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Aging Institute Research Day 2014: Building Collaborations for the Future


The 8th Annual Aging Institute Research Day took place on April 10th, 2014 at the University Club at the University of Pittsburgh. Guests enjoyed wine and hors d’oeuvres while networking with peers and were treated to a panel discussion on healthy brain aging.

This year’s Poster Session included over 50 presentations by clinicians and researchers from throughout the UPMC and University of Pittsburgh systems. Awards were given to exemplary submissions from students, post-doctoral candidates, junior faculty and clinicians. A list of poster abstracts in PDF format can be viewed here.


Candidates for Clinical or Research Doctorates or Master’s Level Students Category

First Place
Patricia Griffin, Department of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh
NK-like T cells and BDNF comprise a signature of successful aging: The Pittsburgh Pepper Immune Cohort

Honorable Mention
Didier Chalhoub, MD, MPH, Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh
Bone Mineral Density at multiple sites and risk of multiple types of fracture: The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) study

Post Doctorates Category

First Place
Juleen Rodakowski, OTD, OTR/L, School of Health and Rehabilitation Science, University of Pittsburgh
Predicting conversion to dementia for older adults at-risk for progressing

Honorable Mention
Sarah Stahl, PhD, University Center for Social and Urban Research, University of Pittsburgh
Physical Activity Patterns among Older Adults who Fall

Junior Faculty Category

First Place
Juliann Jaumotte, PhD, Department of Neurology, University of Pittsburgh
An age-related decline in ERK5 in the basal ganglia may help explain why age is a risk factor in Parkinson’s disease.

Honorable Mention
Dana Tudorascu, PHD, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
Potential mechanisms of resilience to brain aging

Clinical Practitioners Doing Quality or Practice Improvement Category

First Place
Tracy Polak, CRNP, MSN, UPMC Health Plan
Supportive Services

Honorable Mention
Deborah Crowley-Lisowski, MS, RN, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh
Predictors of Balance in Older Adults with Osteoarthritis of Knee and Hypertension

Honorable Mention
Chao Hsing Yeh, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh
Auricular Point Acupressure to Manage Chronic Low Back Pain in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

Read all of the abstracts submitted for 2014 Research Day >

Panel Discussion

The panel discussion, Healthy Brain Aging: Resiliency, Prevention, Interventions, and Lifestyle Strategies, followed individual presentations by:

  • Judy L. Cameron, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, Director of Science Outreach, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh. Healthy Brain Aging! What Research in Monkeys Tells Us
  • Kirk I. Erickson, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh. Aging, Exercise and Cognition: A brief overview.
  • Caterina Rosano, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh. Resilience to Aging.

“Professors Judy Cameron, Caterina Rosano, and Kirk Erickson offered a splendid panel on how physical activity promotes healthy brain aging and cognitive fitness into the later years of life,” says Charles F. Reynolds III, MD, Director of the Aging Institute.

For more information about Research Day, email the Aging Institute at

Photos from the Event

Click on each thumbnail to view a full size version of the photo.