Lunch Symposium: Advances in Geroscience: Investigating Links between Specific Diseases and Aging

Monday, July 16
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Location: Regency Ballroom-Lower Level

Dr. Sierra will brief attendees on the latest thinking in the field of geroscience – the interdisciplinary field that seeks to understand at the molecular level the relationship between biological aging and age-related diseases. Then he will moderate an interactive discussion with several experts actively engaged in mitigating biological aging or studying its effects on our quality of life.

The symposium is not eligible for CE Credits.

Susan Donley

Publisher and CEO
Stria (

Susan Donley is Publisher and CEO of Stria, a new media platform for the longevity market. Launched in March 2018, Stria ( provides information, experiences and content that inspire cross-sector solutions for our aging society. Previously Ms. Donley served as Publisher and Managing Director of Next Avenue, public media’s first and only national service for America’s booming older population. Under Ms. Donley’s leadership, Next Avenue served over 45 million people at In 2015, she founded Next Avenue’s Influencers in Aging, an annual list of people changing aging in America. Ms. Donleywas recognized for her leadership with the 2017 What’s Next Boomer Business Innovation Award for media. And she was named to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Age-Friendly DC Task Force, serving a term that lasts from 2018-2023. Throughout her career, Ms. Donley has cultivated expertise in organizational strategy, digital content, revenue development, strategic partnerships, branding and marketing. She is passionate about social change and public service, and has dedicated her career to promoting a sustainable nonprofit sector by putting smart strategies into action.


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Felipe Sierra, PhD

Director of the Division of Aging Biology, National Institute on Aging
National Institutes of Health

Felipe Sierra, PhD. is Director of the Division of Aging Biology at NIH's National Institute on Aging. Trained as a biochemist in his native Chile, he obtained a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Florida in 1983, completed his postdoctorate at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and worked at Nestlé for 5 years before returning to the US as Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. He returned to Chile for a primary appointment at the University of Chile in Santiago while sharing an Associate Professorship at Pennsylvania's Lankenau Institute for Medical Research. Four years later he returned to the US as a Program Director within the Division of Aging Biology, NIA, becoming the unit's Director in April 2006.
Dr. Sierra co-founded and co-leads, with Dr. Ron Kohanski, the trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG). They edit “Advances in Geroscience” (Springer International Publishing, 2016) and have co-authored several geroscience publications. GSIG promotes research on the “geroscience hypothesis” which states that slowing the rate of aging delays the initiation or diminishes the severity of adult-onset diseases and loss-of-resilience. In 2012 and 2014 he received NIH Director’s Awards for this effort, and received the BEACON Award in 2018.


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Ramana Sonty, MBBS, PhD

Director, Global Medical Organization
Janssen Research and Development (Johnson & Johnson)

Ramana Sonty, MBBS, PhD, is a Director of Strategy, in the Janssen Global Medical Organization where he works on driving innovation, transformation and patient engagement. He has been leading an internal task force exploring issues and opportunities in aging and the prospect of driving fundamental change, partnering with stakeholders across the spectrum. Previously, Ramana served as part of the J&J leadership in compassionate access to investigational medicines. This included a novel partnership with NYU in creating COMPAC, an independent, expert committee ensuring justice and fairness in provision of access to investigational medicines to sick and dying patients. The work has been featured in Nature, JAMA and other publications. He has trained in Medicine and Neuroscience.


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Lauren Meador, MPH

Assistant Director, Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life
Weill Cornell Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine

Lauren Meador is the Assistant Director of TRIPLL and Research Program Coordinator in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. She joined the Division in 2014; prior to her role as Assistant Director, she worked with Division Principal Investigators to maintain human subjects protections research compliance. Lauren holds a Master in Public Health degree, with a focus in Policy and Management from the School of Public Health at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. She received her Bachelor of Science in Development Sociology from Cornell University.


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Lunch Symposium: Advances in Geroscience: Investigating Links between Specific Diseases and Aging

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