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International Advisory Panel

The team is supported by a panel of international advisors which consists of:

Prof. Simon Biggs

Professor Simon Biggs currently Professor of Gerontology and Social Policy, sponsored by the Brotherhood of St Lawrence, University of Melbourne, Australia. Links with University of Heidelberg (Netzwerk AlternsforRschung), University College Dublin (National Centre for the Protection of Older People), and Helsinki (Department Social Policy). He has participated in EC and Canadian Government briefings on dignity in later life and elder protection and is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Ageing Societies. Recent research has included World Health Organisation's 'Age friendly cities' project; ESRC study of baby boomers; uses of adaptive technology in later life: first national prevalence study of elder abuse and neglect in the UK.

Interest include the relationship between social identity and adult ageing, including the analysis of international and national social policy, the changing adult life-course, and social and personal experience of ageing.

Written work has extended to: community care policies; technologies of self, such as counselling and psychotherapy in later life; midlife and maturity; intergenerational relationships; spirituality and ageing; lifestyles and retirement communities; public policy toward old age; social theory and ageing.

School of Social and Political Science, University of Melbourne

Prof. Karl Pillemer

Dr. Karl Pillemer is the Hazel E. Reed Professor in the Department of Human Development and Professor of Gerontology in Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College. He directs the Cornell Legacy Project ( and author of the book 30 Lessons for Living ( His major interests center on human development over the life course, with a special emphasis on family and social relationships in middle age and beyond. He has a strong theoretical and empirical interest in life course transitions and the effects they have on family relationships.

A major program of research is on intergenerational relations in later life, with a focus on determinants and consequences of the quality of adult child - older parent relationships. Dr. Pillemer is now conducting a large-scale study of this issue, with funding from the National Institute on Aging, which focuses on within-family differences in parent-child relations in later life and on ambivalence in intergenerational relations among adults.

A second major program of research focuses on the nature and dynamics of family caregiving for impaired elderly relatives, which he has been carrying out over the past two decades with funding from the National Institutes of Health.

A third area is in long-term care for the elderly, with a focus on the relationships between family members of residents with staff in long-term care facilities.

Fourth, Dr. Pillemer has a long-term program of research on conflict and abuse in families of the aged, including several related studies of the domestic and institutional abuse of older persons.

Finally, he is actively involved in intervention research and in policy analysis related to aging and health care, with an emphasis on evidence-based methods of developing a competent, caring long-term care workforce. His extension and outreach work involves translational research, exploring ways to speed the transfer of findings from basic research into scientifically tested interventions.

Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging