Lecture Series

Get to know our experts, explore topics important to aging, learn something new and become part of the University of Arizona community!

Elderly adult female smiling in classroom.

We are pleased to present a lecture series that features prominent scholars from the University of Arizona and beyond speaking about topics important to aging, including isolation and loneliness, integrative health, immunity and sleep.

Over the past decade, the number of older adults in the U.S. grew by one-third to more than 54 million, including a 52% increase in Arizona’s older adult population. U.S. Census data show that by 2034, the number of Americans aged 65 and older will for the first time outnumber those under 18.

“This lecture series is created to address topics that are of interest to older adults, their families and the community. The initiative aims to create an environment where older adults feel a part of the university community. This series will allow community members to get to know our experts, explore, learn and achieve more fulfilling, enriching lives.”
- Kathleen Insel, PhD, RN, director of Innovations in Healthy Aging and professor in the UArizona College of Nursing

All lectures are free and open to the public. All upcoming lectures are planned as in-person events.

Recordings of the lectures will be available on the Innovations in Healthy Aging website for later viewing. View past lectures here.

Upcoming Lectures


Past Lectures and Videos

Physical Activity to Promote Cognitive Health among Hispanic/Latino Communities

Join us on March 20, 2024, for the “Physical Activity to Promote Cognitive Health among Hispanic/Latino Communities” lecture with Adriana Perez, PhD, CRNP, ANP-BC, FAAN, FGSA, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. The lecture will take place at the Health Sciences Innovation Building, 1670 E. Drachman St., Tucson, AZ 85721, and will also be live-streamed. 

This lecture is eligible for College of Medicine DEI credit.

This free lecture is open to the public.

Complimentary parking will be available in lot 2012, adjacent to the building.

Conquering the inflammation epidemic on the path to health and resilience

“Conquering the inflammation epidemic on the path to health and resilience,” a lecture by Floyd H. "Ski" Chilton, PhD, Professor, Nutritional Sciences and Wellness, Director, Center for Precision Nutrition and Wellness, University of Arizona.

The objective of this lecture is to help individuals obtain and sustain health (physical and emotional), lose weight (if needed), reduce inflammation, and prevent premature aging, suffering, and death. The talk will: 1) emphasize that much of our physical and emotional well-being and vitality is determined by how we navigate unstable transitions in our lives and develop resilience; 2) provide advice that is scientifically-based, safe, and sustainable; 3) call attention to the obesity-inflammation connection; and 4) provide specific steps to conquer the twin inflammation and unhappiness epidemics.

Well at Work: Creating Wellbeing in Any Workspace – or in Any Space for that Matter

Healthy workplaces don’t have to be a luxury. Whether we work in a traditional office or a tiny corner of our apartment, these spaces impact our physical and emotional well-being in myriad ways. In this lecture, professor and author Esther Sternberg, MD, associate director for Innovations in Healthy Aging, offers a menu of simple steps anyone can take to design their workspace for health, happiness and productivity.

Vibrant Brains that Last a Lifetime

The Center for Innovation in Brain Science is committed to developing cures for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and ALS – four neurological diseases of the aging brain. To achieve our mission, we have made discoveries that have advanced therapeutic development for these diseases. Equally important are the discoveries that revealed the risks and the splendors of the aging brain. A brief tour of our latest developments in our quest to achieve vibrant brains that last a lifetime will be presented.

Dr. Roberta Diaz Brinton leads the Center for Innovation in Brain Science at the University of Arizona. The Center is a university research/biotech ecosystem devoted to developing therapeutics for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and ALS. Dr. Brinton is Regents Professor of Pharmacology, Neuroscience, and Neurology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

The Essential Nutrients for Healthy Aging

A healthy diet is an important part of healthy aging. Audience members will learn more about how nutrition protects health, prevents disease, and promotes an active lifestyle. Dr. Skiba will provide six simple nutrition strategies for healthy aging that audience members can incorporate into their daily lives.

Dr. Meghan Skiba is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing Biobehavioral Health Science Division at the University of Arizona. She received her doctorate in Health Behavior Health Promotion from the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, has additional formal graduate training in epidemiology and nutritional sciences, and completed post-doctoral training at Oregon Health & Science University.

Elder Abuse: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention

Join us on April 26, 2023, for the final IHA lecture of the spring, “Elder Abuse: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention,” by Laura Mosqueda, MD. The lecture will take place at the Health Sciences Innovation Building, 1670 E. Drachman St., Tucson, AZ 85721, and will also be live-streamed. This lecture is approved for College of Medicine DEI credit.

