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National Institute on Aging
National Institutes of Health
Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging
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Time Line 1940s - Pre BLSA
1940 (Origins) -- The catalyst was a one-year grant from the Macy Foundation to establish a gerontology unit. This unique partnership was forged between the National Institute of Health, who supported research staff and the City of Baltimore, who provided lab space and access to patients in the Baltimore City Hospital. The hospital was owned and operated by the City on a 130 acre site in East Baltimore. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays a picture of the 1940-Baltimore City Hospital Campus in a new window
1941 -- In July 1941, the grant from the Macy Foundation expired and the full financial support was assumed by the National Institute of Health. At this time Dr. Nathan W. Shock, Assistant Professor of Physiology at the University of California Medical school, was appointed Chief of the Gerontology Unit.
1948 -- The gerontology unit became the Gerontology Branch of the new National Heart Institute.
Time Line 1950s
1951 -- Patient Care Facilities of the Gerontology Branch located at the Baltimore City Hospital. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays a larger image of the 1951-Patient Care Facilities of the Gerontology Branch located at the Baltimore City Hospital in a new window.
1953 -- Dr. Nathan W. Shock is preparing to administer a bicycle ergometer test. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays a larger image of 1953-Dr. Nathan W. Shock preparing to administer a bicycle ergometer test in a new window.
1958 -- The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, BLSA, began. Dr. William W. Peter was the first BLSA volunteer. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays this 1958 image of Dr. William W. Peter who was the first BLSA volunteer in a new window.
Time Line 1960s
1962 -- Congress appropriated $1 million to plan a modern research facility to conduct research on aging. The 12,500 square feet provided by BCH in its Chronic Disease Hospital proved to be inadequate for the NHI Gerontology Research Branch research program. The City of Baltimore transferred 4.945 acres to the Federal Government with a deed restriction that it be used "exclusively for purposes of scientific research and other related activities in the field of Gerontology."
1965 -- Under a major reorganization, the Gerontology Branch located in Baltimore under the National Heart Institute, was transferred to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays a 1965 photo of the Gerontology Branch located in Baltimore during a major reorganization under the National Heart Institute, was transferred to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
1966 -- A second reorganization of NICHD created seven intramural laboratories, among them the Gerontology Research Center (official name change) located in Baltimore, Maryland.
1968 -- Official dedication of the $7.5 million, four-story Gerontology Research Center building located and operated in cooperation with the Baltimore City Hospitals, Baltimore, Maryland. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1968-Official dedication of the $7.5 million, four-story Gerontology Research Center building located and operated in cooperation with the Baltimore City Hospitals, Baltimore, Maryland in a new window.
Time Line 1970s
1971 -- The White House Conference on Aging recommended the creation of a separate National Institute on Aging.
1974 -- Public Law 93-296 authorized the establishment of a National Institute on Aging and required that the institute develop a national comprehensive plan to coordinate the HEW agencies involved in aging research.
1975 -- First meeting of the National Advisory Council on Aging held.
1975 -- The Gerontology Research Center and the Adult Development and Aging Branch were separated from their parent institute, NICHD, to become the core of the National Institute on Aging.
1976 -- Dr. Robert N. Butler appointed first Director of the National Institute on Aging. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays a 1976 picture of Dr. Robert N. Butler appointed first Director of the National Institute on Aging in a new window.
1976 -- Dr. Nathan W. Shock appointed first Scientific Director of the National Institute on Aging.
1977 -- Dr. Reubin Andres named first Clinical Director of the National Institute on Aging. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays a photo of 1977-Dr. Reubin Andres named first Clinical Director of the National Institute on Aging in a new window.
1977 -- Dr. Nathan W. Shock retired, named Scientist Emeritus; Dr. Richard C. Greulich appointed Scientific Director of the National Institute on Aging. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1977-Dr. Nathan W. Shock retired, named Scientist Emeritus; Dr. Richard C. Greulich appointed Scientific Director of the National Institute on Aging in a new window.
1978 -- BLSA Women's Program initiated; Grace Malakoff is the first woman to join the study. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1978-BLSA Women's Program initiated; Grace Malakoff is the first woman to join the study in a new window.
