UT Health Science Center Regional Campus hosts April 6 conference on healthy aging

LAREDO (April 6, 2012) — A UT Health Science Center San Antonio professor and book author who is seeking the secrets of aging in ocean clams, hydra and other species known for their longevity, will be the keynote speaker at the “Aches and Pains of Aging” conference April 6.

The free community event will be held on the Regional Campus of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 1937 E. Bustamante St. in Laredo. The conference is part of the Regional Campus’ annual Stay Healthier Longer Series and is co-sponsored by the School of Health Professions.

“We are inviting the entire community, from doctors and nurses who want to learn about the latest in aging research, to caregivers who work with the elderly, to people from the community who care for older family members or anyone who wants to stay healthier for longer,” said Gladys Keene, M.D., M.P.H., regional dean of the Regional Campus. “There will be something for everyone.”

The day will begin at 8 a.m. with demonstrations on healthy cooking, fun ways to stay active and how to begin a home garden. Information also will be available on how to keep teeth healthier longer in order to maintain natural teeth, and on preventing or minimizing common breathing ailments such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

At 10: 30 a.m., four UT Health Science Center faculty members who specialize in different aspects of aging will give presentations.

The keynote speaker is Steven N. Austad, Ph.D., who researches longevity in a variety of animal models. He will give a presentation at noon on “Lessons About Healthy Aging from Nature.” Dr. Austad is a leading national figure in the field of comparative biology, which seeks to understand what makes some species live longer than others. He is a professor of cellular and structural biology and the interim director of the UT Health Science Center’s nationally known Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies.

Dr. Austad has written several books about the science of aging for the lay public, including “Why We Age: What Science Is Discovering about the Body’s Journey Through Life.” His book has been published in eight languages. Dr. Austad conducts research involving diverse models of aging including bats, marmosets, ocean clams, mice and hydra, which are freshwater animals a few millimeters long that have the ability to regenerate.

Other presentation topics include minimizing the risks of falls in older adults, the frailty-diabetes connection and physiological considerations in aging.

The conference is supported in part by a generous gift from The South Texas Outreach Foundation.


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 federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled $231 million in fiscal year 2011. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $736 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 www.uthscsa.edu.

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