• Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) applications due Jan 26, 2018
  • UTMB's Sealy Center on Aging presents the 23rd Annual Lefeber Winter Series on Aging beginning Jan 30th
  • Abundant Living Conference details for 2018: March 12-14
  • Welcome to the Sealy Center on Aging

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 also implements 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.

SCoA News


Experienced Physicians

Patients more likely to die under care from 1st-year hospitalists

By HealthExec | January 02, 2018

photo of Dr. Goodwin

An extra year of experience for a physician can make an impact on patient mortality in a hospital, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine that found 30-day and hospital mortality rates were higher for hospitalists in the first year of practice than their second.

The study, led by James Goodwin, MD of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, looked at more at Medicare data from between Jan. 2007 and Dec. 2013 for more than 3,800 first-year hospitalists. Only physicians who continued to practice as hospitalists four or more years after their initial year of experience were included. Read full article at HealthExec.com.

Gifts for Seniors

Volunteers Are a Gift as They Prepare Gifts for Seniors

By SCoA News | December 13, 2017

photo of volunteer activities

Senior volunteers from the RSVP Program of Galveston County assisted with this 20-year-old tradition at the Sealy Center on Aging.

Postdoctoral Fellow Wins

SCoA Postdoctoral Fellow Wins Award at SCWD Conference

By SCoA News | December 11, 2017

photo of SCWD Conference 2017

Tatiana Moro, PhD wins the Young Clinical Investigator Award at the Sarcopenia Cachexia and Wasting Disorders (SCWD) 2017 Conference in Rome, Italy. As an international and multidisciplinary organization, the SCWD seeks to further research on cachexia, sarcopenia and muscle wasting in order to bring practical solutions to healthcare teams worldwide.

MHAS Book Published

What they Shared: Memories from the Mexican Health and Aging Study Book Unveiling Event Dec 18 | Now Available Online

By SCoA News | December 4, 2017

photo of MHAS book covers - click to read online

MHAS Book Unveiling Event
Monday, December 18th, 2018
Admin Building Caduceus Room 6.300

"To mark nearly 20 years of the study we produced a coffee table book of photographs and testimonials from the Interviewers of the Mexican Health and Aging Study that highlights what Interviewers and respondents have shared from all around Mexico."

Rebeca Wong, PhD is Principal Investigator of the MHAS at UTMB

New Approach for Recovery

UTMB to study new approach for hip fracture recovery
Texas Medical Center News

By SCoA News | November 2, 2017

photo of Dr. Volpi

A multimillion dollar grant could help researchers develop a novel therapeutic for elderly women recovering from hip fractures. UTMB’s Elena Volpi is one of seven principal investigators and part of a consortium of seven universities that received $15.6 million from the National Institute on Aging for the research project. Story also found at Press Release Point and Publicnow.

2017 Volunteer Luncheon

2017 SCoA Volunteer Luncheon
Appreciation Luncheon

By SCoA News | October 24, 2017

photo of luncheon

The 2017 Annual SCoA Volunteer Luncheon was held at Fisherman's Wharf. SCoA and Pepper investigators explain the clinical trial results to the volunteers and their guests. Top-left photo: Attendees mingle and take their seat for the luncheon. Bottom-left photo: Ms. Rose Daniels speaks about the help she received from SCoA through the clinical trials. (l to r) Dr. Elena Volpi, Ms. Rose Daniels and Dr. Brian Downer. Right photo: Ms. Sherry Keel wins the door prize. (l to r) Ms. Sherry Keel and Dr. Elena Volpi.

Ability Resource Group

SCoA Sponsors Inaugural Ability Resource Group Meeting
Congrats, Ritchie Adoue on appointment by UTMB Diversity Council

By SCoA News | October 23, 2017


The Sealy Center on Aging recently sponsored the first meeting of the Ability Resource Group on October 23, 2017. RSVP Program of Galveston County Director Ritchie Adoue has been appointed as Co-Chair of the Ability Resource Group by the UTMB Diversity Council. The mission of the Ability Resource Group is to help ensure UTMB’s ongoing commitment to diversity, especially concerning individuals with disabilities and allies in providing them with opportunities of inclusion.

21st Annual Forum on Aging

Thank you for another successful Forum on Aging at UTMB

By SCoA News | October 20, 2017

group photo

The Annual Forum on Aging at UTMB informs gerontology researchers and the community about aging research at UTMB. This year, sixteen awards were given to students, post-graduate fellows and residents for outstanding work in aging research.

Harvey Relief at SCoA

SCoA Supports Harvey Relief
Volunteering a helping hand

By SCoA News | September 22, 2017

photos of volunteers with text "thank you" and Texas map with flag

UTMB staff and volunteers with the RSVP Program of Galveston County, sponsored by the Sealy Center on Aging, have been busy helping with Harvey relief efforts. Groups of volunteers mucked out seniors’ and veterans’ homes in Dickinson; and diaper, food and other donations were collected, sorted and distributed to Dickinson, La Marque and Santa Fe areas.

