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Two receive doctoral fellowships for work in biology of aging

Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 · Volume: XLV · Issue: 17

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Erin Munkacsy and Brian Stoveken are the first two doctoral students supported by the Glenn Foundation Doctoral Student Fellowship in the Biology of Aging. Based at the UT Health Science Center’s Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity & Aging Studies, it is the only Ph.D. program focused on the biology of aging in the nation.
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Erin Munkacsy and Brian Stoveken are the first two doctoral students supported by the Glenn Foundation Doctoral Student Fellowship in the Biology of Aging. Based at the UT Health Science Center’s Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity & Aging Studies, it is the only Ph.D. program focused on the biology of aging in the nation.clear graphic

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Contact: Catherine Duncan,
210-567-2570

SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 8, 2012) — The Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity & Aging Studies has selected the first two fellows to participate in a Ph.D. program focused on the biology of aging.

Erin Munkacsy from the University of Illinois and Brian Stoveken from the University of Wisconsin enter the program with support from the Glenn Foundation Doctoral Student Fellowship in the Biology of Aging.

Glenn Foundation gift supports scholars
The fellowships were established this year through a $200,000 gift from the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research. The foundation, named for its founder and chairman, Paul F. Glenn, was established in 1965 to extend the healthy, productive years of life through research on the biological mechanisms of aging.



The fellowships are available to students in a Ph.D. program created in 2009 to train the next generation of investigators in aging research.

“We are so grateful to the Glenn Foundation for their gift that allows us to attract the most talented students to our program,” said Steven Austad, Ph.D., interim director of the Barshop Institute and a professor of cellular and structural biology in the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center. “This fellowship provides students with the unmatched opportunity to hasten their development into accomplished, independent researchers.”

Delaying the process of aging
Arlan Richardson, Ph.D., professor and founding director of the Barshop Institute, agreed: “The Glenn fellowships enable us to recruit the brightest students into the field of aging, which is critical if we are to find ways to treat and delay age-related diseases and the aging process.”

At the University of Illinois, Munkacsy majored in biology and participated in research studies focused on memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and electrophysiology.

“The Glenn fellowship is an opportunity of a lifetime,” she said. “Aging research is the culmination of a multitude of my own personal and intellectual interests and innate abilities. This fellowship not only allows me to pursue that aim but to do so among the best group of aging scientists in the country.”

Stoveken earned his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. There, he focused on metabolic profiling and genetics, and he mentored high school students and interns in the laboratories.

“I am inspired by the body of work coming from the UT Health Science Center, a clear leader in the field of aging research. And I’m thankful for the Glenn fellowship that signals the growing value placed on this discipline,” Stoveken said. “As a student and future researcher, this is a remarkable chance to make meaningful improvements in the quality of individuals’ lives.”

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled $231 million in fiscal year 2011. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $736 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

 
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