Winter 2016

Sharing the Knowledge

A message from the director of the HNRCA

100915_3552_KMA_HNRCA718.jpgAt the HNRCA we embrace the Dalai Lama’s sentiment: “Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.” Our goals are a little less lofty than immortality, but helping people live longer and enjoy healthy and active aging is at the heart of our mission. To achieve those goals it is important that we find ways to share the practical applications of our research with people who want to create their own blueprint for a healthy and active life.

One of our innovative approaches to outreach and education is through our Talk & Taste programs offered in partnership with the Boston Center for Adult Education (BCAE) and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. In these total sensory sessions, HNRCA scientists provide the science behind what a BCAE chef prepares for the participants, while a horticulturist offers fascinating historical context and tips on how to cultivate the plants. If you’re in the Boston area, mark your calendar for our next Talk & Taste event on March 29. You will learn about what mushrooms can do for your immune system and how they might even help you fend off food poisoning.

To highlight the importance of physical activity to healthy aging, we organized our first Go4Life event in September. We worked with the City of Boston and the U.S. Administration on Aging to offer older adults a half-day program featuring short, informative talks on physical activity, nutrition and brain health as well as a chance to take part in an outdoor tai chi demonstration in the heart of the city.

We also use social media to extend our outreach globally. I hope you’re already following us on Twitter (@JMHNRCA), Facebook and YouTube as well as our website (

Of course, this magazine and its website (, which provides free access to archived stories going back to 2002, is another powerful tool for learning how scientific discovery can help people make healthy choices. I hope you find the information we offer in these pages useful to your professional pursuits as well as your personal lives.

The measure of success for the HNRCA is how we take the exceptional research done in our labs and move it beyond the important academic journals and scientific community and into the lives of people who will benefit from it.

Simin Nikbin Meydani, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Director, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

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