Institute On Aging Report

In this Issue:

- From the Director
- ARIG Awardees
- Student Grants
- BC Talks Aging VII
- Updates from around the University

From the Director


As you enjoy the sun and the wonderful warm weather, I hope you might take a moment for a few Institute on Aging updates.

As the spring semester came to a close, we awarded a few research grants to BC faculty members in support of their exciting research. Details of which can be found in this newsletter.  Grants were also awarded to two doctoral students for dissertation and travel support.

We are excited to announce that we have recently released the seventh video in our BC Talks Aging series. Available for viewing at, Module VII: Manipulating Biological Pathways to Extend Lifespan is presented by Associate Professor of Chemistry Eranthie Weerapana.

Have a safe and restful summer.


James Lubben
Director, Institute on Aging
Louise McMahon Ahearn Professor in Social Work


Prof. James Lubben

IOA Awards Two ARIG Grants to Connell School of Nursing Faculty

Jane Flanagan and Carina Katigbak

The IOA is proud to announce the award of two Aging Research Incentive Grants to faculty members in the Connell School of Nursing.  

Associate Professor Jane Flanagan has received the grant based on her proposal titled, “Increasing Activity in Caregivers of Persons with Dementia.” This study aims to: 1) Establish the feasibility of a health-coached (HC) walking program utilizing motivational interviewing (MI) and wireless pedometers in family caregivers of persons with dementia. 2) Examine preliminary outcomes of a HC walking program utilizing MI with wireless pedometers on family caregiver’s perception of well-being, stress, and activity level. 3) Explore caregivers’ acceptability and experience of participating in a HC walking program utilizing MI with wireless pedometers and to explore additional person centered approaches.

Assistant Professor Carina Katigbak’s funded proposal focuses on physical activity (PA), which is known to decrease functional and cognitive decline. Still, the majority of U.S. adults fail to meet daily recommendations for PA. This randomized, controlled trial aims to determine the preliminary effectiveness of an exergaming intervention plus PA-focused education program to improve measures of physical function, activity, exercise capacity, psychosocial effects, social engagement, and physiologic measures (blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, glucose) among a group of low-income, immigrant elders with limited English proficiency in Boston's Chinatown.

Learn more about ARIG grant opportunities »

IOA Awards in Support of Student Research

The IOA is proud to announce the award of a Dissertation Grant and a Travel Grant to Boston College students during this past spring semester.

Mashfiqur Khan, a doctoral student in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences Department of Economics, received a Dissertation Grant in the amount of $7,500 for his dissertation titled “The Effect of the Disability Application Decision on Labor Force Participation and Earnings of the Denied Applicants.”

Jooyoung Kong, a student in the School of Social Work received a travel grant to present a paper titled “Eradicate social isolation” and an ePoster titled “A History of Childhood Maltreatment and Intimate Partner Violence Victimization Among Native American Adults” at a conference for the Society for Social Work and Research in Washington, D.C. in January 2016. Jooyoung, also a past IOA Dissertation Grant Awardee in the Fall of 2014, successfully defended her dissertation on 6/15/16. Read the facebook post »

Learn more about IOA grant opportunities for students »


BC Talks Aging Module VII focuses on Manipulating Biological Pathways

BC Talks Aging Screenshots

The seventh module in the video series BC Talks Aging examines the manipulation of biological pathways to extend lifespan. Despite decades of scientific investigation, we still have a limited understanding of the molecular-level changes that occur during aging. This module focuses on studies performed on the soil nematode, C. elegans. C. elegans is a valuable model organism for studying aging, due to its short lifespan and ease of genetic manipulation. A result of the work of the Weerapana Research Group at Boston College, these studies aim to provide a deeper understanding of the molecular-level changes that occur during aging and provide potential therapeutic targets for age-related diseases, such as cancer and Alzheimers.

Module VII: Manipulating Biological Pathways to Extend Lifespan, hosted by Boston College Professor Eranthie Weerapana, is one of several modules produce by the IOA. Additional modules available for viewing include Social Isolation; Social and Productive Engagement; Lont-term Effects of Sexual Abuse on Men; Delirium, Depression, and Dementia; End of Life Planning; and Sleep.

Watch BC Talks Aging: Module VII »

IOA faculty and BC Hartford Center of Excellence staff were recently featured in an article by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW): Isolation Seen as Critical Social Problem. Read the NASW News story

Aging Updates from Around the University

Prof. Larry Ludlow

With the support of an Aging Research Incentive Grant (ARIG) Professor Larry Ludlow has presented his work on Measuring Engagement. Authors ​Larry Ludlow, Christina Matz-Costa and Kelsey Klein presented variations of the paper​ "Enhancement and validation of the Productive Engagement Portfolio-Scenario(PEP-S8) scales" at (a) the New England Educational Research Organization annual meeting in Portsmouth, NH, April 29, 2016; b) the American Educational Research Association annual meeting in Washington, D.C., April 11, 2016; c) the University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ. March 21, 2016; d) Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. March 11, 2016; and e) Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, March 4. 2016. The paper is also currently under review at the journal of Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development.

Prof. Sara Moorman

Associate Professor of Sociology Sara Moorman was recently named a winner of the 2016 Matilda White Riley Early Stage Investigator Honors. The basis of the award research was done with funding from an IOA ARIG grant, according to Prof. Moorman. Read more about Prof. Moorman’s award from the NIH.