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Steven N. Austad, Ph.D.Steven N. Austad, Ph.D.The UAB Office of Research is pleased to announce Steven N. Austad, Ph.D., was selected as winner of the 2022 Richard B. Marchase, Ph.D. Award, in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments in fostering interdisciplinary research and a spirit of camaraderie.

Dr. Steven N. Austad holds the Protective Life Endowed Chair in Healthy Aging Research, is a Distinguished Professor and former Chair of the Department of Biology at University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is the founding Director and current co-director of the UAB Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, one of 8 such NIH-funded Centers in the US. He is also co-Director of the Nathan Shock Centers Coordinating Center. Outside of UAB, he is Senior Scientific Director and Interim Chairman of the Board of the New York-based American Federation for Aging Research. Originally trained in evolutionary ecology, Dr. Austad became interested in aging during South American field studies on the opossum. He has been studying the biology of aging at levels of molecules to populations for more than three decades. His current research focuses on sex differences in aging biology and how aging interacts with disease vulnerability with the long-term goal of developing interventions that slow the age-related decay in human health.

He has published seven books and more than 220 scientific papers covering nearly every aspect of the biological aging process. His academic awards include Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction, the George C. Williams Prize, the Robert W. Kleemeier Award for outstanding research, the Geron Corporation-Samuel Goldstein Distinguished Publication Award, the Nathan A. Shock Award from the National Institute on Aging, the Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction in Aging Research, and the French IPSEN Foundation Longevity Prize. He is an elected fellow the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Gerontological Society of America.

Dr. Austad maintains a keen interest in communicating science to the general public, and in that capacity has served on the Science Advisory Board of National Public Radio and has been an exhibition consultant to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas, and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. He has written more than 150 popular science articles and essays for print and electronic media. His trade book, Why We Age (1997), has been translated into eight languages. His latest books include To Err is Human, To Admit It is Not (Resource Publications, 2022), a collection of short essays on diverse topics and Methuselah’s Zoo: what nature can teach us about living longer, healthier lives (MIT press, 2022).

Prior to entering aging research, Dr. Austad, with a degree in English literature, was a newspaper reporter, drove a taxicab in New York City, trained large cats for the Hollywood film industry, and hustled pool nation-wide. With his PhD in evolutionary ecology, he has done field research in multiple parts of the United States, Venezuela, England, Kenya, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Papua New Guinea.