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Home About Us Press Room Archived Press Releases 2013 Press Releases Bartke Earns GSA’s 2013 Robert W. Kleemeier Award

For Immediate Release
July 31, 2013

Contact: Todd Kluss
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(202) 587-2839

Bartke Earns GSA’s 2013 Robert W. Kleemeier Award

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Andrzej Bartke, PhD, of Southern Illinois University as the 2013 recipient of the Robert W. Kleemeier Award.

This distinguished honor is given annually to a GSA member in recognition for outstanding research in the field of gerontology. It was established in 1965 in memory of Robert W. Kleemeier, PhD, a former president of the Society whose contributions to the quality of life through research in aging were exemplary.

The award presentation will take place at GSA’s 66th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 20 to 24 in New Orleans. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process. Visit www.geron.org/annualmeeting for further details.

Bartke is a research professor and the director of geriatric research in the Department of Internal Medicine at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, where he heads a research laboratory focused on aging and longevity.

He is responsible for one of the most important discoveries in biogerontology — the demonstration in 1996 that a mutation in mice can lead to increased lifespan. Although previous studies showed that the lifespan of nematodes and other invertebrates could be increased by a mutation in a specific gene, Bartke showed for the first time that a mutation in a specific gene could lead to an increased lifespan of a mammal. Not only was this the first demonstration that a specific gene could control aging in higher organisms, but it led to the discovery of an important pathway in aging (the growth hormone/IGF/insulin axis), with much of this research being conducted by Bartke’s laboratory.

As insights into the genetic control of longevity emerged from invertebrate animal models, Bartke’s pioneering work in mice provided unique and lasting insights into how hormones and calorie restriction regulate aging in mammals.

Bartke is a GSA fellow, which represents the Society’s highest class of membership, and is a former president of the American Aging Association. Bartke has nearly 700 publications to his name and has had continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1972 for his research in endocrinology. He earned a magister degree in biology from the Jagiellonian University, in Krakow, Poland, in 1962, and a doctorate in zoology from the University of Kansas in 1965.

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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,400+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

Click here for a printable PDF version of this press release.

Mildred M. Seltzer Distinguished Service Recognition

Presented to C. Joanne Grabinski, PhD, Eastern Michigan University, and Mary Alice Wolf, PhD, Saint Joseph University.

This award honors colleagues who are near retirement or recently retired. Recipients are individuals who have been actively involved in AGHE through service on committees, as elected officers, and/or have provided leadership in one of AGHE’s grant-funded projects.

Administrative Leadership Award

Presented to Tammy M. Bray, PhD, Oregon State University

This award honors administrators on AGHE member campuses who have made exceptional efforts in support of gerontology or geriatrics education.

David A. Peterson Gerontology & Geriatrics Education Best Paper of the Volume Award

Presented to Nina M. Silverstein, PhD, University of Massachusetts Boston; Elizabeth Johns, MS, University of Massachusetts Boston; and Judith A. Griffin, MA, MS, University of Massachusetts Boston, for the article “Students Explore Livable Communities.” Honorable mention is given to Emily J. Robbins, MS, Miami University; Jennifer M. Kinney, PhD, Miami University; and Cary S. Kart, PhD, Miami University, for the article “Promoting Active Engagement in Health Research: Lessons Learned from an Undergraduate Gerontology Capstone Course.”

The purpose of this award is to recognize excellence in scholarship in academic gerontology in AGHE’s official journal, Gerontology & Geriatrics Education.

Graduate Student Paper Award

Presented to Deborah Gray, MBA, University of Massachusetts Boston, for the paper “Weight and Wealth: The Relationship between Obesity and Net Worth for Pre-Retirement Age Men and Women.”

This award acknowledges excellence in scholarly work conducted by an AGHE Annual Meeting student attendee.

Book Award for Best Children’s Literature on Aging

Presented to Caitlin Dale Nicholson and Leona Morinn-Nelson for “Niwechihaw/I help” in the primary reader (pre-K to 2nd grade) category, and Ann Grifalconi and Jerry Pickney for “Ain’t Nobody A Stranger to Me” in the elementary reader (3rd to 5th grade) category.

This award recognizes portrayals of meaningful aging in children’s literature.