One of the first people to answer the call for help cleaning up seniors’ homes was David Hileman, administrator for the School of Medicine.

“David really came to the rescue,” said Ritchie Adoue, director of the RSVP senior program. “He has always been a strong supporter of our RSVP program and certainly proved it over the weekend! RSVP leads by example.”  

In addition, staff in the Sealy Center on Aging participated in a cake auction to collect donations for Harvey relief at UTMB.

photos of cakes and auction participants


Ability Resource Group

RSVP Director Appointed as Ability Resource Group Co-Chair
Congrats, Ritchie Adoue on appointment by UTMB Diversity Council

By SCoA News | September 21, 2017

Ritchie Adoue

RSVP Program of Galveston County Director Ritchie Adoue has been appointed as Co-Chair of the Ability Resource Group by the UTMB Diversity Council. The mission of the Ability Resource Group is to help ensure UTMB’s ongoing commitment to diversity, especially concerning individuals with disabilities and allies in providing them with opportunities of inclusion. As a co-chair of this employee resource group (ERG) Ritchie will play in important role in leading efforts to advance a culture of inclusion, especially for individuals with disabilities and allies.

2017 Pepper Pilot Projects

2017 Pepper Pilot Projects
UTMB Pepper Center has funded the following pilot projects:

By SCoA News | September 18, 2017

photo of people exercising with text: Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center 2017 Pilot Project Awardees
  • Rachel Deer, PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences: Validating a Screening Tool for Sarcopenia Using a Model for BIA Analysis
  • Ted Graber, PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences: Aging Skeletal Muscle and Sarcopenia in the Murine Model
  • Mansoo Ko, PhD, Physical Therapy: Initiating Gait with the Non-Paretic Limb Affects Walking Performance in People with Hemiparesis
  • Cynthia Li, PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences: Functional Trajectory and Successful Community Discharge in Older Adults

Student Receives Grant

MD-PhD Student Receives Grant from NIH

By SCoA News | September 18, 2017

Amanda Randolph

Congratulations to Amanda Randolph, student in the MD-PHD Training Program in Health Disparities and Aging for receipt of NIH grant # 1 F30 AG058381-01 for project, “Advanced Glycation End-products, Exercise, and Sarcopenia.”

Mentors of this project include Elena Volpi, MD, PhD (lead mentor), Blake Rasmussen, PhD and Chris Fry, PhD.


The Exercise Antidote

The Exercise Antidote
UTMB Collaborates with Institutions Across the U.S. to Study How Physical Activity Benefits the Body

UTMB Academic Enterprise Magazine | PDF | Summer 2017

photo of people exercising

What happens to your body when you work out? UTMB and other institutions around the country are joining forces to find out. UTMB recently received a $6.6 million grant to participate in a national project, the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC), which aims to better understand how physical activity improves health.



21st IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics
San Francisco, CA, July 23-27, 2017

By SCoA News | August 08, 2017

photo of woman giving presentation

Research investigators from UTMB recently attended the 21st IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics.

The following is a snapshot of the work that was presented.


Influence of Cognitive Impairment on Progressing from Pre-Frailty for Older Mexican Americans, by Downer, B., Al Snih, S., Ottenbacher, K., & Markides, K. S. (Paper)

Unmet Medical and Rehabilitation Needs in Community- Living Older Adults with Stroke in Mexico, by Kumar, A., Downer, B., & Wong R. (Poster)

Does Spousal Loss Predict Cognitive Function? Results From the Mexican Health and Aging Study, by Saenz, J., Downer, B., Garcia, M., & Wong, R. (Poster)

Racial and Ethnic Differences in Cognitive Impairment-Free Life Expectancy in the United States, by Garcia, M., Downer, B., Chiu, C., Saenz, J., Rote, S., & Wong, R. (Presentation)

Reducing Readmissions by Improving Transition of Care, by Michael, T., Raji, M., Villareal, D. & Torres, J. (Presentation)

Foods for the Muscle Bound

Dr. Rasmussen and Paddon-Jones on Combating Aging and Muscle Loss: Foods for the muscle bound

Prepared Foods | July 20, 2017

microscopic image

As people age, muscle mass decreases, a process termed Sarcopenia. This can make life more difficult and can increase one's risk of falling a major cause of disability. Several things contribute to Sarcopenia but inadequate protein or calorie intake is a major factor. UTMB's Blake Rasmussen and Doug Paddon-Jones are contributors discussing the importance of nutrition and the need for more research.

More News


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