Skip to content

December 2017 Issue/Volume 11, Number 12


Warm Holiday Wishes

We would like to extend our Best Wishes to you for the upcoming Holiday Season.  May peace, prosperity and happiness be yours in the New Year! 

holiday banner

Also, as a holiday gift from us please pick up your new Center on Aging coffee mug after January 2, 2018. See Heather in the Division of Geriatrics to claim your new mug.



Center on Aging Logo

The coffee mug features the new Center on Aging logo (see below). 

 CoA Logo

To use the logo please go here or contact Heather.  Please substitute this logo for the prior version in all of your CoA-related presentations.

We have also updated the Center on Aging booklet (including the new logo).  Here is the link:


2018 RFP Call for Center on Aging Pilot Grants

We are pleased to officially announce the Call for 2018 Center on Aging Pilot Grants. Submission deadline is Friday, March 16th by 11:59 PM MST.

Complete information and application instructions are posted on the Center on Aging 2018 Pilot Grant webpage. LINK Here

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.


Annual Research Retreat - Save the Date

April 5 - April 6, 2018

The theme for this year's retreat will focus on creativity and aging - Creative EngAGEment through the Arts. If you know anyone interested in an installation, interactive performance, etc. related to this theme; please contact either Drs. Mark Supiano, Jackie Eaton or Sydney Cheek-O'Donnell for more information.  More to come in January's newsletter.

The Keynote Speakers for the Center on Aging retreat, both from the University of California San Francisco are Julene Johnson, PhD, Professor, UCSF School of Nursing (pictured below - left) and Louise Aronson, MD, Professor, UCSF School of Medicine (pictured below - right). 

Dr. Johnson is a cognitive neuroscientist whos interest is to develop programs that use music to promote health and cognitive function in older adults.  Dr. Aronson is a geriatrician who has expertise in narrative medicine.  She is the author of the recent book, History of the Present Illness.  

                                                                                 Johnson           aronson


In the News....

amannCongratulations to Markus Amann, PhD, MS for receiving the prestigious Theodore H. Stanley Presidential Endowed Chair in Anesthesiology with the University of Utah.  In accepting this Chair position, Dr. Amann is moving his faculty appointment from the Geriatrics Division in the Department of Internal Medicine to the Department of Anesthesiology.  His lab will remain located in the Utah Vascular Research Laboratory and he will continue his position as an investigator in the VA Salt Lake City GRECC.  

Dr. Amann’s research has focused on the role of group III/IV muscle afferent feedback in regulating breathing, circulation, and the development of fatigue pertaining to the central nervous system in health and disease. His long-term goals are to enhance our understanding of the impact of cardiovascular diseases on group III/IV-mediated muscle reflexes and associated consequences for patients with heart failure, hypertension and COPD. His close collaboration with various faculty from the Department of Anesthesiology led to this new position.  He envisions that his new position will enable him to continuously refine techniques and effectively incorporate additional methodologies allowing for an improved approach to study the mechanisms underlying neurocirculatory abnormalities and disease-related impairments of the functional capacity in various disease populations.   

Utah Commission on Aging

The Commission participated in a listening tour in mid-November with Seema Verma, Administrator of Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The event was hosted by AARP and one of several sites Ms. Verma visited during the day. The facilitated conversation dealt with Medicare enrollment issues and health care concerns of the 20 older guests in the room. Emphasis put on the new Medicare card rolling out that will no longer carry a personal Social Security Number. Most substantive issues around protecting the safety net and the impact of proposed changes to the ACA and tax reform were not addressed.

The Falls Prevention Alliance has been developing materials and strategy for a January website launch and will partner with the Commission on our February 7 (Wednesday) meeting at the Capitol during the legislative session to host a lunch for available legislators to share the work of the Alliance and the Commission.
The Commission will produce its first trial podcast at the U’s SCOPE studio by year end future featuring a conversation on the nursing shortages and promoting support for funding more capacity at our state’s colleges of nursing. The Commission’s communications team will be developing a theme for the broadcast along with a music theme.

The collaboration funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, to produce videos on victims’ stories on financial fraud, has received final budget approval and the process of identifying and interviewing victims will begin utilizing the extension Commission network. Program results will have stories in English, Spanish, and Navajo.

Finally, the ePOLST committee is finalizing budget for creating repository for electronic record locator to be part of submitted grant requests in January. This piece will have an education outreach effort led by the Commission as part of its work on Advance Care Planning tools. 


Member Spotlight

Welcome to a new Center on Aging Member:

spivakAdam Spivak, MD is an Assistant Professor with Infectious Diseases. As an HIV physician, Dr. Spivak has the privilege to encounter patients who present with life-threatening immune deficiency and care for them as they regain their health. While antiretroviral drugs represent a pioneering achievement for modern medicine, they are not curative.  A tiny fraction of the virus is able to lie dormant in some of our most long-lived cells and persist despite ongoing treatment. Furthermore, patients taking these medications do not experience a full rebound of their immune system, but rather experience a state of accelerated immune aging. This is becoming more apparent as the population living with treated HIV ages.  His research focuses on the nature of the viral reservoir and the long-term effects of treated HIV on the immune system. As a physician scientist, his career objective is to improve upon the management of HIV infection by exploring the nature of both viral persistence and immune senescence. 

Dr. Spivak was also a 2017 CoA Pilot Award recipient - his pilot grant is titled "Modulating Immune Function in Chronic HIV Infection vis mTOR Inhibition in Peripheral Blood Effector Lymphocytes".


Also, we would like to welcome Nick Brenning, MD (pictured below - left) and Whitney Haseman, MD (pictured below - right) who were matched into our Geriatric Fellowship Program for the next year. They begin training July 1, 2018.          

                                                                                     brening             haseman

They are both completing their Internal Medicine training in the Utah Residency Program.

Upcoming Events

The annual scientific meeting of the American Geriatrics Society will be held May 3-5, 2018 in Orlando.  Registration is now available.

AGS 2018

Member Updates/Center on Aging Membership Directory

As a mostly virtual Center, we depend on the accuracy and timeliness of our Web presence.  Center members are urged to review and update their membership directory information. Please view your information on the Center’s Web site. Send any updates or requests for changes to Heather at heather.podolan@hsc.utah.eduor 

For past issues, please visit our NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES PAGE.

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 


Last Updated: 6/9/21