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HSC researcher presents at international forum on aging (3-27-00)

A faculty member from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio spoke at a major international symposium March 2 in London, where he discussed the latest research on dietary restriction and aging.

Arlan G. Richardson, Ph.D., director of the Aging Research and Education Center (AREC) and professor in the Health Science Center’s Department of Physiology, presented "The Anti-Aging Action of Dietary Restriction" at the Novartis Foundation Symposium. The symposium, titled "Aging Vulnerability: Causes and Interventions," was part of the U.N. project "A Research Agenda on Aging for the 21st Century."

The symposium addressed basic principles in the aging process and featured presentations on dementia, degenerative diseases, age-related bone loss, and aging and the immune system. Symposium presenters included researchers from Israel, Australia, Denmark and Great Britain.

Dr. Richardson summarized research to date on the relationship between reduced food intake and increased life span. He noted the importance of dietary restriction as a tool for studying the biological processes involved in aging. He also discussed ongoing research to explain how the restriction of calories can increase survival, affect physiological processes and impede age-related disease.

As president of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), Dr. Richardson recently presided at the GSA’s 52nd Annual Meeting held in San Francisco. Several Health Science Center faculty members were involved with that event, including James F. Nelson, Ph.D., professor of physiology; Michèle J. Saunders, D.M.D., professor of dental diagnostic science; and Toni P. Miles, M.D., Ph.D., professor of family practice.

During the GSA event, Sue Stacy, a graduate student in the university’s Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, received the George Sacher Student Award for her presentation titled "The Effects of Age on Immunity and Autoimmunity in the Mouse Model of Myasthenia Gravis."

The The GSA meeting also offered a science curriculum symposium conducted by members of the AREC "Positively Aging" group, which works with area teachers to educate students about the aging process in a highly interactive way.

Contact: Will Sansom or Heather Feldman