Barshop Institute director to receive aging society’s top award

SAN ANTONIO (May 14, 2008)— Arlan G. Richardson, Ph.D., who directs the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, is the 2008 recipient of the prestigious Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR).

Eleven preeminent American scientists competed for this year’s Wright Award, AFAR’s highest, which includes $2,500 cash and an invitation to deliver the Wright Award Lecture at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America. This year’s lecture is Nov. 22 in National Harbor, Md.

Dr. Richardson is a professor in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology and occupies the Methodist Hospital Foundation Chair in Aging Studies and Research at the UT Health Science Center, where he has directed the aging research program for more than 12 years and is the founder of the Barshop Institute established in 2001. He is also a senior research career scientist in the South Texas Veterans Health Care System.

Dr. Richardson’s research targets the role of oxidative stress in aging and age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Using novel genetically modified mouse models, he is directly testing whether reduced oxidative stress makes mice younger and live longer.

He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications and won numerous awards in the field of biological gerontology, including the Nathan W. Shock Award from the Gerontology Research Center of the National Institute on Aging, the Robert W. Kleemeier Award for outstanding research in the field of gerontology from the Gerontological Society of America, and the Harman Research Award from the American Aging Association.

“It is hard to imagine not recognizing Arlan Richardson for the Irving Wright Award,” said George M. Martin, M.D., AFAR scientific director and professor of pathology emeritus at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “Building upon the earlier tenure of his predecessor, Ed Masoro, Ph.D., a 1995 Irving Wright Award recipient, he has developed, at San Antonio, what many now regard as the leading center for biogerontological research in the country. He has been an exceedingly generous and collaborative colleague as well as a superb experimentalist.”

Dr. Martin made his comments in the official AFAR announcement of the award. Dr. Masoro is professor emeritus of physiology at the Health Science Center and preceded Dr. Richardson as director of the aging research institute.

Dr. Wright (1901-1997), a cardiologist and one-time American Heart Association president, was the first to treat blood clots with an anticoagulant agent. He led the founding of AFAR in 1981.

About the UT Health Science Center San Antonio:

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $576 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $15.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 23,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and allied health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, allied health, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit

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