Annual Report FY 16-17


The mission of the Stanford Center on Longevity is to redesign long life. The Center studies the nature and development of the human life span, looking for innovative ways to use science and technology to solve the problems of people over 50 by improving the well-being of people of all ages. Learn more.

Director’s Letter

Dear Friends,

This year we reach the decadal milestone for the Stanford Center on Longevity – ten years of work redesigning long life.  As we plan for the future, the year also serves as an important moment to reflect on our accomplishments, recognize the productive working relationships we have with our faculty affiliates, industry leaders, policy makers, and supporters of the Center. 

Our three research divisions – Mind, Mobility and Financial Security continue to develop practical, impactful research programs that are focused on outcomes that can influence daily life. As we develop our research agenda, we actively seek the input of key influencers and decisions-makers who ultimately have the ability to effect a change. We use our “Launch Conference” model as a way to gather that input and this year, once again, saw a range of conference topics – including “Improving Communication for People with Hearing Loss”,“Working Longer and Retirement: Applying Research to Help Manage an Aging Workforce” and “The State of Financial Fraud in America”

We featured Courtney Martin, author of “The New Better Off” and noted Ted Talk speaker for the annual Distinguished Lecture which drew a large and diverse audience and generated lively discussion.

In the year after the inaugural Sightlines report was issued, we tackled the goal of making the data accessible and relevant – launching an interactive website that included in-depth data tools, news stories and expert commentary and interviews on Sightlines topics and we began work on the first in-depth analysis report on Financial Security to be published next year.

We are pleased with the continued growing interest and engagement in our annual Design Challenge.  This year’s challenge, “Innovating Aging in Place” was chosen to encourage students to think about how new, emerging technologies can be used to support high quality of life around a wide age range.  around emerging technologies.  The 75 entries received, exceeded last year’s challenge by 50%. We continue to see very strong geographic diversity with representation from 20 countries.  The winner, “TAME” is a wearable device to suppress pathological wrist tremors, giving tremor patients enough control to manage daily tasks.

During this year of reflection on the past and looking toward the future, we continue to be grateful for the support and counsel of the SCL Advisory Council and especially grateful to Council Chairman, Jim Johnson, for his remarkable leadership.

Laura Carstensen


The mission of the Mind Division is to harness the human capital represented in a growing number of mature and talented older citizens. Absent significant disease, aging is associated with an increase in knowledge and expertise, emotional stability and heightened motivation to engage in meaningful work. At the same time, the speed and efficiency of new learning typically declines with age, as does sensory functioning affecting hearing and vision. Such changes can hamper the effectiveness with which people engage with work, families and communities.

The Center aims to develop and evaluate infrastructures that channel the strengths of older people into families, workplaces, and communities. This includes improving cutting-edge technologies that compensate for deficits in hearing, vision and balance. We work to understand and improve how older people make important decisions about health care and financial matters. We also pursue efforts to distinguish normal from disease-related aging in cognition, so that interventions and policies are targeted appropriately.

2016-17 PROJECTS

Improving Communication for People with Hearing Loss

On March 14 and 15, 2017, we convened a group of distinguished experts representing the fields of medicine, engineering, psychology, sociology, law, government, health economics, health policy, industry, technology, and advocacy, to elaborate key issues, compile existing evidence, and identify questions to which answers are needed in order to guide research, inform public policy, and improve products and services.

The Hearing Project at the Stanford Center on Longevity will include developing research and policy programs to address the following issues:

  • Access, prevention, and education
  • Technology
  • Policies
  • Acoustic and built environments

The results of this project will provide actionable insights into the usage, technology, and policies related to greater adoption of hearing aids and other hearing devices, as well as related methods for acoustically improving built environments. Further, the results of this project will provide insights into the effects of hearing devices and improved acoustics on communication among individuals with varying degrees of hearing loss. Data and resources collected by the Hearing Project may serve as a starting point for future research. Ultimately, the Hearing Project seeks to improve overall the psychological, physical, and cognitive well-being of the hearing-impaired and those who interact with them.

The project will seed pilot research on identified topics and convene practitioners, patients, and other stakeholders to develop a strategic plan to improve communication for those with hearing loss in America.

Read the conference proceedings

Study of the Cognitive Benefits of Volunteering–Santa Clara County Project

The Santa Clara County (SCC) Volunteerism Project is key to our mission and one of our premier studies. There is building excitement and optimism about the ability of this project to tap the human capital of SCC workers and retirees, and deploy it to help County residents, primarily youth. The impact of this project will be directed toward:

  • Enhancing volunteer participation
  • Understanding the benefits of volunteering (improve the physical, mental and cognitive health of volunteers)
  • Enhancing community targets (benefits to the recipients of volunteerism)
  • Creating a new social norm of volunteering
  • Reducing health care costs and utilization (and save the County health care expenditures)
  • Becoming the first county in the U.S. to launch such an effort and serve as a model template to other cities, counties and throughout the nation.

