Ventures in the Aging Landscape
Research Symposium

The VITAL Research Symposium is an interdisciplinary event that showcases the latest cutting-edge research conducted by postdoctoral researchers across all disciplines within the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. The VITAL Research Symposium provides an excellent opportunity for scientists and community members to engage with the latest aging research, network with researchers, and participate in thought-provoking discussions. 

The VITAL Research Symposium incorporates sessions for researchers, general audiences, and a panel highlighting alumni paths to successful careers.

We look forward to your participation and hope to see you healthy and VITAL at our next symposium!


Mark your calendars!

This year's VITAL symposium is Wednesday, September 18, 2024

VITAL Research Symposium is pleased to acknowledge the generous support of the following major funders:

Agenda for the 2024 meeting coming soon. 


Keynote Speaker

To be announced


The alumni panel is organized by the Buck Biotech Group.

  • Barbara Bailus  Keck Graduate Institute, Claremont Colleges, Assistant Professor

     KGI’s mission is to enrich society with breakthrough approaches to education and translational research in healthcare and the life sciences.

    Major accomplishments: Have been the thesis mentor of five Masters students, taught over 100 Masters students in five different classes, three of which I designed, for over 600 hours of didactic teaching Have received four different grants in four different disease areas.  Recipient of the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome New Investigator Grant totaling over $500,000.  Have a patent on a novel delivery system for the brain.  Serve as the Chair of Scientific Advisory Board for Foundation for Angelman Syndrome.  Have received an Excellence in Teaching Award, and Excellence in Research Award from KGI and an Excellence in Service Award from Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics. 

    Future directions: Looking forward to continuing my laboratories research on novel CNS delivery methods. 

  • Nathan Basisty  NIH Distinguished Scholar & Tenure Track Investigator at NIA (NIH)

    NIA, one of the 27 Institutes of NIH, leads the federal government in conducting and supporting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. The Institute seeks to understand the nature of aging and the aging process, and diseases and conditions associated with growing older, in order to extend the healthy, active years of life. More here

    Two of my major accomplishments: 1) working with early career researchers (ECRs) in the research community to provide opportunities for growth and professional development to the next generation of researchers. Notably, as a founding member of the US Human Proteome Early Career Researcher Committee and as Co-Organizer of US HUPO Conference in 2024, I organize many events to connect ECRs with important opportunities and resources. 2) My research accomplishments are centered in the area of geroproteomics – developing and applying proteomic approaches to develop translationally and clinically relevant biomarkers of aging and senescence in humans, and enabling others to do so. Additionally, my lab develops new tools that enable the research community to study the role of protein turnover in vivo in aging studies.

    My future goal is to bring proteomics to center stage in the aging research community, and employ the emerging technologies in the proteomics field to enable the discovery and biomarkers and therapeutic targets for the diseases of aging.

  • Roman Camarda  Senior Associate, Novo Holdings Venture Investments

    NHVI is one of seven investment arms underneath Novo Holdings, the sole asset manager of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the world’s largest foundation in terms of assets under management (>$100B) and one of the largest in terms of philanthropic dollars put to work each year (>$1B). NHVI’s mission is to support NNF by investing in companies that develop innovative drugs, medical devices and diagnostics. We focus on generating strong financial returns from our portfolio of venture companies. We invest in both private and public companies from an open evergreen fund. This funding structure enables us to take a long-term perspective. We work actively with the companies we invest in by serving on the Boards of Directors. Companies can also draw on our extensive network, as well as our commercial and scientific expertise within the life sciences.

    My accomplishments include contributing to the formation of two biotech companies while at the Buck (Napa Therapeutics, BHB Therapeutics), contributing to several successful investments while on the investment team of Aquilo Capital Management, and contributing to the management and diligence of current and prospective portfolio companies while on the investment team of NHVI.

    My future direction is to strive to contribute meaningfully to the translation of scientific ideas into therapeutic modalities that benefit patients via the management of current NHVI portfolio companies, as well as the sourcing and diligence of prospective NHVI investments.

  • Elie Maksoud  Director of Educator Partnerships & Marketing, Science Communication Lab

    Mission at SCL: ElieMaksoud, Ph.D., MBA, is an accomplished business professional & scientist with expertise in neuroscience, marketing, business development, and leadership. As the Director of Educator Partnerships & Marketing at Science Communication Lab (SCL), he has demonstrated his ability to drive go-to-market strategies, leverage data-driven marketing techniques, and establish and optimize customer relationship management for long-term business growth.

    Major Accomplishments: I am a published scientist in the fields of neuroscience and education. As a first-generation Ph.D., award-winning business professional, and immigrant, I bring a unique perspective, unwavering determination, and a commitment to challenging what is possible. These qualities make me a valuable asset for organizations seeking a dynamic leader who can unlock the full potential of teams and individuals.

    Future Directions: My educational background includes an Executive MBA from the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, and a Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Strasbourg. Fluent in English, French, and Arabic, I can bridge the worlds of science and business, navigate diverse environments, and communicate effectively across cultures, further solidifying my qualifications. With a passion for pushing boundaries and supporting future generations, I am eager to bring my wealth of experience, creativity, and commitment to excellence to organizations that value innovation, growth, and positive impact.

  • Kenny Wilson, PhD  VITAL Research Symposium Chair
  • Tyler Hilsabeck, PhD  Keynote Speaker Selection Committee
  • Jordan B. Burton, PhD  Postdoctoral Research Talks Selection Committee
  • Kiyomi Kaneshiro, PhD  Poster Presentation Selection Committee
  • Kristeen Pareja-Navarro, PhD  Life-Support Committee
  • Mitsu Nomura, PhD  Sponsorship Cultivation Committee
  • Kizito-Tshitoko Tshilenge, PhD  Alumni Panel Selection Committee
  • Olfat Malak, PhD  VITAL Swag Committee




We offer four sponsorship tiers for the event:

  • Vendor – $100 – Mention in the program
  • Bronze – $250 – Collateral, mention in the program
  • Silver – $500 – Sponsor of the morning or afternoon session, mention in the program, and logo on SWAG
  • Gold – $1,000 – Logo on the website, SWAG, and in the program

Please email Mitzu Nomura with your interest in sponsoring VITAL and indicate the package option you are interested in. You can also donate here in addition to, or in lieu of, sponsorship. After following the link, click on “My donation is for” and select “Education Program”, and please leave a comment at the bottom of the form specifying that this donation is for VITAL.

​​Thank you for your interest in supporting the postdoctoral researchers at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging!

Postdoctoral training in aging research

An opportunity to put yourself at the forefront of the field.

Back to Overview