Public Release:  Bartke earns GSA's 2013 Robert W. Kleemeier Award

The Gerontological Society of America

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Andrzej Bartke, PhD, of Southern Illinois University as the 2013 recipient of the Robert W. Kleemeier Award.

This distinguished honor is given annually to a GSA member in recognition for outstanding research in the field of gerontology. It was established in 1965 in memory of Robert W. Kleemeier, PhD, a former president of the Society whose contributions to the quality of life through research in aging were exemplary.

The award presentation will take place at GSA's 66th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 20 to 24 in New Orleans. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process. Visit http://www.geron.org/annualmeeting for further details.

Bartke is a research professor and the director of geriatric research in the Department of Internal Medicine at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, where he heads a research laboratory focused on aging and longevity.

He is responsible for one of the most important discoveries in biogerontology -- the demonstration in 1996 that a mutation in mice can lead to increased lifespan. Although previous studies showed that the lifespan of nematodes and other invertebrates could be increased by a mutation in a specific gene, Bartke showed for the first time that a mutation in a specific gene could lead to an increased lifespan of a mammal. Not only was this the first demonstration that a specific gene could control aging in higher organisms, but it led to the discovery of an important pathway in aging (the growth hormone/IGF/insulin axis), with much of this research being conducted by Bartke's laboratory.

As insights into the genetic control of longevity emerged from invertebrate animal models, Bartke's pioneering work in mice provided unique and lasting insights into how hormones and calorie restriction regulate aging in mammals.

Bartke is a GSA fellow, which represents the Society's highest class of membership, and is a former president of the American Aging Association. Bartke has nearly 700 publications to his name and has had continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1972 for his research in endocrinology. He earned a magister degree in biology from the Jagiellonian University, in Krakow, Poland, in 1962, and a doctorate in zoology from the University of Kansas in 1965.

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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 5,400+ 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, and an educational branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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