The University of Scranton Hosts Second Annual Conference on Aging

Mar 29, 2012

The University of Scranton will host the second annual Conference on Aging Thursday, April 12, which will highlight issues, best practices, challenges and opportunities related to the nation’s ever increasing aged population. The day-long conference will be held at Brennan Hall beginning at 8 a.m. and will include presentations from leading scientists, surgeons, physicians, educators, government officials and community leaders. Renowned molecular biologist Bruce Ames, Ph.D., professor in the Graduate School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of California at Berkeley, will deliver the noon keynote address.

Organized by faculty members of The University of Scranton and The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC), the conference will include sessions with expert panelists representing numerous area institutions and a variety of perspectives, who will discuss findings related to research, clinical practice, education and the challenges faced in providing community healthcare to the elderly. Panelists will also discuss resources, funding and information available to those who are researching, training for and/or delivering healthcare to the elderly.

According to Herb Hauser, Ph.D., conference chair and faculty member of the Psychology Department at The University of Scranton, the primary goal of the conference is to discuss “the issues that face not only the elderly – but also the many professionals who provide them with support and social services.”

Dr. Hauser said an additional objective is to facilitate future interdisciplinary and intra- and inter-institutional collaboration and research efforts, as well as to provide northeast Pennsylvania with “a source of information related to a variety of aging-related issues.”

The Conference will begin with opening remarks by University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., and TCMC Interim President and Dean Lois Margaret Nora, M.D., J.D., followed by panel discussions on research, community health, education and clinical practice. Discussions will be led by Hani Atamna, Ph.D., TCMC assistant professor of neuroscience; Janet Townsend, M.D., TCMC founding chair of the Department of Family, Community, and Rural Health; Raymond Smego, M.D., TCMC associate dean for educational development and professor of medicine; and Samuel Lesko, M.D., director of research and medical director at the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute and TCMC adjunct faculty member.

Brian M. Duke, secretary of aging for Pennsylvania and University of Scranton graduate, will speak at an 11:30 a.m. luncheon, followed by Dr. Ames’ keynote address. Pennsylvania State Senator John Blake, who represents Pennsylvania’s 22nd District and is an adjunct faculty member at the University’s Kania School of Management, will introduce Secretary Duke.

Dr. Hauser organized the conference with Tabbi Miller-Scandle, Ph.D., director of research and sponsored programs at the University, with support from Brian Conniff, Ph.D., dean of the University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Conniff will provide closing remarks at the conference, which will be followed immediately by a wine and cheese reception.

About the Keynote Speaker: Bruce Ames, Ph.D., professor in the Graduate School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of California at Berkeley, is a world-renowned pioneer in biochemistry and nutritional science. His research focuses on identifying significant mutagens that damage DNA, the defenses that protect us from them, and the consequences of DNA damage from cancer and aging. He is best known for the development of the “Ames test,” which is commonly used, rapid and inexpensive bacterial assay to detect chemical mutation. His nearly 50 prestigious awards and honors for his research contributions include the National Medal of Science and the American Society for Microbiology Lifetime Achievement Award.

Although the conference is free of charge, registration is required to attend. To register or for additional information about the Conference on Aging, contact Jamie Hayes at 941-6353 or

Support for the Conference was provided by BlueCross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

For additional information about the conference, visit:

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