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August 2018 Issue/Volume 12, Number 08


2018 Pilot Grant Awards Announced

The Center on Aging Steering Committee completed its review of 14 pilot grant applications that were submitted this year.  We had a difficult  challenge to select from this group of meritorious projects and rank the ones that were ultimately selected for funding. 

We are pleased to announce the following awards:

Robert Campbell, PhD; Assistant Professor; Department of Internal Medicine

Co-I Matthew Rondina, MD, MS; Associate Professor; Department of Internal Medicine

Co-I Anthony Donato, PhD, MS; Associate Professor; Department of Internal Medicine

Inflammation in Aging Increases Platelet Hyperactivity and Thrombosis

Vincent Koppelmans, PhD; Assistant Professor; Department of Psychology

Co-I Kevin Duff, PhD; Associate Professor; Department of Psychology

Co-I Sara Weisenbach, PhD; Assistant Professor; Department of Psychology 

Co-I Robert Welsh, PhD; Associate Professor; Department of Psychiatry                     

Ecological Assessment of Emotion Regulation in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment

Michelle Litchman, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP; Assistant Professor; College of Nursing        

Nancy Allen, PhD, ANP-BC; Assistant Professor; College of Nursing

A Feasibility Study of Older Adults and their Care partners using RT-CGM Share

Marc Porter, PhD; USTAR Professor; Nano Institute of Utah    

Phillip Kithas, MD, PhD; Associate Professor; Division of Geriatrics

Sensitive Detection of Age-Related Biomarkers Using Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering

Karen Schliep, PhD, MSPH; Assistant Professor; Department of Family & Preventive Medicine/Public Health    

Association Between Women's Reproductive Health and Later Dementia            

Lauren Theilen, MD; Assistant Professor; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Russ Richardson, PhD; Professor; Division of Geriatrics

Michael Varner, MD; Professor; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Vascular Aging in Women with a History of Recurrent Hypertensive Disease of Pregnancy


Welcome to new Center on Aging Members

Robert Campbell, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Molecular Medicine Program
Youjeong Kang, PhD, MPH, CCRN, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing
Vincent Koppelmans, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Michelle Litchman, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing
Marc Porter, PhD, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nano Institute of Utah
Karen Schliep, PhD, MSPH, Assistant Professor, Division of Public Health
Lauren Theilen, MD, Visiting Instructor & Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellow, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology 
Robert Welsh, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Utah Commission on Aging

Commission published Episode 5 of the Rap on Aging, “Nothing to Hide, Everything to Lose” interviewing law enforcement expert, Chris Burbank, and internet security educator, Debbie White, talking about how to be aware of fraudulent schemes and steps people can take to protect themselves.

Commission held its quarterly meeting on Aug 9, 2018 at the Bateman Horne Education Center. Over thirty members and partners attended to hear updates and engage in community project discussions. We also had a dozen guests representing the Gleeful Choir, a grant-funded effort led by Emily Christensen of Crescendo Music Therapy and a member of the Music and Memory Utah Coalition, with participants representing individuals with dementia and their caregivers. The three numbers created an endearing exchange and set the tone for a productive meeting.

Public Policy committee considerations include expanded funding for Commission projects, support of continued services funding, Alzheimer’s Coordinating Council, and looking at supporting dental services for dual-eligibles within the Medicaid program.  Research and Academia committee reported out on first planning meeting and expanding reach to other academic institutions in the state with interests and programs in gerontology. The Community Resources committee met but did not report out. The Communications committee discussed the progress with the DOJ grant.

Sonia Salari of the University of Utah Department of Family and Consumer Studies presented a sobering look at rising violence in older adults. Her research includes family violence across the life course. Utah Legal Services attorney, Tanta Lisa Clayton discussed the application of the Uniform Power of Attorney Document. Ronnie Daniel of the Alzheimer’s Association reported on the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference and scientific findings presented at the recent Chicago meetings. Finally, Kristy Cottrell of Davis County AAA, reported on the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging Conference.
Other Commission projects included quarterly meeting with the Music & Memory Utah Coalition and our continuing the plan for expanding scope. Explored making this project a part of a graduate student’s practicum. Falls Prevention Alliance partner meeting moving strategy forward for building awareness and prevention education throughout partner agencies and constituents as well as creating a structure and funding mechanism for future sustainability. Presentation in Chicago with four representatives of the FPA was well-attended and successfully presented.

We are encouraging all Commission partners to participate in one of the Walks for Alzheimer’s and to form or join a team.
ED Ence met with Davis County CARE volunteers and board on senior fraud and abuse issues. They are active partners in our DOJ grant.     

Grant Opportunities

NIA Funding Opportunities

2019 Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists' Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR). The GEMSSTAR award is targeted to early faculty members who have recently completed their medical, surgical, or dental training in any specialty or discipline and who are embarking on a career in clinical aging research in their specialty area. The award is intended to offer support in a particularly vulnerable time in a new clinical faculty member's career.  Click here to learn more. Submit your Letter of Intent by Sunday, September 23rd and your full application by Tuesday, October 23rd. 

2019 Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging. This funding opportunity invites early-stage physician and other health professional investigators with a commitment to aging and/or aging-related diseases to apply for awards to advance research and leadership skills in their specialty and in the broader fields of aging and geriatrics. 

Upcoming Events


2018 Utah Translational Hypertension Symposium
September 19th, 2018
The Ivory Room of the Thomas S. Monson Center
(411 E S Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84111) 

The NIH-sponsored symposium is two days and will include one day of lectures by hypertension researchers and a one-day workshop focused on doing hypertension-related research in the Jackson Heart Study.

Paul Whelton, MD, MSc, the chair of the AHA Hypertension Guidelines Committee that was published last year is the Keynote Speaker

This event is free and open to the public. To register, please visit the RSVP link: 


16th Annual Rocky Mountain Geriatrics Conference
Aging in Place: Promoting Independence and Planning for the Future of Our Aging Population
September 24-25, 2018
Broomfield, CO

Registration Here

 Gerontological Society of America (GSA) 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting - will be taking place from November 14 - 18th in Boston, Massachusetts.  The meeting theme is "The Purposes of Longer Lives".

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