Barshop Institute researcher chairs large aging meeting in S.A.

SAN ANTONIO (May 20, 2014) — A UT Health Science Center at San Antonio scientist is playing a lead role in one of the world’s preeminent aging research conferences, which will be held in San Antonio at the end of this month.

Rochelle Buffenstein, Ph.D., professor of physiology in the School of Medicine who conducts studies at the Health Science Center’s Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, is the president of the American Aging Association. She is organizing the association’s 43rd annual meeting, the premier forum for understanding the interrelationship between the biology of aging and geroscience. Geroscience is a multidisciplinary scientific approach that focuses on the interrelationship between aging and the many diseases in which aging is the main risk factor.

This year’s meeting will take place May 30 to June 2 at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel. The meeting will bring 250 to 300 research scientists and geriatricians to the Alamo City from the U.S., the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan and Korea. The attendees share a common interest in biomedical aging studies directed toward increasing the functional life span of humans, with one goal being to slow the aging process.

Dr. Buffenstein studies the biology of the naked mole-rat, an extraordinarily long-lived rodent that she has found shows negligible aging of both cardiovascular and brain function. Moreover, the naked mole-rat is resistant to cancer, doesn’t go through menopause and has several other interesting characteristics. A key focus of her research is to understand how the naked mole-rat can defy the aging process with a view to identifying novel therapeutic targets to delay aging and prolong good health.

Panel discussion open to public

“There are societal implications for aging research and extending healthy adulthood,” Dr. Buffenstein said. This topic will be addressed in a panel discussion by leading experts in in the aging field ranging from scientists to policy planners to lobbyists.

The session will focus on how scientific studies in aging biology can lead to an increase in healthy life span, what society needs to invest to improve health span and longevity, and the economic and public policy consequences of increasing longevity.

This thought-provoking panel discussion is open to the public at 6:30 p.m. May 30 in the Navarro Ballroom of the Westin Riverwalk Hotel (to find out more information and register to attend this interactive panel discussion, please go to Also visit


Both the UT Health Science Center and the Barshop Institute have generously provided sponsorship for the 43rd annual meeting.


The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $765 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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