We have secured some funding from Santa Clara County to help fund this pilot study where we will test the recruitment and retention of 250 volunteers over 2 years. Since our last meeting, the MoU and contract between Santa Clara County and Stanford has been completed and signed.  We also were informed that the County has reorganized their hospital system such that they now have funding for paid universal screeners. Therefore, we will be offering our research participants a wide variety of volunteer roles within the County Health and Hospital System, and working closely with their Volunteer Coordinator. We tested our recruitment messages successfully, have developed the research protocol and surveys, and have are submitting this project to the Institutional Review Board for approval as a clinical trial. Once we receive Institutional Review Board approval, we expect to begin recruiting in early 2017.

The Cognition and Retirement Study: “Is Working Longer Good for You?”–Understanding potential pathways between working and cognitive performance

Funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, this research study was designed to identify potential mediators to age-related cognitive decline. Based on longitudinal analysis of the Health and Retirement Study data, this study examined the effects of retirement pathways on cognitive outcomes for individuals moving from full-time work into retirement from jobs with varying levels of cognitive complexity. Preliminary results were presented and discussed at our “Working Longer” conference in April, in additionto other conference presentations. The final manuscript has been submitted for review in a major academic journal, andwill be made available once it has been accepted for publication.

“Hidden in Plain Sight: How Intergenerational Relationships Can Transform Our Future” – Monograph released July 2016

In collaboration with Marc Freedman from, we have produced a monograph with four chapters designed to represent the collective thinking of attendees of the “Pass It On” conference (held in June 2014) on matching the skills and talents of older Americans with the pressing needs of young people. You can read the report here: monograph was released nationally together with, the Packard Foundation and AARP,  in conjunction with events (such as AARP’s national meeting on intergenerational programs) and program launches (such as’s launch of their new initiative, Generation to Generation.). It was picked up in the popular press and social media, and our own DCI Fellow, Kate Jerome (who contributed to the monograph) was asked to give a TED talk on the importance of connections between older and younger generations based on her experience and work with this project.

Family Decision-Making Surrounding Life-Threatening Illness

We continue (in collaboration with the Life Span Development Lab and possible other contributors such as a health economist) to discuss developing a survey to deploy through ClearCare and Comfort Keepers, asking family caregivers about their own beliefs and experiences with end-of-life planning for their loved ones, and to follow them over time as the loved one’s illness progresses. In addition, we’ve had some conversations with a community engagement initiative in San Mateo County with the aim of disseminating information and highlighting the need for early conversations. We continue to maintain a close relationship with Stanford’s Palliative Medicine Department, with an eye for areas of collaboration and support. They include us in their Strategic Planning sessions and other meetings and events, such as the recent screening of the Oscar nominated documentary “Extremis” (which is available to watch on Netflix). Both Dr. Jessica Zitter (, the “star” of the film, and the Executive Prodcuer, Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider from the The Ungerleider Fund ( have contacted us for follow-up meetings to discuss future collaborations.

Staff, Student and Other Updates

We oversaw two quarters (Winter and Spring) of Psych 189 (our Practicum course for undergraduates), creating the syllabus and designing the content, schedule and deliverables. We met weekly with the students as they work on in-depth assignments with our staff.  In addition, we headed up the Roland Fellowship interview and selection process. Of the many talented applicants, we ultimately awarded 4 undergraduate fellowships, and serve as Academic Mentors to these students during their projects. We coordinated two Emeriti Lectures, selecting and inviting speakers to present to our Emeriti Council members. We continue to contribute to our Toolkit Brief and Webinar Initiative for our Corporate Affiliates.  We have written an additional Toolkit on Intergenerational Relationships, and will be presenting a webinar on “The Importance of Social Connectedness for Long Life” in July. In addition, we have been working closely with Dr. Tamara Sims on The Sightlines Project Social Engagement content, including the recent survey of family caregivers. Our next launch conference will be Social Tech and Social Engagement (dates TBD).

Faculty and Staff


  • Jeremy Bailenson, PhD
    Associate Professor of Communication; Director, Virtual Human Interaction Lab


  • Jonathan Berger, DMA
    Denning Family Provostial Professor, Department of Music; Co-Director of Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SiCa); Co-Director of Stanford’s Art Initiative; William R. and Gretchen B. Kimball University Fellow in Undergraduate Education
  • William Damon, PhD
    Professor of Education and Senior Fellow, by courtesy, at the Hoover Institution; Director, Center on Adolescence
  • Hank Greely, JD
    Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law and, Professor, by courtesy, of Genetics; Director, Center for Law and Biosciences
  • Michael Greicius, MD
    Assistant Professor, Neurology and Neurological Sciences and, by courtesy, of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Principal Investigator, Functional Imaging in Neuropsychiatric Disorders Lab
  • Gerald Popelka, PhD
    Chief of Audiology, Stanford University School of Medicine; Department of Otolaryngology, Audiology, School of Medicine
  • Jeanne Tsai, PhD
    Associate Professor of Psychology; Director, Culture and Emotion Lab


