"Aging Patients: Evaluating Assessment Methods, Systems of Care, and Workforce Needs"
Date: Wednesday, June 17th
Location: HSEB 2120
Time: 1:30 – 3:00 pm

Kristine Williams, RN, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC
"Supporting Healthy Aging in Long Term Care"
Date: Friday, June 19th
Location: HSEB 2120
Time: 12:30 – 2:00 pm

Michael Caserta, PhD
"A Continuing Journey: Spousal Loss in Mid and Later Life – It's Not Only About Grief"
Date: Tuesday, June 23rd
Location: HSEB 2958
Time: 1:30 – 3:00 pm

Bristlecone Pine

About our logo: The bristlecone pine tree (Pinus longaeva) the earth's oldest inhabitant with a life span of 4,000 years is found only in Utah and five other western states. Its extraordinary longevity and ability to adapt and survive in extremely harsh environmental conditions above 10,000 feet embodies the investigative spirit and mission of the Utah Center on Aging.

If you have questions about the University of Utah Center on Aging, please visit us online at 801-585-9540 or


Mark A. Supiano, MD
Executive Director - Center on Aging

Last Updated: 6/9/21