1978 -- Eleanor Peter, widow of the first longitudinal study volunteer and one of the BLSA founders, joins the study. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1978-Eleanor Peter, widow of the first longitudinal study volunteer and one of the BLSA founders, joins the study in a new window.
1979 -- Baltimore Mayor, William D. Schaefer and NIA Director, Dr. Robert N. Butler visit the GRC. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1979-Baltimore Mayor William D. Schaefer and NIA Director Dr. Robert N. Butler visit the GRC in a new window.
Time Line 1980s
1980 -- Senator Charles Mathias (R-Md.) tours the Gerontology Research Center. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1980-Senator Charles Mathias (R-Md.) tours the Gerontology Research Center in a new window.
1980 -- Arthur Norris served as the coordinator of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging for over 22 years until his death in 1980. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1980-Arthur Norris served as the coordinator of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging for over 22 years until his death in 1980 in a new window.
1982 -- Dr. Robert N. Butler leaves NIA to head the first geriatric department in the country (Mt. Sinai Geriatrics); Dr. T. Franklin Williams named NIA Director effective July 1, 1983. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1982-Dr. Robert N. Butler leaves NIA to head the first geriatric department in the country (Mt. Sinai Geriatrics); Dr. T. Franklin Williams named NIA Director effective July 1, 1983 in a new window.
1983 -- NIA marked the 25th anniversary of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. The first volunteers joined this unique study in 1958. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1983-NIA marked the 25th anniversary of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.  The first volunteers joined this unique study in 1958 in a new window.
1984 -- The City of Baltimore transferred to Johns Hopkins affiliate about 125 acres on the former Baltimore City Hospital, BCH, campus surrounding GRC. BCH became the Francis Scott Key Medical Center, FSKMC. The City and Hopkins begin a multi-million dollar phased redevelopment of the Bayview Research Campus to serve as locus for biomedical and geriatric research within the Hopkins systems.
1985 -- "Normal Human Aging" published; NIH Publication No. 84-2450, November 1984. An overview of the first 20 years of research findings about the natural course of human aging.
1986 -- Dr. James Fozard becomes Director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.
1987 -- Dr. William Sebrell, former NIH Director, joins the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1987-Dr. William Sebrell, former NIH Director, joins the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. (Vision Test and Bone Scanning) in new window
1988 -- Dr. Richard C. Greulich retired; Dr. George R. Martin recruited as Scientific Director, NIA in 1989. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1988-Dr. Richard C. Greulich retired; Dr. George R. Martin recruited as Scientific Director, NIA in 1989 in a new window.
1989 -- GRC rededicated as "The Nathan W. Shock Laboratories" in honor of our first NIA Scientific Director, Dr. Nathan Shock. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1989-GRC rededicated as 'The Nathan W. Shock Laboratories' in honor of our first NIA Scientific Director, Dr. Nathan Shock. (Drs. Shock and Martin) in a new window.
1989 -- Dr. Nathan Wetherall Shock, Scientist Emeritus of the National Institute on Aging, passed away on November 12, 1989. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1989-Dr. Nathan Wetherall Shock, Scientist Emeritus of the National Institute on Aging, passed away on November 12, 1989 in a new window.
Time Line 1990s
1991 -- Dr. T. Franklin Williams retires and returns to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
1993 -- Dr. Richard Hodes appointed NIA Director.
1994 -- Dr. George R. Martin retired.
1995 -- Dr. Dan L. Longo recruited as Scientific Director NIA.
1998 -- NIA Celebrates BLSA's 40th Anniversary. Selected Research Findings from 1978 to 1998 (pdf).
1998 -- Dr. James Fozard retires; Dr. Jerome Fleg appointed interim Director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1998-Dr. James Fozard retires; Dr. Jerome Fleg appointed interim Director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. (Drs. Fozard and Fleg)in a new window.
1999 -- Dr. Darrell R. Abernethy named NIA Clinical Director. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 1999-Dr. Darrell R. Abernethy named NIA Clinical Director in a new window.
Time Line 2000
2002 -- Dr. Luigi Ferrucci appointed Director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Clicking on this images launches java script:NewWindow which displays: 2002-Dr. Luigi Ferrucci appointed Director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging in a new window.
2004 -- Dr. Gerald Medoff named NIA Clinical Director.
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Updated: Saturday October 20, 2012