The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Kyriakos S. "Kokos" Markides, PhD, of the University of Texas Medical Branch as the 2015 recipient of the Robert W. Kleemeier Award.
This distinguished honor is given annually to a GSA member in recognition for outstanding research in the field of gerontology. It was established in 1965 in memory of Robert W. Kleemeier, PhD, a former president of the Society whose contributions to the quality of life through research in aging were exemplary.
The award presentation will take place at GSA's 68th Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 18 to 22 in Orlando, Florida. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process.
At the University of Texas Medical Branch, Markides is the Annie and John Gnitzinger Distinguished Professor of Aging, and the director of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health. He also is the editor of the Journal of Aging and Health, which he founded in 1989.
He is the author or co-author of over 340 publications, most of which focus on aging and health issues in the Mexican American population, as well as minority aging issues in general. His research has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health since 1980. Markides currently is the principal investigator of the Hispanic EPESE (Established Population for the Epidemiological Study of the Elderly), a longitudinal study of the health of 3,952 older Mexican Americans from the five Southwestern states.
Markides is credited with coining the term "Hispanic Epidemiological Paradox" (along with Jeannine Coreil), which is currently the leading theme in Hispanic health. It refers to the epidemiological finding that Hispanic and Latino Americans tend to have health outcomes that paradoxically are comparable to, or in some cases better than, those of their U.S. white counterparts, even though Hispanics have lower average income and education. The Institute for Scientific Information has listed Markides among the most highly cited social scientists in the world.
He was the recipient of the Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award from GSA's Behavioral and Social Sciences Section in 2006; the Distinguished Professor Award in Gerontology and Geriatrics from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 2009; and the inaugural recipient of the Pearmain Prize for outstanding service to the field of aging from the Roybal Institute on Aging at the University of Southern California in 2010. Markides also is a GSA fellow, which is the highest class of membership within the Society.