Dr. Sara J. Czaja Named Director of Center on Aging

Sara J. Czaja, Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and currently Scientific Director of the Center on Aging, has been appointed the Center’s Director.

Czaja has extensive experience in aging research and a long commitment to developing strategies to improve the quality of life for older adults. Her work in aging, cognition, functional assessment, family caregiving and using technology to benefit older people is of national and international prominence. She holds secondary appointments in the Departments of Industrial Engineering, Neurology and Psychology. She also serves on the Executive Committee for the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute.

The appointment will allow Czaja to continue to develop the Center’s programs and services.

“My goal is to harness the resources of the Center on Aging and the University to bring the Center to the national and international prominence of the premier centers on aging, conducting cutting edge research and implementing innovative educational and service programs as well as a fertile training ground for students and junior faculty,” said Czaja. “We also strive to foster collaborations across the University, other academic institutions and the community.”

In addition, Czaja is Director of the Center on Research and Education for Aging and Technology Enhancement, which is funded by the National Institute on Aging and involves collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology and Florida State University. The focus of CREATE is on the interface between older adults and technology systems in work, health care and living settings.

Czaja has written numerous books, book chapters and scientific articles, and she serves on the editorial board of several top-tier journals. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and the Gerontological Society of America. She is also Immediate Past President of Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging) of the American Psychological Association. She has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health, Administration on Aging, National Science Foundation, the Markle and Langeloth Foundations, AT&T and IBM to support her research.

Czaja is also a member of the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences Board on Human Systems Integration. She served as a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of Cognitive Aging and is currently a member of the IOM Committee on Family Caregiving for Older Adults. She also served on The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Czaja is the recipient of the 2015 M. Powell Lawton Distinguished Contribution Award for Applied Gerontology, of the Gerontological Society of America, the 2013 Social Impact Award for the Association of Computing Machinery and the 2013 Jack A. Kraft Award for Innovation from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. In addition, she was an invited panel member for the Nobel Prize Week Dialogue in Stockholm in 2014.

“I am thrilled about the appointment of Dr. Czaja as Director of the Center on Aging,” said Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., Leonard M. Miller Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. “She is an international authority in aging, caregiving technology and functional assessment. She is a treasure, and the department, school and university are so fortunate to have such a phenomenal talent.”

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