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Alliance for Aging Research Announces Inaugural ‘Research Advisory Council’

Published March 6, 2024

Alliance for Aging Research logo with "Research Advisory Council" to the right.

A diverse group of leading health experts will provide review and strategic guidance for national organization dedicated to healthy aging and equitable access to care

Washington, D.C. (March 6, 2024) – The Alliance for Aging Research (Alliance) is pleased to announce the official formation of its new Research Advisory Council (RAC). This diverse network of leading experts includes fields ranging from clinical specialty care, academic research, and patient/family caregiver advocacy.

The Alliance’s RAC is charged with helping to inform and review our health education resources by area of expertise, to ensure that they are accurate, objective, effective, and accessible; providing strategic guidance and recommendations for shaping the focus of Alliance programs; and sharing their insights on innovations, trends, and opportunity gaps in healthy aging.

“For nearly 40 years, the Alliance has maintained a reputation as a trusted source among government agencies, the healthcare industry, and patient and provider advocacy organizations.  Our Research Advisory Council is a reflection of that trust, and we are fortunate to partner with top clinicians, academics, and advocates who are changing the narrative to achieve healthy aging and equitable access to care,” said Michele Markus, Chair of the Alliance for Aging Research’s Board of Directors. “I am grateful for their commitment to supporting us and our shared vision of a culture that embraces healthy aging as a greater good and values science and investments to advance dignity, independence, and equity.”

The Research Advisory Council assembled for the first time today, and is made up of the following individuals serving three-year terms:

  • Olusean Ali, MD, Director, Structural Heart Program, Novant Health
  • Henry Buchwald, MD, PhD, FACS, HonFRCS, Emeritus Professor of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, University of Minnesota
  • Neil Bressler, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University, Wilmer Eye Institute
  • Peggy Cawthon, PhD, MPH, Scientific Director, California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute
  • Carolyn Clevenger, NP, DNP, Professor & Director, Integrated Memory Care, Emory School of Nursing
  • Elissa Epel, PhD, Professor & Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry, University of Californica-San Francisco
  • William Evans, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine, University of California-Berkeley
  • Roger Fielding, PhD, Professor of Nutrition & Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Jack Guralnik, MD, PhD, MPH, Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • Dilip V. Jeste, MD, Director, Global Research Network on Social Determinants of Mental Health
  • James Kirkland, MD, PhD, Endocrinologist, Geriatrician, Internist, Mayo Clinic
  • Shon Lowe, Family Caregiver & Advocate
  • Jacobo Mintzer, MD, MBA, Professor, College of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina
  • Theresa Montgomery, Patient Advocate
  • Suzy Szasz Palmer, Talk NERDY Patient Advocate
  • George Perry, PhD, Distinguished University Chair in Neurobiology, University of Texas-San Antonio
  • Cary Reid, PhD, MD, Professor in Geriatrics, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Anne Richard, Patient Advocate
  • William Schaffner, MD, Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Division of Infectious Diseases
  • Kawsar Talaat, MD, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Kenneth E. Thorpe, PhD, Chair of Health Policy & Management, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health
  • Vinod Thourani, MD, Marcus Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery, Piedmont Healthcare

“The Alliance’s Research Advisory Council includes experts from the top medical and academic institutions in the nation, as well as patient and family caregiver advocates who have served in multiple research advisory roles,” said Sue Peschin, MHS, President & CEO of the Alliance for Aging Research. “Many of them have shared their expertise with us for years, and we are honored to formalize their role as together we empower older adults to make informed, independent choices that lend to self-advocacy and improved health outcomes.”

Learn more about the RAC and view the list of members.

About the Alliance for Aging Research

Since 1986, the Alliance for Aging Research has served as a trusted source of health information for both consumers and health care professionals on diseases and conditions that disproportionately affect older adults and has led numerous successful advocacy campaigns promoting the health and independence of older adults. The Alliance is dedicated to changing the narrative to achieve healthy aging and equitable access to care. We strive for a culture that embraces healthy aging as a greater good and values science and investments to advance dignity, independence, and equity. Learn more about the Alliance at


To interview someone from the Alliance for Aging Research or a member of the Research Advisory Council, email Katie Riley, Vice President of Communications, at [email protected].

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