News Release

Rafael De Cabo, Ph.D.(NIH), Xu, Ph.D. (UConn), and Claire K. Ankuda, MD, MPH, MSC (Mount Sinai Health System) to present lectures at AFAR Scientific Awards Ceremony

November 10 at GSA Annual Scientific Meeting, Tampa

Grant and Award Announcement

American Federation for Aging Research

November 3, 2023 -- The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), a national non-profit whose mission is to support and advance healthy aging through biomedical research, will host its annual Scientific Awards of Distinction lectures and ceremony on Friday, November 10 from 6:30pm-9:00pm ET in conjunction with the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) held in Tampa, Florida. In addition to an awards presentation and reception, the honorees will present lectures highlighting their research.

Rafael de Cabo, PhD, will receive the 2023 Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction. This award is named in honor of AFAR’s founder and recognizes exceptional contributions to basic or clinical research in the field of aging. Established in 1982, the award is a framed citation and carries a cash prize of $5,000. Dr. de Cabo is a Senior Investigator of the Experimental Gerontology Section and Chief of the Translational Gerontology Branch at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He will present the lecture, "Caloric Restriction and Aging: From Calories to Fasting." 

Ming Xu, PhD, will receive the 2023 Vincent Cristofalo Rising Star Award in Aging Research.This award is named in honor of the late Dr. Cristofalo, who dedicated his career to aging research and to encouraging young scientists to investigate important problems in the biology of aging. Established in 2008, the award is a framed citation and carries a cash prize of $5,000. Dr. Xu is an Assistant Professor, UConn Center on Aging and the Department of Genetics & Genome Sciences at UConn Health. He will present the lecture, "Targeting p21-highly-expressing cells to slow down aging and extend lifespan with good health."

Claire K. Ankuda, MD, MPH, MSc will receive the 2023 Terrie Fox Wetle Rising Star Award in Health Services and Aging Research, named in honor of Dr. Wetle, who has devoted her professional career to improving the lives of older persons. The award is given to a health services researcher who has made important contributions that will be highly influential in shaping practice and research for decades to come. Established in 2020, the award is a framed citation and carries a cash prize of $5,000. Dr. Ankuda is a hospice and palliative medicine physician and Associate Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. She will present the lecture, "How Medicare Advantage is shaping the care of older adults with serious illness." 

"AFAR's Wright, Cristofalo, and Wetle awards are named in honor of farsighted scientists, and the recipients are chosen for their leadership and accomplishments," notes Stephanie Lederman, AFAR Executive Director. "This year's awardees join an impressive roster of scientists and practitioners who are advancing and applying research to improve health for older adults."

Nominations for the Wright, Cristofalo, and Wetle awards are by invitation and are judged by independent panels of leading aging researchers.  




About AFAR - The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) is a national non-profit organization that supports and advances pioneering biomedical research that is revolutionizing how we live healthier and longer. For more than four decades, AFAR has served as the field’s talent incubator, providing nearly $199 million to some 4,400 investigators at premier research institutions to date—and growing. In 2023, AFAR expects to provide approximately $12,500,000 to more than 60 investigators. A trusted leader and strategist, AFAR also works with public and private funders to steer high quality grant programs and interdisciplinary research networks. AFAR-funded researchers are finding that modifying basic cellular processes can delay—or even prevent—many chronic diseases, often at the same time. They are discovering that it is never too late—or too early—to improve health. The  science funded by AFAR is paving the way for innovative new therapies that promise to improve and extend our quality of life—at any age. Learn more at

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