• Welcome to the Sealy Center on Aging
  • Senior Beach Walk on East Beach sponsored by The Sealy Center on Aging
  • UTMB's Sealy Center on Aging presents the 22nd Lefeber Winter Series on Aging.
  • Planning a career in Geriatrics, Family Medicine, Primary Care, Internal Medicine, or Preventive Medicine? Sign up for The Geriatric Track in the the School of Medicine. Electives: MEDU 4006, MEDU 4030, MEDU 4033

Welcome to the Sealy Center on Aging

The Sealy Center on Aging (SCOA) focuses on improving the health and well-being of the elderly through interdisciplinary research, education, and community service by integrating the resources and activities relevant to aging at UTMB.

The Center extends a positive impact by implementing our research findings in hospitals and clinics, bringing excellence and visibility to our health care system, and improving the health of our seniors.

Center Director:
Elena Volpi, MD, PhD, Daisy Emery Allen Distinguished Chair in Geriatric Medicine and Professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine - Geriatrics, Neuroscience & Cell Biology and Nutrition & Metabolism.

Fast Facts

10 years

Over the past 10 years, we have trained 61 graduate students, 41 medical students, 88 postdoctoral fellows and 58 junior faculty.


All SCOA medical students, 28 pre-doctoral students, 21 post-doctoral fellows and all junior faculty scholars have been supported by our grants with either salary support or pilot funding.

The Center increased the number of active clinical trials with effective treatments from 11 to 22 in the past five years.


New Investigator Award

Dr. Fry Receives New Investigator Award from the American Physiological Society

April 24, 2017 UTMB SCoA

photo of Chris Fry, PhD

Chris Fry, PhD, Assistant Professor in Nutrition & Metabolism received, "The American Physiological Society Environmental and Exercise Physiology New Investigator Award" during the Experimental Biology Meeting April 22-26, 2017.

Annual Pepper OAIC Meeting

Dr. Downer Receives Best Poster Award at the National Pepper Meeting

March 24, 2017 UTMB Pepper Center

photo of Brian Downer, PhD

Brian Downer, PhD, Assistant Professor in Rehab Sciences received the Best Poster Award at the 2017 National Pepper Older American Independence Center Meeting for his work titled, "Cohort Differences in Pre-Frailty and Frailty for Mexican Americans Aged 77 and Older". Co-Authors were Rafael Samper-Ternent, Bret Howrey, Soham Al Snih, Kyriakos Markides, and Ken Ottenbacher.

RSVP Poverty Simulation

RSVP Poverty Simulation

March 15, 2017 Event Brochure Photos

Participants of poverty simulation

The RSVP Senior Volunteer Program at SCoA sponsored a one-day Poverty Simulation event that gave participants the opportunity to experience a month living in poverty. 91 participants signed up to learn more about the obstacles that poor people face in their day-to-day lives. 20 vendors represented various agencies, work places, schools and other services. Participants were expected to earn income, provide for their families and watch over children. Offenders were sent to jail and CPS could remove children.

Overall, 68% of attendees reported an increase in their level of understanding of the circumstances of poverty after participating in the simulation. Some comments included, "I was surprised how fast I jumped into a role of survival" and "I was confused by the places I had to go, the coldness of trying to get help and the desperation I felt".

Thanks to Ritchie Adoue, Program Director for the RSVP program for organizing this event.

14th Annual Conference

Abundant Living: Nourishing Your Spirit

March 6-8, 2017 Conference Brochure Photos

Camp Allen President, George Dehan and Rev. Helen Appleberg

Each year, the Sealy Center on Aging partners with Camp Allen to create an engaging 3-day program that encourages older adults to embrace aging as a spiritual journey and to live the gift of years to the fullest. Participants are invited to learn from geriatricians; enjoy nature walks, cooking, canoeing and more. The 14th annual Abundant Living conference featured presentations by Drs. Goodwin, Volpi and Raji. Attendance increased by 50% this year and participant feedback was very positive. The 2018 conference is scheduled for the last week of February. Abundant Living is supported by the Center for Spirituality of Aging. Thanks to Rev Dr. Helen Appelberg and Bets Anderson, DrPH, FAAN for organizing this successful event.

More about Abundant Living

Dr. Volpi in LA Times: Muscle

Muscle mass declines with age. Here's what you can do

February 23, 2017 LA Times

Older adults exercising

A small amount of muscle loss is nearly inevitable with age. While the rate varies quite a bit, studies suggest the average person loses about 1% of muscle every year after about age 50, says Dr. Elena Volpi, director of the Sealy Center on Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
This news also reported in The Morning Call.

Lefeber Winter Series 2017

The 22nd Annual Lefeber Winter Series on Aging

Tues Evenings January 31 through February 28, 2017

Click for more info: UTMB's Sealy Center on Aging presents the 22nd Lefeber Winter Series on Aging.

The Lefeber Winter Series on Aging, now in its 22nd year, features nationally recognized gerontology research educators, basic scientists, clinicians and social scientists. Each speaker presents a lecture on an important aspect of aging research and consults with students, faculty and staff on research topics, grant applications and articles being written for publication. Videos Now Available

OT Centennial Celebration

Dr. Ottenbacher - 1 of 100 Most Influential People in OT Centennial Celebration

February 14, 2017

Dr. Ottenbacher has been selected as one of the 100 influential people in occupational therapy's first 100 years by the American Occupational Therapy Association as a part of their centennial celebration.

"Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR, has significantly advanced the science of occupational therapy. His research focus is rehabilitation outcomes, with an emphasis on the assessment of change in functional status, disability, frailty, and minority health in older adults." Read more about Dr. Ottenbacher at the OT Centennial website or visit Dr. Ottenbacher's web profile at UTMB.


Getting Fit After 55

Getting fit after 55 is easier than you think

January 15, 2017

Dr. Jim Goodwin

Staying fit after 55 comes with many benefits. UTMB’s Jim Goodwin said one of the best reasons to exercise is that people feel better when they do. “For the last million years as we’ve been evolving, the species has been very active and stayed very active until recently,” Goodwin told The Daily News. Contact UTMB Media Relations for details.


Welcome Back, Rafael!

Rafael Samper-Ternent, MD, PhD returns to UTMB

January 13, 2017

Dr. Samper-Ternent

Dr. Samper-Ternent, MD, PhD earned his MD from Javeriana University in Colombia and then earned his PhD from UTMB in Clinical Sciences. Following the completion of his residency in Geriatrics from Javeriana University in Colombia, he joins UTMB's Division of Geriatrics as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Samper-Ternent will spend 20% of his time as a physician in the Geriatrics clinic and the remainder devoted to research and collaboration with SCOA investigators. His research interests include working on Hispanic aging resilience and sarcopenia.


More SCOA News


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The University of Texas Medical Branch
Sealy Center on Aging (SCOA)
301 University Blvd.
Galveston, TX 77555-0177
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Phone: (409) 747-0008
Email: aging.research@utmb.edu

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Site managed by UTMB Sealy Center on Aging • Date Updated: April 2017