Nelson Takes Office as The Gerontological Society of America’s President

For Immediate Release
January 19, 2023

Contact: Todd Kluss
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James F. Nelson, PhD, FGSA, of UT Health San Antonio has been installed as the new president of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging. He was elected by GSA’s membership, which consists of 5,500 researchers, educators, practitioners, and other professionals.

Nelson is the 79th person to hold the office since the Society was founded in 1945. As president, he will oversee matters of GSA’s governance and strategic planning, while also managing the program for GSA’s 2023 Annual Scientific Meeting. He has chosen “Building Bridges. Catalyzing Discovery. Empowering All Ages” as the theme for this conference, which will take place in Tampa, Florida, from November 8 to 12.

“Because its membership is multidisciplinary — ranging from biologists, healthcare professionals, psychologists and sociologists to educators, practitioners and policy makers — GSA is uniquely positioned to make all lives better and more meaningful as we age,” Nelson said. “It thus is an honor as president to help lead this Society to even greater heights in 2023 — by stimulating an annual meeting filled with exciting new discoveries and opportunities for networking and collaboration, and promoting its many programs of outreach and education throughout the year.”
Nelson is a professor of Cellular and Integrative Physiology at the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at UT Health San Antonio, and the director of the Biology of Aging Discipline in the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.

He has been funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) since 1993, the Medical Research Council of Canada, and the Ellison Medical Research Foundation as a senior scholar. A mentor to many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, he has directed an NIA Training Grant in the Biology of Aging.

His research publications, numbering over 110, range from studies of menopause and reproductive aging to experiments elucidating biological mechanisms underlying dietary and pharmacologic interventions that prolong healthy life. Recent work seeks to understand the basis for the understudied but profound sex differences in aging and resilience.

He has organized numerous aging conferences, including the Gordon Research Conference on the Biology of Aging, Oxford University, 2009, and the 44th Annual Meeting of the American Aging Association in 2016 when he served as president. A fellow of GSA since 1992, he chaired the Society’s Biological Sciences Section, and has served on numerous GSA committees as well as scientific advisory boards and review panels at NIA and elsewhere.

“The Society is fortunate to have such a distinguished biological scientist stepping into the GSA presidency,” said GSA CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH. “His deep curiosity regarding all facets of aging, and appreciation for the dozens of disciplines comprising the GSA membership, position him perfectly for his new role.”


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 5,500+ 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.

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