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February 21, 1986

Aging process yields secrets to long-term study at unique research center

JAMA. 1986;255(7):865. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370070015001

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In 1940, a one-year grant from the Josiah Macy Foundation provided salary for Edward J. Stieglitz, MD, and one technician to investigate the physiology of aging under National Institutes of Health auspices. Stieglitz had no way of knowing that the modest laboratory, established in the Baltimore City Hospitals (now Francis Scott Key Medical Center), would be the forerunner of a modern, glass and brick, four-story Gerontology Research Center erected on hospital grounds in 1968.

When the Macy grant expired in 1941, the National Institutes of Health assumed support of the unit and recruited Nathan W. Shock, PhD, from the University of California, Berkeley, to spearhead the research effort. Under Shock's leadership, the Gerontology Research Unit—now part of the National Institute on Aging—has grown to employ 155 full-time staff and manage an annual budget of some $19 million; it is now the largest institution in the Western Hemisphere devoted entirely to