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Researchers earn grant for geriatric studies (6-18-99)

Two University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio researchers, Jeanne Anderson, M.D., and Richard Lin, M.D., were recently honored for their efforts in geriatric care with the Paul Beeson Scholars Award.

Dr. Anderson, Department of Medicine, and Dr. Lin, Department of Pharmacology, are among 10 national recipients to win this annual award, and each will receive a $450,000 grant spread over three years to further studies in aging and caring for the elderly.

The scholars program is designed to promote interest in geriatric research and to pave the way for more physicians who specialize in care for a segment of society that is expected to double by the year 2030.

"The Beeson Scholars program positively confronts this issue by providing the means to advance scientific aging research and medical training, which contributes to the knowledge base our physician scientists need in caring for our elderly," said Arlan Richardson, Ph.D., director of the Health Science Center's Aging Research and Education Center. Richardson will serve as a mentor to both physicians as they conduct their research.

Dr. Anderson, assistant professor in the Division of Hematology, will use the Beeson grant funding to study the unique problems suffered by elderly patients being treated for cancers of the blood, and to develop new therapy approaches. Dr. Anderson also will look at the relationship between these cancers and the aging process.

Tackling an area of study with little current information, Dr. Lin, assistant professor in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, will investigate how aging alters the vascular system. With the help of the latest technology in molecular genetics, Dr. Lin will be one of the first to study how aging affects the biochemical level of the vascular system.

"Dr. Anderson and Dr. Lin join a very elite group of Beeson Scholars in trailblazing a new understanding of the aging process," said Daniel Perry, executive director of the Alliance for Aging Research, a Beeson Award co-sponsor. "The Beeson Scholars program is selecting the next generation of leaders in geriatric medicine."

The Beeson award was launched in 1994 and has provided more than $25 million to approximately 51 physicians such as Drs. Anderson and Lin.

Scholar award winners are selected on the basis of the quality of research proposed, the qualifications of both the researcher and the mentor, and the level of commitment to studies dealing with aging.

Contact:Will Sansom or Heather Feldman