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Csiszar to Receive GSA’s 2012 Nathan Shock New Investigator Award

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For Immediate Release
August 14, 2012

Contact: Todd Kluss
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(202) 587-2839

Csiszar to Receive GSA’s 2012 Nathan Shock New Investigator Award

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Anna Csiszar, MD, PhD, of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center as the 2012 recipient of the Nathan Shock New Investigator Award.

The distinguished honor is given for outstanding contributions to new knowledge about aging through basic biological research. It was established in 1986 to honor Nathan Shock, PhD, a founding member of GSA and pioneer in gerontological research at the National Institutes of Health.

The award presentation will take place at GSA’s 65th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 14 to 18 in San Diego. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process. Visit www.geron.org/annualmeeting for further details.

Csiszar is an associate professor at the Reynolds Oklahoma Center on Aging within the Department of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, where she is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Physiology. She is an internationally recognized expert in the field of cardiovascular aging, cellular oxidative stress resistance, and age-related inflammation.

She also is a leading authority on the age-related impairment of the cerebral microvasculature underlying the development of vascular cognitive impairment in older adults. Pathophysiological alteration of the cerebral microcirculation is a major contributor to aging-related deficits in brain function. It causes clinically similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s disease, in terms of memory loss, but it’s far less well-studied. Her hypothesis is that age-related chronic inflammation of microvessels in the brain’s hippocampus — the area responsible for learning and memory — leads to the loss of these vessels. The subsequent decline in blood flow to the hippocampus may then lead to cognitive impairment.

Her current research focuses on the pathways that are involved in microvascular redox homeostasis, including Nrf2, a key redox sensitive transcription factor that regulates the antioxidant response. Through collaborations at her institution and with Rafael de Cabo, PhD, at the National Institute on Aging, she has been able to investigate how the Nrf2-regulated endogenous stress resistance pathways can be modulated by pharmacological, molecular and dietary interventions, which likely can be adapted to prevent or delay the development of vascular cognitive impairment in a translational setting.

She is a previous recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the Cardiovascular Section of the American Physiological Society and,  in 2010, she was elected to become a Beeson Scholar by the American Federation for Aging Research and the National Institute on Aging. Csiszar has received grant support from numerous governmental and private agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and the American Federation for Aging Research.

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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,400+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational branch, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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