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November 2015 Issue | Volume 9, Number 11

A publication of the University of Utah Center on Aging 

GSA Annual Meeting 

The Gerontological Society of America's 68th Annual Scientific Meeting was held November 18-22, 2015 in Orlando, FL.  This meeting is the premier gathering of gerontologists from both the United States and around the world.  

The University of Utah was extremely well represented this year, with 2 papers, 14 posters and 15 symposiums.  This included the late-breaker symposium from the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT).  This symposium co-chaired by Dr. Mark Supiano and Jeff Willamson, MD - a SPRINT Investigator and geriatrician from Wake Forest University - presented the SPRINT study results specific to the subject population age 75 years and older.  The benefits and side effects of intensive (< 120 mm Hg systolic blood pressure target) therapy in the older subject group were presented in the context of the participants' frailty status. Here is a press release concerning the main trial results from the University of Utah:

Another highlight from the meeting was the presentation of the Association for Gerontology in Social Work Leadership Award to Dr. Marilyn Luptak. Congratulations to Marilyn!



New Publications

Center on Aging members Cathleen Zick, PhD, Robert Mayer, PhD and Ken Smith, PhD have been published in the November 2nd, 2015 edition of the Wall Street Journal - 'Alzheimer's Link Leads to More Financial Planning'. All three members are professors in Family & Consumer Studies. Drs. Zick and Mayer were past recipients of COA pilot grant support in 2009-10 for a similar financial planning study.   Additional reports by Professors Zick, Mayer and Smith, look at links between financial concerns and growing public awareness about genetic links and disease.  



Dr. Supiano was cited in an "Advances in Hypertension Management" article published this month in MedPage Today. This article describes the importance of measures of arterial stiffness - aortic pulse wave velocity - as a cardiovascular risk factor.   Of note, pulse wave velocity is being investigated by Dr. Supiano in the SPRINT study.  These studies are currently underway in SPRINT and will be available to be analyzed in Spring 2016 when the trial's close out visits are completed.  


Staff Transition

Blake Rose, has been hired as the new Associate    Director for the Division of Geriatrics. Blake comes to us from Washington State where he has been for for the last three years. While in Washington he worked closely with hospitals, medical groups and nonprofits as well as the state on multiple policy and reform projects. His official start date was November 2nd.

Scott Capps, Manager for the Division of Geriatrics has accepted the the full time position of the GRECC Administrative Officer at the VA.  He officially started his full-time position on November 16th.  

Upcoming 2016 RFP Call for Pilot Grants

Plan for the Request for Proposals call to be issued in early January.

The Center on Aging sponsors an annual pilot grant program to promote the development of aging research at the University of Utah. The goal of this program is to encourage new investigator development, attract established investigators to aging research and stimulate interdisciplinary research collaborations ultimately leading to new externally funded research.



Center on Aging 10th Annual Research Retreat 2016

Hold the Date

April 14 - April 15, 2016 

More information - coming soon


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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