UF picks expert on aging for post


Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 at 10:16 p.m.
An internationally known expert on aging has been named to lead University of Florida efforts to improve the health of older Americans, university officials announced Tuesday.
Dr. Marco Pahor, 48, a professor of medicine and director of the Sticht Center on Aging at Wake Forest University, will be chairman of a new department at UF's College of Medicine and serve as director of the UF Institute on Aging. He will assume the position Feb. 1.
"It is really a challenge to build a premier research enterprise in the area of aging," Pahor said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "My intention is to have this institute known as the place to conduct studies on physical and cognitive disabilities in older people."
Pahor's appointment was announced by Dr. Douglas Barrett, senior vice president for health affairs, and Dr. Craig Tisher, dean of the College of Medicine.
"We have to be leaders in understanding and solving the problems of an aging America," said Barrett in making the announcement.
"We have considerable strength in gerontology, rehabilitation and working in social problems associated with the aged. The addition of Dr. Pahor builds the geriatric research component. He will bring new clinical trials and research programs to UF."
Pahor will head a new department of aging and geriatric research in the College of Medicine and marks the rebirth of the Institute on Aging.
The department will include faculty from a mix of disciplines, the researcher said, and will dovetail with the recently formed division of geriatric medicine within the department of medicine, which will emphasize clinical aspects of aging and maintaining a healthy elderly population.
The geriatrics division is headed by Dr. Thomas Mulligan.
"The most critical part of my job will be to get people in several active areas of research on aging to work together," Pahor said, citing such facilities as the Brooks Center for Rehabilitation Studies, Gainesville's Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, the brain and genetics institutes and the various colleges of the Health Science Center.
Pahor received his medical degree in 1980 from Catholic University in Rome, where he later received specialty thesis degrees in internal medicine and gerontology and geriatrics.
He has been section head of geriatric medicine and gerontology at Wake Forest and director of the Sticht Center on Aging since 1999. Pahor also served as principal investigator of a Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center at Wake Forest, funded by the National Institute on Aging.
Diane Chun can be reached at (352) 374-5041 or chund@gvillesun.com.

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