University Seminar

The University Seminars of Columbia University are a time-honored tradition for interdisciplinarity.

One of the unique resources at Columbia University is its University Seminar #775, where members of the research and teaching community as well as external experts regularly gather to work together on problems that cross the boundaries between academic departments. The topic of aging is ideally suited to University Seminars' mission. Therefore in 2014, the Columbia Aging Center initiated University Seminar (USEM 775): "The Future of Aging Research."

In closed quarterly meetings, we convene our 50+ seminar members who are tenure-track academics from across Columbia University's three Manhattan campuses as well as from neighboring institutions such as NYU, the United Nations, and Rockefeller University. Together, these researchers from a range of disciplines approach the topic of human aging from the standpoint that it is inevitably the result of biopsychosocial forces. 

Past sessions:

The Modifiability of Cognitive Aging

  1. Modifiability of Cognitive Aging: A Perspective from Behavioral Demography (Vegard Skirbekk)

  2. Mechanisms Underlying the Effect of Education on Cognitive Aging: A Neuropsychological Perspective (Jennifer Manly)

  3. Testing the Protective Effects of Lifelong Learning in Animal Models (Holly Moore)

  4. Mitochondrial Bioenergetics in Pathological and Normal Aging (Eric Schon & Franck Polleux)

Biomarkers of Aging

  1. Quantification of Biological Aging in Young Adults (Dan Belsky & Jane Waldfogel)

  2. GWAS and Sequencing: Indicators of Alzheimer’s Disease (Richard Mayeux)

  3. Epigenetic Clock: Recent Biological Insights and Applications (Steve Horvath & Frances Champagne)

  4. Mitochondria as “X” Factor in Gene x Environment Interactions that Shape Aging Trajectories (Martin Picard)

Stress as a Fundamental Mechanism of Life and Driver of Aging

  1. Lasting Biological Impact of Stress (Frances Champagne & Jennifer Manly)

  2. Protective Factors Vis-à-vis the Stresses of Life and Their Underlying Mechanisms (Carol Ryff & Eric Johnson)

  3. What is the Long-Run Causal Relationship between Wealth and Psychological Well-being? (David Cesarini)

  4. How Much Can You Control Your Rate of Aging? The Psychological, Social, and Behavioral Pathways Underlying Chronic Psychological Stress and Stress Resilience that Impact Cellular Aging (Elissa Epel)

Disparities in Aging

  1. Research on Pathways to Aging Health Disparities: What are the Best Approaches? (José Luchsinger & Jennifer Manly)

  2. New Data, Old Biases: Are Selection Processes Relevant for Health Disparities Research in the Precision Medicine Era (Maria Glymour & Julien Teitler)

  3. Widening Life-Span Differences between America’s Rich and Poor: Evidence of Aging Disparities from Social Security Files (Gary Burtless)