Virtual, Webinar
May 6, 2021
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Virtual Series

HNRCA webinar LI (4)

Webinars will be held from 3pm to 430pm ET across four Thursdays. Time is reserved for Questions & Answers in each session. Details for each session are noted below.  The series is free and open to the community.

Current research on aging reveals it is possible to extend healthspan while delaying, and in some cases, preventing many chronic diseases associated with aging through nutrition and interventions targeted at cellular degeneration.

This webinar series is a collaboration with the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (HNRCA). HNRCA is a leader in food, nutrition, and healthy aging research and has trained hundreds of Tufts University students who have become successful in academia, industry, and government. Join current scientists from the HNRCA as they share their latest research on how food and nutrition are critical determinants to a healthy and independent lifestyle for older adults. Talks will present research that focuses on the biology of aging at the cellular level all the way to how to directly impact healthspan through diet and physical activity.


March 4

Improving the Healthspan of Older Adults Through Nutrition: The biology of aging

We know age is a risk factor for many chronic diseases and research also shows that disease can accelerate the aging process and shorten a person’s healthspan. During this webinar we will examine the role of inflammation and other cellular processes in older adults and possible interventions, including diet, that may slow or stop degenerative diseases and extend quality of life. Understanding the biology of aging is a vital part of unlocking many of the unknowns associated with aging.


Sarah Booth, Ph.D.
Center Director; Senior Scientist and lead, Vitamin K team

Simin Meydani, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Senior Scientist and lead, Nutritional Immunology Team

Christopher Wiley, Ph.D.
Scientist II, Nutrition, Metabolism and Cellular Aging Team

March 25

Improving the Healthspan of Older Adults Through Nutrition: Balancing a healthy weight while meeting nutritional needs for bone and muscle health

This webinar addresses the fact that older adults need to reduce their daily calorie intake. How do you do this and maintain a healthy body weight and be sure we address bone and muscle health? To maintain bone health, it’s vital to obtain calcium combined with vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. Continuing their ground-breaking research on musculoskeletal health, HNRCA scientists will share their latest findings on the detrimental effect acid-producing diets have on bone and muscle and considering what we have learned from the recent vitamin D mega-trials.


Lisa Ceglia, M.D.
Scientist II and Director, Metabolic Bone Diseases Clinic, Tufts Medical Center

Bess Dawson Hughes, M.D.
Senior Scientist, Bone Metabolism Team

Susan Roberts, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist and Lead, Energy Metabolism Team

April 15

Improving the Healthspan of Older Adults Through Nutrition: Delaying age-related eye diseases

The risk of age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma can be reduced by eating a dietary pattern with plenty of fruits and vegetables and complex carbohydrates such as whole grains. HNRCA investigators have shown that diets high in simple carbs such as white bread and carbonated beverages create spikes in blood sugar leading to widespread inflammation, a condition linked to age-related macular degeneration. In this webinar they will share novel findings on the link between the gut microbiota and eye health and possible interventions to delay eye disease in older adults.


Sheldon Rowan, Ph.D.
Scientist II, Nutrition and Vision Research Team

Kelsey Smith, M.S.
Tufts Doctoral Student, Nutrition and Vision Research Team

May 6

Improving the Healthspan of Older Adults Through Nutrition: Delaying cognitive decline

Regular exercise and healthy dietary patterns that focus on whole grains, berries, leafy green vegetables and healthy fats are proving to have a positive effect in improving or delaying cognitive decline in older adults. HNRCA researchers will share observational findings as well as the results of community-based programs promoting the benefits of physical activity on cognition. In this webinar HNRCA scientists will also discuss promising results of animal studies involving the generation of new brain cells that may lead to interventions that improve memory function in older adults.


Paul Jacques, D.Sc.
Senior Scientist and lead, Nutritional Epidemiology Team

Kieran Reid, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Scientist I, Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Team

Tong Zheng, Ph.D.
Scientist I, Neuroscience and Aging Team