The Vincent J. Cristofalo Annual Lectureship

This endowed Lectureship serves as an annual tribute to Dr. Vincent Cristofalo, an expert in cellular aging, a cherished mentor, and the founder of the Center for the Study of Aging, now the Institute on Aging (IOA), at the University of Pennsylvania.

cristofalo"Vincent J. Cristofalo, PhD, was a pioneer in aging research, colleague and friend to those who shared his passion for scientific truth, and a mentor to many more who today carry on his legacy as investigators and leaders in the fields of aging, biogerontology, and geriatrics.

Our current understanding of the cellular origin of organismal aging is based largely on the principles established by Dr. Cristofalo's research. He devoted his investigative endeavors to studying the mechanisms of cellular aging and throughout their course received the prestigious awards of his field. He founded the centers for the study of aging at three of Philadelphia's academic institutions, including here at the University of Pennsylvania, now named the Institute on Aging (IOA).

Dr. Cristofalo was always questioning and re-evaluating evidence that linked cellular aging to individual aging, as well as universal assumptions that had been made to explain aging across species. He challenged some of the central dogmas of cellular aging and disproved the long-held tenets that cell life span is related to chronological age of the individual and maximum life span of the species.

His interest in gerontological research extended beyond cellular aging, and he fostered ideas, projects, as well as careers in diverse areas of academic interest related to an aging population. Throughout his professional life, Dr. Cristofalo argued that advancement in medicine can only be achieved by advancement in fundamental research, and this he believed was no truer than in geriatric medicine.

As a mentor, Dr. Cristofalo taught and trained hundreds of high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows. He nurtured the development of junior faculty and promoted the careers of both basic science and clinical faculty wherever he was established. Personally, Dr. Cristofalo will be remembered as a larger-than-life figure who was warm and thoughtful, but also passionate and possessing a piercing wit.

This annual tribute to Vincent Cristofalo is to acknowledge in perpetuity his contributions to aging research, his critical scientific thinking, as well as his commitment to mentees, colleagues, friends and family."

- Robert Pignolo, MD, PhD

Giving to the Cristofalo Annual Lectureship Fund

If you would like to make a contribution to the Vincent J. Cristofalo, PhD, Annual Lectureship Fund, please contact:
Paige O'Malley
Penn Medicine Development

2021 Cristofalo Annual Lectureship
"Changing the Way We See Alzheimer’s Disease"
Jeffrey Kaye, MD
May 11, 2021
Event recap

2019 Cristofalo Annual Lectureship
"The Role of Biomarkers in Diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease in 2019"
Ronald C. Petersen, MD, PhD
October 7, 2019
Event recap

2018 Cristofalo Annual Lectureship
“How to Die Young at a Very Old Age”
Nir Barzilai, MD
January 9, 2019
Event recap

2017 Cristofalo Annual Lectureship
“The Surprising Role of Nuclear Architecture in Aging”
Tom Misteli, PhD
February 6, 2018
Event recap

2016 Cristofalo Annual Lectureship
"The Longevity Dividend"
S. Jay Olshansky, PhD
November 29, 2016
Event recap

2015 Cristofalo Annual Lectureship
"Local and systemic regulators of tissue aging"
Amy Wagers, PhD
October 26, 2015
Event recap

2014 Cristofalo Annual Lectureship
"New Insights into Proteasome Function: From Destroying Misfolded Proteins to Disease Therapy"
Alfred L. Goldberg, PhD
February 4, 2015
Event recap

2013 Cristofalo Annual Lectureship
"Towards Productive Aging: The Systemic Regulatory Network for Mammalian Aging and Longevity"
Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, PhD
October 15, 2013

2012 Cristofalo Annual Lectureship
"Understanding Aging Through Conserved Longevity Pathways"
Matt Kaeberlein, PhD
October 18, 2012

2011 Cristofalo Annual Lectureship
"The Biodemography of Longevity"
James W. Vaupel, PhD
September 12, 2011

2010 Cristofalo Annual Lectureship
"Telomerase and the Consequences of Telomere Dysfunction"
Carol W. Greider, PhD
October 19, 2010

2009 Cristofalo Annual Lectureship
"Finding Genes and Medicines That Extend Healthy Lifespans"
David A. Sinclair, PhD
November 12, 2009

2008 Cristofalo Annual Lectureship
"Cellular Senescence Links the Rival Demons of Cancer and Aging"
Judith Campisi, PhD
November 11, 2008

Inaugural Vincent J. Cristofalo, PhD, Annual Lectureship 
Steven Austad, PhD
November 27, 2007