News Release 

AFAR celebrates Women in Science and Tech

Honoring Aging2.0's Katy Fike and WOMANIUM's Prachi J. Vakharia

American Federation for Aging Research

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IMAGE: AFAR to present Icon of Aging Award to Katy Fike, Ph.D., Co-Founder of Aging2.0 and Manager of Generator Ventures. view more 

Credit: Photo courtesy of Generator Ventures

(Millbrae, CA) The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) will celebrate women in science and tech on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at an intimate awards dinner at Green Hills Country Club, 500 Ludeman Lane, Millbrae, CA, from 6:30-9:00 p.m.

AFAR will honor Katy Fike, PhD, Co-Founder, AGING2.0 and Managing Director, Generator Ventures, and Prachi J. Vakharia, Founder, WOMANIUM. Each will receive AFAR's Icon of Aging award.

AGING2.0 strives to accelerate innovation to address the biggest challenges and opportunities in aging. Aging2.0's international, interdisciplinary and intergenerational community has grown to 40k+ innovators across 20+ countries. Generator Ventures is an investment platform focused exclusively at the intersection of aging, senior care & technology.

The WOMANIUM Foundation increases women in STEM+Entrepreneurship fields by providing girls with educational, experiential and professional opportunities directly in STEM+E. In 2017, WOMANIUM awarded 177 Scholarships to students in 42 countries. Additionally, Ms. Vakharia funded and founded WARPA (Women's Advanced Research Projects Agency) in 2018 to develop and commercialize advanced innovations by Masters, PhD, and Postdoctoral students and researchers. WARPA projects span a range of age-related research and solutions, including computational neuroscience, neural development, neurodegeneration, Augmented AI for the elderly, accessible industrial design & engineering, assistive technologies, satellites and more.

"Of the more than 4,100 investigators that AFAR has supported since 1981, more than one half are women," notes Stephanie Lederman, Executive Director. "AFAR is committed to supporting and celebrating the brightest talent, like Katy Fike and Prachi Vakharia, who are advancing innovations in research, services, and collaborations that will help us all stay healthier for longer."

AFAR's Icon of Aging award recognizes individuals across the private and community sectors whose personal and professional contributions encourage growing older with vitality.

"Like AFAR, WOMANIUM strives to support and encourage young talent in science and research," says Vakharia. "It is invigorating to be honored before an audience of leading scientists and philanthropists committed to the future of healthy aging."

The event coincides with two major scientific gatherings in the Bay Area: the International Perspectives on Geroscience Meeting organized by the Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, a program of the National Institute of Aging NIH, and the annual meeting of the American Aging Association.

"I am honored to be recognized by AFAR," says Fike. "The researchers that AFAR has supported inspired my own doctoral work in gerontology, which led me to start Aging2.0 and Generator Ventures in order to catalyze innovation to better serve older Americans."

About the Awardees

Katy Fike, PhD is a Managing Director of Generator Ventures. Katy is a gerontologist, former investment banker and co-founder of Aging2.0, the premiere global innovation network focused on aging and senior care. Recently named one of Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business, Katy speaks frequently on topics related to innovation and aging in media outlets such as NPR, Bloomberg TV, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Time, PBS NewsHour, TechCrunch, and the Huffington Post. She holds an undergraduate degree in systems engineering from the University of Virginia and a doctorate in gerontology from the USC Davis School of Gerontology.

Prachi J. Vakharia lives and works in Washington DC, where she works on Autonomous Vehicles, V2X technologies, digital and shared mobility projects in DC, NY, and LA. Previously, she worked with the WRI, World Bank and also mentors and invests in organizations and startup companies -- 3 of those startups were acquired by Daimler AG (German auto maker of Mercedes Benz) for $100 million in a single deal on a single day. (One of the companies went from powerpoint presentation to product design, launch, expansion, and acquisition in just 9 months.) Prachi also chairs 3 committees for the US National Academies of Sciences Transport Research Board, and was approached by SAE last year to serve as the first Global Chairperson for the development of new worldwide Digital & Shared Mobility Standards with SAE to create new global standards, definitions, and business models for industry, governments, regulators, and academia. Part one was completed in a record time of 10 months! Within these, Prachi advocates for accessibility features and needs for the elderly and disabled to be included in the standards. Having grown up and educated between Asia, Europe, and Americas, Prachi also brings global perspectives, mindset, values, and understanding. Prachi holds a combined degree in Mathematics and Economics from Denison University (USA) and London School of Economics (England, UK).

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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 nearly four decades, AFAR has served as the field's talent incubator, providing more than $178 million to more than 4,100 investigators at premier research institutions nationwide. 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. This groundbreaking science is paving the way for innovative new therapies that promise to improve and extend our quality of life--at any age.

Learn more at http://www.afar.org or follow AFARorg on Twitter and Facebook.

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