Barshop Institute head receives British gerontology medal

SAN ANTONIO (July 17, 2008)—The British Society for Research on Aging today awarded a Texas scientist its highest honor, a medal that has been given to only seven other pioneers in gerontology since 1982, including only one born in America.

Arlan G. Richardson, Ph.D., director of the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, received the Lord Cohen Medal for Services to Gerontology during the society’s annual scientific meeting in Brighton, England.

Dr. Richardson is a professor in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology at the Health Science Center and occupies the Methodist Hospital Foundation Chair in Aging Studies and Research. He has directed the Health Science Center’s 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.

Dr. Richardson has enjoyed particular success developing the Barshop Institute, now regarded as one of America’s premier aging research institutes. He has recruited more than a dozen outstanding gerontological scientists, enhanced interactions with clinician-scientists, and led or assisted successful efforts to obtain millions of dollars in grants and awards for studies in the basic biology of aging.

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. He also has received 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.

This spring Dr. Richardson was selected to receive the Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction, the highest award of the American Federation for Aging Research.

The British Society for Research on Aging initiated the Cohen Medal in 1982 to honor Lord Henry Cohen of Birkenhead (1900-1977), a distinguished physician and teacher for 30 years at Liverpool University who was instrumental in the establishment of a medical genetics unit there.



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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