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UTHSC medical students capture scholarships from national aging research organization (6-12-01)

Three medical students at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio have received $3,000 scholarships for the coming year from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR). The winning students will complete research projects in conjunction with the Health Science Centerís department of family and community medicine, community geriatrics division.

Emily Lazarou, who will begin her third year of Medical School in the fall, received her second AFAR award. A certified dietitian before entering Medical School, Lazarou will continue her investigation of body mass index and its inter-relationship with morbidity and mortality in a database of 3,000 Mexican American elders. In July, she will present the findings from her first year of research at the 17th Congress of the International Association of Gerontology in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her mentor is David V. Espino, M.D., professor of family and community medicine.

The other student winners, Sandra Vale and Denať Waugh, will be second-year medical students in the fall. Vale will study dementia assessment under the mentorship of Dr. Espino. Waugh will work with mentor Charles P. Mouton, M.D., associate professor of family and community medicine, to investigate depression and leisure time activities. Her project will focus on how depression affects perceptions of barriers and benefits of physical activity and levels of physical activity. Waugh will seek the answers in a cross-cultural sample of 210 older adults.

The AFAR awards are in conjunction with the John A. Hartford Foundation, which also funds the John A. Hartford Center of Excellence for Geriatrics Education at the Health Science Center. Dr. Espino is the centerís principal investigator. The awards pay student tuition and support winnersí attendance at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society.

Contact: Will Sansom