A Balancing Act: Staying Upright As We Age

Join us on March 22, 2023, for “A balancing act: Staying upright as we age” by Chris Childers PT, PhD. The lecture will take place at the Health Sciences Innovation Building, 1670 E. Drachman St., Tucson, AZ 85721, and will also be live-streamed.

Be prepared to get up and moving in this highly interactive presentation that looks at how the human body is designed to stay in an upright position. Explore the physiology and strategies the body uses and learn the 6 different balance domains. Try fun new ways to promote being active.

Aging and Social Justice

In this lecture, Dr. Laura Howard discusses the ethics of aging, addressing important philosophical questions surrounding age and ‘ageism’: What are the beliefs and concepts about time and aging that fuel negative attitudes and behaviors toward aging adults? What, if any, obligations should society have for taking care of an aging population? Is living longer living better? What are the moral considerations for using technology to extend the human life span by many, many years?

Laura M. Howard, PhD is a Professor of Practice at James E. Rogers College of Law, Bioethics faculty at Phoenix College of Medicine, and a retired Associate Professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona. Howard’s area of specialty is in normative and applied ethics, and she teaches courses covering topics in medical ethics, regulation and ethics for healthcare professionals, aging, and social justice. Her current scholarship interests involve environmental health ethics.

De-Stress Your Environment and Your Life!

In this lecture, Drs. Sternberg and Crocker will discuss a framework for embedding whole person/integrative health into the built environment, starting with a conversation about how each began to work in the area of integrative health and the built environment. Audience members will learn about the importance of lifestyle in health and wellbeing, and the 7 "core areas" of integrative health. They will give examples of each of the 7 core areas and will discuss how the built environment can be designed to foster and support each domain. Both experts will touch on the importance of integrative health and designing the built environment to support optimal health and resilience post-COVID. Finally, Drs. Sternberg and Crocker will share their views on where the field is going in the future and some practical take-home messages to help audience members incorporate these principles into their everyday lives, to optimize their health and wellbeing.

Esther Sternberg, MD, is research director, Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine; founding director, UArizona Institute on Place, Wellbeing & Performance; inaugural Andrew Weil Chair for Research in Integrative Medicine; professor, medicine & psychology; and professor, architecture, landscape architecture and planning, University of Arizona, Tucson.

Robert L. “Rocky” Crocker, MD, is director, Strategic Clinical Planning and Implementation, Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine; and clinical assistant professor of medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson.

Aging, Immunity and COVID-19

In this lecture, Dr. Janko Nikolich-Žugich discusses what the immune system is, what it does, how it ages, how it responds to novel diseases such as COVID-19, and how current research is working to overcome age-related immune decline.

Janko Nikolich-Žugich, M.D., Ph.D., is Bowman Professor and Head, Department of Immunobiology; Director, Aegis Consortium for Pandemic-Free Future; and Co-Director, Arizona Center on Aging at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona.

Big Smile, Small Self: Effects of Awe on Healthy Aging

Awe is a positive emotion associated with wonder, creativity and generosity. Dr. Sturm will describe the mental and physical health benefits of awe and summarize a study she conducted on “awe walks” for older adults.

Virginia Sturm, PhD, is the John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation Endowed Professor at UCSF. She is Associate Professor in the departments of neurology and psychiatry and the Director of the Clinical Affective Neuroscience Laboratory that is located in the UCSF Memory and Aging Center and affiliated with the UCSF Center for Psychophysiology and Behavior.

Sleep and Healthy Aging

Michael Grandner, PhD, director, Sleep and Health Research Program, associate professor, medicine, and associate professor, psychiatry, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson; director, Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic, Banner-University Medical Center.

In this helpful and engaging lecture, Dr. Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona, discusses some of the basics of how sleep works and how it is related to brain health, inflammation, and other areas of well-being. He also presents some strategies for making the most of sleep as we get older.

Integrative Health for Optimal Aging

Andrew Weil, MD, director, Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine; clinical professor, medicine, and Lovell-Jones Endowed Chair in Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson; professor, health promotion sciences, Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

In this enlightening lecture, Dr. Weil discusses the important question, “Is it inevitable to get sick as we get old?” He shares observations of the healthy aging successes of centenarians, how our “genetic destiny” may be modifiable, and how inflammation contributes to disease. He offers practical ways to separate the aging process from age-related disease to stay as healthy as we can as we age, including incorporating a healthy diet, maintaining physical activity, and the importance of social connection.

Responding to the Tragedy of Social Isolation and Loneliness in Late Life: Keeping Older Adults Connected

Jordan Karp, MD is chair and professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. He will discuss ways to respond to the problem of social isolation in older adults, even more prevalent now in the context of the pandemic, and offer ideas for actions we can take to overcome loneliness in later life.