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Barshop Institute Establishes New Comparative Biology Center

February 2005

by Will Sansom

The Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies is moving forward on many fronts, including development of the new Multi-institutional Center on the Comparative Biology of Aging, funded by a highly coveted leadership grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA). The Health Science Centerís partners in the center are The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR).

The Academic Career Award recognizes the impressive leadership of James R. Smith, Ph.D., professor of pathology at the Health Science Center and director of the comparative biology center. Co-investigators are Steven N. Austad, Ph.D., of the Health Science Center; David B. Jaffe, Ph.D., of UTSA; and Dee Carey, D.V.M., Ph.D., of SFBR. The center will draw upon the Health Science Centerís strengths in gerontological research, UTSAís expertise in biology and neuroscience, and SFBRís prominence in primate research.

The center is the first to be devoted to examining why some animals, such as the naked mole rat, can live 25 years or longer.

The Barshop Institute soon will have its own bench research facility at the Health Science Centerís Texas Research Park Campus. A building dedication is expected to be held this spring.

According to preliminary reports for Fiscal Year 2004, the Barshop Instituteís investigators held 36 grants from the National Institute on Aging, more grants than any other U.S. medical center. The Barshop Instituteís total grant funding of
$13.3 million from the NIA was second among U.S. medical centers.

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