SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 21, 2010) — Arlan G. Richardson, Ph.D., director of the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, will receive the 2010 Presidential Distinguished Scholar Award this evening (Jan. 21) from Health Science Center President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP.
Dr. Richardson is a professor of cellular and structural biology and occupies the Methodist Hospital Foundation Chair in Aging Studies and Research. He is a senior career research scientist with the South Texas Veterans Health Care System.
“It was the leadership of Dr. Richardson that catapulted aging research at this university to the stellar international stature it has achieved,” wrote his award nominator, David Weiss, Ph.D., chairman of physiology at the Health Science Center. “One could argue that the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies and its research community is one of, if not the, strongest aging institutes in the world.”
Dr. Richardson’s interest in understanding the biological processes of aging began in the 1970s and he has long been an eminent leader in the field of biogerontology. He has published more than 230 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, serves on the editorial boards of numerous scientific publishers and has won every major award in the field, including the Nathan Shock Award from the Gerontological Research Center of the U.S. National Institute on Aging.
In the summer of 2009, the Barshop Institute and two other U.S. centers published findings of a study of a compound, rapamycin, in mice. All three centers found that rapamycin extended the life span of the mice, despite the fact the animals were past middle age when the dietary intervention began. The study was sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. This finding was honored by Science magazine as one of the top scientific discoveries of 2009.
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 $668 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $16.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $36 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 25,600 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and other 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, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit www.uthscsa.edu.