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September 2015 Issue | Volume 9, Number 9

A publication of the University of Utah Center on Aging 


Congratulations to Gwenael Layec, PhD who has been awarded the National Intitute of Health's Grant for Pathway to Independence Award (K99).  

The title of Dr. Layec's proposal is 'Nitric oxide coupling and BH4 availability roles in muscle dysfunction with COPD'.
The purpose of this K99 program is to increase and maintain a strong cohort of new and talented, NIH-supported, independent investigators. This program is designed to facilitate a timely transition of outstanding postdoctoral researchers or clinician-scientists from mentored research positions to independent, tenure-track or equivalent faculty positions, and to provide independent NIH research support during the transition that will help these individuals launch competitive, independent research careers.

And, congratulations to Sydney Schaefer, PhD who has been awarded the National Institute of Aging's Grant for Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01).  

The title of Dr. Schaefer's proposal is 'Generalization of functional task-specific motor training in older adults'.

The purpose of this K01 program is to provide support and protected time for an intensive, supervised career development experience in the biomedical, behavioral, or clinical sciences leading to research independence.  


Congratulations to Center on Aging member, Troy Anderson, PhD who has been nationally selected to be one of two national dementia scholars that will be on a Dementia Caregiving Network to create a registry about interventions focused in dementia caregiving. 


Center on Aging member anthropologist Kristen Hawkes, PhD has been published in the September 7th, 2015 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - 'Grandmothering life histories and human pair bonding.' Dr. Hawkes is known for the "grandmother hypothesis," which credits prehistoric grandmothereing for our long human lifespan.

Dr. Hawkes research is working on human life history evolution guided by the hypothesis that grandmothering is a fundamental shift in our genus underlying a suite of features that distinguish humans from other great apes. Current efforts include 1) collaborations in mathematical modeling and 2) data collection to improve estimates of ovarian and somatic aging in our closest living relatives, chimpanzees. She also continues to attend to hunter-gatherer behavioral ecology. 


The Music and Memory Utah Coalition, coordinated through the Center on Aging and Utah Commission on Aging has partnered with Salt Lake Acting Company to screen the award winning documentary film ALIVE INSIDE on Sept. 28th in their Little Theater.

SLAC has chosen Music and Memory as the featured community nonprofit in conjunction with the world premeire of their upcoming play Blackberry Winter, written by local playwright Steven Yockey, which explores the subject of caregiving for a loved one with dementia.

An informational booth will be manned by Coalition members at SLAC during the run of the show from September 16 - October 25. Donations of new and used iPOD's will be accepted and encouraged. 



Heather Podolan, has been hired as the new full-time Administrative Program Coordinator for the Center on Aging. Heather comes to us from Huntsman Cancer Institute; where she has been here for almost 5 years. Her official start date was September 1st.

Direct all future correspondence to Heather Podolan,


**Early Bird Registration ends July 31!**

Center on Aging 10th Annual Research Retreat 2016

Hold the Date

April 14 - April 15, 2016 

More information - coming soon


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Please send any desired updates to Heather Podolan,​.

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About our Logo

The bristlecone pine tree (Pinus longaeva) - the earth’s oldest inhabitant with a life span of almost 5,000 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.

Mark A. Supiano, MD
Executive Director - Center on Aging
For more information about the University of Utah Center on Aging, please visit us online at

Last Updated: 6/9/21