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Exploring Human-Animal Intersections: Converging Lines of Evidence in Comparative Models of Aging
February 13, 2007, Volume 53, No. 22

Thursday, March 8 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,  the Institute on Aging, Penn School of Medicine and the Penn School of Veterinary Medicine will present a full-day symposium to discuss areas where current aging research using animal models at the School of Medicine and the School of Veterinary Medicine intersects, where future research may continue through joint investigative efforts, and what the implications are for the study of aging and aging-related diseases for humans and animals as a result. The symposium will be held at the Billhardt Auditorium, in the Hill Pavilion, 380 South University Avenue.

 Birds do it; bees do it. Drosophila, elephants, monkeys, dogs and cats do it. Despite some industries’ best efforts, even humans do it. We all age. The impact of aging and aging-related diseases is felt by humans and animals, from the degenerative pain of osteoarthritis to the issues accompanying obesity, cardiovascular health, and increased longevity. Since all species experience the aging process, what can we learn from each other? What can researchers learn that can be applied to uncover the mechanisms of the aging process in other species and subsequently develop possible treatments for aging-related diseases? 

 To support an inter-school dialogue, individual faculty from the School of Medicine and the School of Veterinary Medicine will present their animal models research in certain key areas, with a corresponding colleague offering introductions and moderating topic discussion. A $5,000 seed grant is available for those who register and attend the symposium and prepare a winning proposal for a collaborative project in animal models. Additionally, a $50,000 IOA Pilot Research Grant will be available to a joint project (School of Medicine-School of Veterinary Medicine) in animal models.  For more on the IOA Pilot Research Grants, visit www.med.upenn.edu/aging.

 The keynote speaker is Dr. Steven Austad, professor in the department of cellular and structural biology at the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. His biography is available at www.barshop.uthscsa.edu/AustadS.html; an interview with him on his work in comparative biology can be found at www.uthscsa.edu/mission/article.asp?id=298.  

Almanac - February 13, 2007, Volume 53, No. 22