News and Events

March 2, 2016  This spring we're offering a series of seven events all devoted to the biology of aging. Full series details are here

The next event in the series is a brown bag seminar with postdoctoral fellow Michael Hart, PhD, from Oliver Hobert's laboratory.  Dr. Hart's talk entitled "A New Model for Studying Neuronal Aging in C. elegans" takes place on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, at 12 p.m.

Morningside Location: Northwest Corner Building Room 703NWC, 550 West 120th Street and Broadway, 7th Floor. 



February 20, 2016  Faculty member, Dr. Vegard Skirbekk, speaks at ROA Conference on Human Capital over the Life Cycle on February 20, 2016.  His talk is entitled “Faith and human capital at older ages around the world.”

February 11, 2016  [Update: A video of Dr. Joel Cohen's talk is now available]

Situating Old Age – Demographic and Societal Perspectives on Aging Populations
February 18, 2016 11:30 a.m. –1 p.m.
722 West 168th Street, Eighth Floor Auditorium

Joel E. Cohen, PhD, DrPH [BIO]
Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor, Director of the Laboratory of Populations
Rockefeller University

Ursula M. Staudinger, PhD [BIO]
Director of the Columbia Aging Center
Robert N Butler Professor of Sociomedical Sciences


Read more about the seminar series and future seminars at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health site. Contact Kim Milian to RSVP.

February 3, 2016  UPDATE: Slides from Dr. Zaidi's February 3rd presentation are downloadable here
“Challenges and Opportunities for a Global Index on Active Aging” Lessons from the EU’s Active Ageing Index
Speaker: Asghar Zaidi, PhD
Discussant: Ruth Finkelstein, ScD
With an introduction by John W. Rowe, MD


A Talk by Ann Burack-Weiss


Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 5 p.m. at Faculty Club, 630 W. 168th Street, New York, NY

In her new book, “The Lioness in Winter: Writing an Old Woman's Life,”  social worker Ann Burack-Weiss, PhD, LCSW, draws on the late-life writing of authors like Maya Angelou, Colette, Joan Didion, Doris Lessing and Adrienne Rich for inspirational and practical guidance as she navigates aging. The longtime social work practitioner, consultant and educator who has taught at the Columbia School of Social Work and is now an associate faculty member at Columbia's Program in Narrative Medicine will talk about her research and revelations while writing this book, which “speaks to pain, illness, reflection, and even suicide,” notes Miami University gerontology professor Kate de Medeiros.

Free & open to the public.  Information here:

February 1, 2016  

Age Boom Academy 2016

The Future of Work and Retirement: June 9-11, 2016

Fellowships for Journalists

 The deadline to apply was Friday, March 4, 2016; applications are now closed.

Journalists from around the United States are invited to apply for fellowships at the Age Boom Academy, an advanced training institute on the economics and science of aging, jointly sponsored by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center.  The 2016 Academy will present leading experts on aging, work and retirement and will include senior journalist facilitators. The Academy will be conducted from Thursday evening, June 9, through Saturday, June 11, at Columbia Journalism School in New York City.

January 31, 2016  For the past 12 months, a team of reporters and photographers has been following 20 New Yorkers as they navigate their 80s. 

Exceeding Expectations is a project of the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. It is led by Dorian Block, a journalist, and Ruth Finkelstein, an anthropologist and health policy expert. It is funded by the New York Community Trust.

Every week, Exceeding Expectations  will introduce the story of a new person to their readers. In 2015, they searched far and wide for 20 New Yorkers from all different circumstances and backgrounds who have both exceeded life expectancy and who are disrupting commonly-held expectations of what it means to grow old. You will meet a woman who cares for her 1-year-old great-granchild, a man who was in prison for 30+ years and is trying to make up for lost time and an optometrist who has retired four times but keeps returning to work. 

January 27, 2016 Columbia Aging Center postdoctoral researcher, Deirdre Robertson, PhD, was cited in Irish Times on the effects of age stereotypes. Dr. Robertson works with faculty member, David Weiss. PhD. 

“Lead researcher Dr. Deirdre Robertson said the way we think about, talk about and write about ageing may have direct effects on health. 'Everyone will grow older and if negative attitudes towards aging are carried throughout life they can have a detrimental, measurable effect on mental, physical and cognitive health,' she said.”


January 24, 2016  This spring we're offering a series of seven events all devoted to the biology of aging. Full series details are here.

The next event in the series is a joint seminar with the Department of Genetics & Development on Tuesday, February 2, 2016, at 4 p.m., when we'll present Titia de Lange, PhD, Leon Hess Professor of Cell Biology and Genetics at the Rockfeller University. Dr. de Lange's talk is entitled "Telomeres and Genome Instablity in Cancer."

Dr. de Lange's lab studies telomeres, protective elements at the ends of chromosomes critical for the stability and maintenance of the genetic information. Deficiency in telomere function can cause genomic alterations found in cancer, and the gradual loss of telomeres contributes to aging of human cells. Dr. de Lange seeks to understand how telomere protection is established and what happens when telomere function is lost during the early stages of tumor formation.

CUMC Location: HSC Room 301, 701 West 168th Street and Fort Washington Avenue - The Hammer Sciences Building.

January 14, 2016  Faculty Member Dean Linda P. Fried has been invited to be a visiting professor of the "Lasker Lessons in Leadership" program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Thursday, January 14th.


For the keynote speech, entitled "Leadership Communications on Science and Health," Dr. Fried will discuss how scientists can become better and more effective communicators and collaborators. This talk will be mainly for PhD and MD/PhD students enrolled in the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program and the NIH Lasker Clinical Research Scholars. This opportunity recognizes Dean Fried as a top scientist who can serve as an inspiration for future leaders in medicine.