Six New Members Named to the National Advisory Council on Aging


HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala today announced the appointment of six new members to the National Institute on Aging's National Advisory Council on Aging, which advises on the conduct and support of biomedical, social and behavioral research, training, health information dissemination and other programs involving aging and the diseases and needs of the aged.

The new members are:

-- Helen M. Blau, professor, Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Blau uses muscle tissue as a model to study how cells become and remain differentiated during development and how differentiation goes awry in cancer. Her ongoing areas of research include: molecular mechanisms that promote muscle cell growth arrest, differentiation, and tumor suppression; gene therapy; and molecular mechanisms underlying mouse models of human neuromuscular genetic diseases. Dr. Blau has a B.A. degree from the University of York in York, England, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. She has taught at the Stanford University School of Medicine since 1978. Her awards include the NIH Research Career Development Award and an NIH Merit Award. Dr. Blau is a member of the NIH committee created by Dr. Harold Varmus to oversee the Recombinant DNA Advisory Council (RAC) gene therapy trials.

-- Jeffrey A. Bluestone, Ph.D., director and professor of the Ben May Institute for Cancer Research and chairman of the Committee on Immunology at the University of Chicago. Dr. Bluestone s current research focuses on the regulation of immune T-cell activation in transplantation and autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Dr. Bluestone is a graduate of Rutgers University and the Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Sloan-Kettering Division. In 1979, he joined the staff of the National Cancer Institute s Immunology Branch as a staff fellow, and over a span of nine years advanced to senior staff fellow, laboratory leader, and senior investigator. He has been at the University of Chicago since 1987. Dr. Bluestone is a recipient of the American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, past president of the Chicago Association of Immunology, and a member of the International Scientific Council of the Transplantation Society Basic Science Symposium.

-- Hugh Downs, co-anchor of the ABC TV weekly news program '20/20.' A veteran of more than 50 years in radio and television, Mr. Downs primary reporting interests are science, medicine, aging, family, and fine arts. He has received numerous awards including the International Radio and Television Society s Broadcaster of the Year Award and the American Psychiatric Association s Robert L. Robinson Award. Mr. Downs has written seven books including an autobiography and a manual on planning for later years entitled 'Fifty to Forever.' He attended Wayne State and Columbia Universities and holds a post-Masters degree in gerontology from Hunter College. Mr. Downs chairs the Research and Education Committee of the Geriatrics Advisory Council of the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and is Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Space Society, Chairman of the Board of the United States Committee for UNICEF, Trustee of the Menninger Foundation, and past member of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Advisory Council.

-- William R. Hazzard, M.D., professor and chairman, Department of Internal Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University. Dr. Hazzard s primary interests are geriatrics and preventive gerontology. His specific focus is gender differences in cardiovascular diseases and longevity, how these differences affect the social circumstances of the elderly, and how to narrow these differences. He also is interested in the education of physicians in the field of geriatrics. Dr. Hazzard earned a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College. He has taught at both the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has received numerous awards and honors including the Geriatric Medicine Academic Award from the National Institute on Aging, the Association of American Physicians Award, and the Institute of Medicine Award.

-- James S. Jackson, Ph.D., Daniel Katz Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and director and research scientist, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan; faculty associate, Institute of Gerontology, University of Michigan; and professor of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health. Dr. Jackson s current area of research is a life-course perspective on adult development and aging. Dr. Jackson has a B.S. from Michigan State University, a M.A. from the University of Toledo, and a Ph.D. from Wayne State University. He has taught at the University of Michigan since 1971. His awards and honors include the Hill Distinguished Visiting Professor, All-University Center on Aging, University of Minnesota; the Robert W. Kleemeier Award for Research from the Gerontological Society of America; the Fogarty Senior International Fellowship from the National Institutes of Health; and Distinguished Lecturer in Gerontology, University of California at Los Angeles.

-- David A. Wise, Ph.D., John F. Stambaugh Professor of Political Economy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Concurrently, Dr. Wise is director of the Health and Retirement Programs, National Bureau of Economic Research. His particular area of concentration is the economics of aging, including savings for retirement and the analysis of the labor force participation of older workers, housing equality of the elderly, and employer-provided health insurance. Dr. Wise earned a B.A. from the University of Washington, an M.A. in statistics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in economics from Berkeley. He joined the faculty of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 1973 where he has taught for the past 23 years. His awards include a MERIT Award from the National Institute on Aging, the Frisch Medal, and the Buchanan Prize.

Two-thirds of the 18-member council are from the health and scientific disciplines, particularly the biological and medical sciences, and one-third from the general public, including public policy, law, health policy, economics and management. Council members are appointed for overlapping terms of four years.

The NIA, a component of the National Institutes of Health within the Public Health Service in HHS, is the lead federal agency supporting and conducting biomedical, social, and behavioral research and training related to aging and the special needs of older people.