The Rutgers Endocrine Program held its 5th Annual Pioneers in Endocrinology Workshop titled “Living Longer – The Neurobiology of Aging” on September 24 at the Busch Campus Center. Dipak Sarkar, professor in the Department of Animal Sciences in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences and the director of the Endocrine Research Program at Rutgers welcomed over 150 participants and introduced Executive Dean Bob Goodman who gave the opening remarks. Goodman praised the growth and quality of endocrine research at Rutgers and the UMDNJ, and the leadership of Dipak Sarkar in promoting the collaborations between the two institutions.
Sarkar introduced the first speaker of the day-long program, Caleb ‘Tuck’ Finch, professor at the University of Southern California’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. Finch’s lecture was titled “The plasticity of aging from cells to neuroendocrine systems. How humans developed longer lifespans in conjunction with taller stature & earlier puberty.” A question-and-answer session following this talk was led by Carol Bagnell (chair, Animal Sciences).
Louis Amorosa (chair, Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition, UMDNJ-RWJMS) introduced the second speaker, Nir Barzilai, Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research and Director of the Institute for Aging Research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Barzilai’s topic was “The role of endocrine genotype in exceptional longevity.” Sue Shapses (Nutritional Sciences; director, New Jersey Obesity Group) led the question-and-answer session that followed Barzilai’s presentation.
The afternoon poster presentations featured state-of-the-art endocrine research at Rutgers and UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in the following areas: Addiction; Aging Research; Cancer Diseases; Diabetes and Metabolic Disease; Environmental Toxicants; Genes and Environmental Impact; Neuroscience; Nutrition and Metabolic Health; Stress Control; and Steroids and Reproduction. Some 48 posters were presented.
Late-afternoon breakout sessions were hosted by Bagnell, Amorosa, Sarkar, and Tina Franklin (graduate student, Cell and Developmental Biology) at various RWJMS and George H. Cook Campus locations, during which the two invited speakers met with faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students.
The 5th Annual Pioneers in Endocrinology Workshop was sponsored by the following partners: the Rutgers Endocrine Program; Rutgers Cooperative Extension; Department of Animal Sciences; UMDNJ-RWJMS Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Nutrition; the New Jersey Obesity Group; and EMD Millipore.