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World-renowned gerontologist elects to stay in San Antonio

San Antonio (May 29, 2003) — Arlan G. Richardson, Ph.D., announced today that he is staying at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC) rather than considering an offer from The University of Michigan to direct its Institute of Gerontology. The San Antonio Express-News reported his negotiations with Michigan in its May 20 editions.

"It was an honor to be offered this position at The University of Michigan and this shows the international stature of the aging program at San Antonio," Dr. Richardson said. "However, my decision to remain at the Health Science Center as director of the Aging Research and Education Center and the Barshop Center for Longevity and Aging Studies actually was easy because of the strong commitment to aging by President Francisco Cigarroa and the Health Science Center administration, because of generous support from community leaders such as Sam and Ann Barshop, Toby and Barbie O'Connor, and Ben Foster Jr., and because of the tremendous group we've built in biomedical aging research. They (Michigan) basically wanted me to build their program to the level we have here in San Antonio."

Funding to UTHSC from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) has more than doubled since 1997, rising from $5 million to $12 million. The Health Science Center leads the nation's medical centers in the number of NIA grants received. In addition, UTHSC is building a 48,000-square-foot facility to house the Sam and Ann Barshop Center for Longevity and Aging Studies. That facility will be adjacent to two existing UTHSC buildings in the Texas Research Park. "A building to focus only on aging is rather unique," Dr. Richardson said. "When it comes down to it, they (UTHSC) came up with the best proposal."

Dr. Richardson joined the UTHSC faculty in 1990 from Illinois State University. He has recruited a number of highly regarded scientists in the field of aging and directs multiple research projects that explore the molecular biology of why we age. He is director of the Aging Research and Education Center, under which 150 scientists study many aspects of aging.

Dr. Richardson also is the principal investigator/director of the Nathan Shock Center for Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, one of only four such centers funded by the NIA to support investigators in their research projects.

Contact: Will Sansom