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Biology of Aging

Institute on Aging Annual Colloquium



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Thanks to everyone who attended our event on


in Madison, Wisconsin
at the Gordon Dining & Event Center on the UW-Madison campus.

Click to see the 2016 Registration Brochure.

Below are some of the resources from the event:



2016 Speakers:

Note: Videos of speaker presentations will be undergoing editing
and will be posted as soon as possible.


Challenging the Bard:
Well-Being and Health into Shakespeare’s 7th Age

Elliot Friedman, PhD
William & Sally Berner Hanley Associate Professor of Gerontology
Purdue University

The image of old age that emerges from Shakespeare’s writings consists mainly of infirmity, disease, and dementia. These images persist today, in spite of profound improvements in health and longevity since Shakespeare’s time. They are also inconsistent with many older adults’ more positive experiences of their own aging. Psychological well-being, including engagement with personal and communal priorities, has emerged as a key ingredient in healthy aging. This talk will focus on well-being in later life, its connections with health, and the possibility that it can be promoted to improve quality of life and health among older adults.

Click for a pdf of the presentation.


A Novel Systems Biology Approach to Sarcopenia:
New Molecular Insights Enabled by Cutting-edge Technologies

Ying Ge, PhD
Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Cell & Regenerative Biology, UW-Madison

Sarcopenia is the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function with aging. It is highly prevalent in the elderly and is associated with disability, falls, fractures, loss of independent living, as well as increased morbidity and mortality. Sarcopenia represents a major public health problem and threatens to place an increasingly heavy burden on public health care given the worldwide increase in life expectancy. Herein, we employ a novel systems biology approach that integrates ultra high-resolution mass spectrometry-based proteomics with functional studies to identify new molecular determinants of age-related muscle dysfunction and aid the development of therapeutic strategies to treat sarcopenia. 

Click for a pdf of the presentation.


Maintenance of Balance with Aging: Choose Your Steps Carefully

Darryl G. Thelen, PhD
Harvey D. Spangler Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering,
Orthopedics & Rehabilitation, UW-Madison

The maintenance of balance is fundamental to walking and independent mobility. We will review both simple and complex models of walking that have provided tremendous insights into how the sensorimotor system controls bipedal balance. We will also consider the effects that age-related physical, sensory, and cognitive changes can have on balance, and thereby contribute to reduced gait speed and fall risk. Finally, we will review some interventions that could mitigate declines in sensorimotor function, and thereby potentially enhance balance and walking ability.

Click for a pdf of the presentation.


Who Cares? The People Who Support Older Adult Health and What They Need

Barbara Bowers, PhD
Helen Denne Schulte Professor, Associate Dean for Research
School of Nursing, UW-Madison

Overwhelmingly, older adults want to “age in place,” remaining in their home and community, but health conditions and physical limitations can make that difficult. Some 40 million family members and friends regularly help older adults in their homes. Nurses, assistants and other staff provide care to older adults in various settings. These family and paid caregivers face serious challenges, including insufficient information, skills, and resources. How can we improve older adults’ quality of care and quality of life? The UW-Madison School of Nursing is pioneering approaches to better support both family and paid caregivers of older adults.

Click for a pdf of the presentation.




Awards are given to UW-Madison students or advanced trainees to recognize outstanding achievement in aging or life course studes. Winners receive a $300 award and their research is showcased in the event's Poster Session. This year's winner was:

Julie A. Kirsch

For her poster entitled:
Hardships of the Great Recession and Health: Understanding Varieties of Vulnerability



View a list of Posters presented. PDFs of some of the posters are included in the "Highlighted Posters" section on our home page.



View descriptions of Exhibitors (and their contact information), offering local resources for postive aging. These organizations are also listed on our Related Links page.




Join us at our 29th Annual Colloquium on Aging, being held on


at the Gordon Dining and Event Center on the UW-Madison Campus.

Space is limited and fills up within a week!

We expect to open registration on the first Monday in August (10/7/17)

Watch this website for the best chance to register early.
When registration opens, we post it here first.

If you're not on our mailing list click here to join and
receive the event brochure.



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Please help us continue offering this valuable event
for free in the future. 

A donation of any amount will help. 
To lend your support, please donate via the UW Foundation


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Colloquium Archives

Click here to view speaker presentations and program handouts from previous years.


1300 University Avenue
2245 MSC
Madison, WI 53706
PH: 608.262.1818
FAX: 608.263.6211