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Timeline / Milestones

Timeline 1940s - Pre BLSA

1940 – The Macy Foundation provides a one-year grant to establish a Gerontology Unit—a unique partnership between the National Institutes of Health, which provided research staff support, and the City of Baltimore, which provided lab space and access to patients—at the Baltimore City Hospital located on a 130-acre site in East Baltimore.
1941 – In July, the Macy Foundation grant expires, and the National Institutes of Health assumes full financial support. Dr. Nathan W. Shock, Assistant Professor of Physiology at the University of California Medical School, is appointed Chief of the Gerontology Unit.
1948 – The Gerontology Unit becomes the Gerontology Branch of the new National Heart Institute.

Timeline 1950s

1951 – The Gerontology Branch operates research facilities at the Baltimore City Hospital.
1953 – Dr. Nathan W. Shock is preparing to administer a bicycle ergometer test.
1958 – The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) begins with Dr. William W. Peter as the first BLSA volunteer.

Timeline 1960s

1962 – Congress appropriates $1 million to plan a modern facility to conduct research on aging. The City of Baltimore transfers 4.945 acres to the Federal Government "exclusively for purposes of scientific research and other related activities in the field of Gerontology."
1965 – The Gerontology Branch under the National Heart Institute is transferred to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and remains in Baltimore.
1966 – The Gerontology Branch becomes the Gerontology Research Center (GRC), one of seven intramural laboratories of NICHD.
1968 – Official dedication of the $7.5 million, four-story Gerontology Research Center building located and operated in cooperation with the Baltimore City Hospital.

Timeline 1970s

1971 – The White House Conference on Aging recommends creating a separate National Institute on Aging.
1974 – Public Law 93-296 authorizes the establishment of the National Institute on Aging (NIA).
1975 – The GRC and the Adult Development and Aging Branch separate from NICHD to become the core of the NIA.
1976 – Dr. Robert N. Butler appointed first Director and Dr. Nathan W. Shock appointed first Scientific Director of the NIA.
1977 – Dr. Reubin Andres named first Clinical Director of the NIA.
1977 – Dr. Nathan W. Shock retires, named Scientist Emeritus; Dr. Richard C. Greulich appointed Scientific Director of the NIA.
1978 – Women included as participants in the BLSA for the first time.

Timeline 1980s

1982 – Dr. Robert N. Butler leaves NIA to head the first geriatrics department in the country (Mt. Sinai Geriatrics); Dr. T. Franklin Williams named NIA Director, effective July 1, 1983.
1983 – NIA marks the 25th anniversary of the BLSA.
1984 – The City of Baltimore transfers to Johns Hopkins about 125 acres from the former Baltimore City Hospital campus surrounding the GRC to create the Francis Scott Key Medical Center (FSKMC).
1984 – "Normal Human Aging," an overview of the first 20 years of research findings about the natural course of human aging, is published; NIH Publication No. 84-2450. 
1986 – Dr. James Fozard becomes Director of the BLSA.
1988 – Dr. Richard C. Greulich retires; Dr. George R. Martin recruited as Scientific Director, NIA in 1989.

Timeline 1990s

1991 – Dr. T. Franklin Williams retires and returns to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
1993 – Dr. Richard Hodes appointed NIA Director.
1994 – Dr. George R. Martin retires.
1995 – Dr. Dan L. Longo recruited as Scientific Director, NIA.
1998 – Dr. James Fozard retires; Dr. Jerome Fleg appointed interim Director of the BLSA.
1998 – NIA Celebrates BLSA's 40th Anniversary.

Timeline 2000

2002 – Dr. Luigi Ferrucci appointed Director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging.
2004 – Dr. Gerald Medoff named NIA Clinical Director.
2011 – Dr. Dan Longo retires as Scientific Director, NIA.
2012 – Dr. Luigi Ferrucci appointed Scientific Director, NIA.
2014 – Stephanie Studenski MD MPH appointed Director, BLSA January 2014