Leadership Transition in the Institute on Aging

June 28, 2021

To:PSOM Community

From:J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, Dean
Jonathan A. Epstein, MD, EVD/CSO

We write to announce that after two decades of impactful leadership as Director of the Institute on Aging (IOA), John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD, has decided to step down from this role, effective September 1, 2021.

Dr. Trojanowski is the William Maul Measey - Truman G. Schnabel, Jr., MD, Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and has directed the IOA with distinction since 2002. Established in 1979 as the Center for the Study of Aging, the IOA under Dr. Trojanowski’s leadership has catalyzed continuous, groundbreaking research in every dimension of aging, engaging collaborations across the Penn campus and establishing Penn as an international leader in this field. Dr. Trojanowski, who is renowned for his work on the pathobiology of neurodegenerative disorders, will continue as an active researcher and collaborator in IOA, but has decided that now is the right time to transition leadership, providing an opportunity for a successor to maintain the high standards and momentum of IOA.

IOA is a model of collaborative science. Through its cross-cutting network of investigators, educational programs and funding opportunities, it fosters a robust research community at Penn focused on the urgent goal of improving the health of older adults. A wide variety of basic and clinical research includes innovative work on neurodegenerative diseases, frailty, longevity, and geroscience, among other areas. Notable programs established under Dr. Trojanowski’s leadership include the Marian S. Ware Alzheimer Program, the Penn Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, the Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research, and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Penn U19 Center on Alpha-synuclein Strains in Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias. In addition, the IOA’s highly successful Pilot Grant Program has funded 89 pilots since it was established in 2003, with nearly two-thirds resulting in additional successful grant awards. An active program of retreats and seminars further integrates Penn’s aging-related research community on campus and across the nation.

In keeping with IOA’s success, Penn is among the highest ranked universities for total research funding received from the National Institute of Health’s Institute on Aging. In addition, Dr. Trojanowski’s commitment to the advancement of research and education through philanthropy has been a hallmark of his tenure. During his leadership, the IOA has raised millions of dollars in support of key initiatives, including the IOA Pilot Program, Visiting Scholars Series, and the Fellows Program. He has also partnered with leadership and donors to secure funding that has benefitted multiple schools and centers, including a $6 million gift to establish the Marian S. Ware Alzheimer Program.

A search process to identify Dr. Trojanowski’s successor as IOA Director will soon begin and details will be distributed under separate cover. In the meantime, please join us in thanking Dr. Trojanowski for his decades of exceptional leadership and ongoing contributions to IOA and Penn.