GALVESTON, Texas - Kyriakos S. Markides, a professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, is the inaugural recipient of the Pearmain Prize for Excellence in Research on Aging from the Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

An internationally renowned expert on aging and health issues, Markides is best known for ongoing research of aging among Mexican-Americans that he began in 1976. He is also known for coining the term “Hispanic Paradox,” which refers to the relatively favorable health outcomes of immigrants despite such risk factors as below average socioeconomic status.

“We are proud that Dr. Markides’ work is being recognized and honored with this award,” said Dr. Garland D. Anderson, executive vice president and provost at UTMB. “His research on health concerns in the elderly and in Mexican-Americans is important in Texas and the nation.”

Markides said that he was thrilled to receive the award, which was presented on Feb. 16.

“My hope is to both continue my study of the multifaceted aspects of the aging process, while encouraging others within the aging research community to do so as well. In the end we all benefit,” he said.

Markides is the Annie and John Gnitzinger Distinguished Professor of Aging, the director of the division of sociomedical sciences in the department of preventive medicine and community health at UTMB, and editor of the Journal of Aging and Health, which he founded in 1989.

An author and co-author of numerous publications, the majority on the health of older Mexican Americans, Markides is also the editor of the “Encyclopedia of Health and Aging,” considered one of the most definitive resource guides on aging.