  • Amy Yotopoulos
  • Marie Conley Smith
    Social Science Research Professional


Mobility is strongly associated with quality of life – the ability to move about independently at home and at work, to move about our community, to travel to distant places. Embedded in the concept of mobility is physical fitness across the life course, which is central to the notion of healthy aging.  Maintaining physical fitness is a major focus of the division, including projects on exercise, reducing sedentary behavior, optimal nutrition, and measurement of fitness through wearable devices.  Beyond  lifestyle choices, research in the biology of aging holds promise that therapeutics may emerge that may be able to extend the period of physical fitness and delay the onset of functional decline. Technological advances also may be able to enhance functionality even in the face of physical decline associated with chronic disease.

The Mobility Division looks to improve the lives of people in all of these ways by leveraging Stanford research, bringing individual disciplines together to create larger solutions, and working with industry and government to translate academic research into products to benefit individuals and society.

In addition to encouraging and supporting research, the Mobility Division strives to be a source of unbiased, scientifically-based information amid a proliferation of confusing, and often conflicting, messages related to changes that occur during aging and how to delay, arrest, or even reverse such changes.

2016-17 PROJECTS

2016-2017 Stanford Center on Longevity Design Challenge: “Innovating Aging in Place”

This year’s challenge – “Innovating Aging in Place” – was launched in early September. The topic was chosen in part to allow students to design around a host of emerging technologies in this space – social engagement solutions, Internet of Things devices, universal home design solutions, and wearables – while learning about the ways in which these designs can support high quality of life across a wide age range.

Student response to the challenge was excellent. The 75 entries received in December exceeded last year’s challenge by 50%. Geographic diversity was also strong, with 20 countries representing 5 continents entering designs. The Finals were held on March 30thwith approximately 225 people attending. A panel of 10 judges representing industry, academia, and non-profits chose the following designs for award:

1stPlace:TAME”, from the National University of Sciences and Technology in Islamabad, Pakistan. TAME is a wearable device for real-time pathological wrist tremor suppression that gives back control to tremor patients for doing daily tasks. The device has a sensor near the wrist which tracks the wearer’s tremor profile and electrodes that stimulate the muscles to counteract the tremor and suppress it. Instead of a conventional glove, TAME is a wearable device, small and light weight enough to be discreetly worn under a shirt. The device’s sensors and electrodes correspond to positions recommended by neurologists and physiotherapists. TAME has 2 variants; a sleeve, and a wearable with retractable wires.

2ndPlace:Rendever”, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Rendever is a virtual reality platform designed to improve the quality of life of older adults. Rendever’s VR experience allows older adults to visit their childhood homes, travel the world, and connect with family and friends. The content is intended to inspire more conversations, and brings new stimulating experiences to the daily lives of users. The system uses a tablet that controls the experience either on-site or remotely for caregivers, and includes hundreds of hours of content including therapy and lesson plans.

3rdPlace:Uppo”, from Virginia Tech
Uppo is a mobility device that maintains the user’s sense of security without compromising posture. A rollator walker, Uppo has an arm rest at a high and wide position, which reinforces scapular retraction –thus encouraging better posture. The walker is also collapsible and compact enough to be transported easily. This walker will help with mobility issue faced by many older people, allowing them to maneuver independently and safely outside their homes.

Following the Finals, the teams participated in a day-long workshop hosted jointly with the Stanford Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Graduate School of Business, where they received instruction on business plan development, legal issues, and approaches for procuring funding.

The results of the challenge will also be presented at the 2017 “Dwell on Design” conference in Los Angeles in late June. The conference is one of the largest yearly gatherings of architects and home designers. The presentation will outline the importance of considering aging populations in home design and will leverage the challenge to highlight the diversity of design concepts possible in the space.

Influencing Nutrition with Taste

As presented in the last Council update, the Center is working with Dr. Christopher Gardner at the Stanford Prevention Research Center to develop a project on nutrition. Dr. Gardner has worked on diet and nutrition for over 20 years and has recently become involved with a group of universities and the Culinary Institute of America looking at ways to influence better nutrition beyond the traditional food pyramid approach.  This is essentially “leading with taste” – working with chefs to create menus making the healthy choices ones that are also most appealing.

Dr. Gardner recently applied for and received a Stanford-internal “Spectrum” pilot grant for translational research in nutrition. He will be applying this grant to fund the initial phase of an interventional study on motivating nutrition with taste that will be conducted at the Continuing Life senior living community in Pleasanton, CA.  This initial phase will consist of a series of interviews of chefs, residents, and culinary management at the community to understand how to best design an interventional study for this environment. This phase should be complete in the next 2-3 months and will be followed by a proposal for the full study.

Stanford Biodesign Innovation Fellowship

The BioDesign Fellowship program has been a flagship innovation program at the Stanford Medical School for the past 15 years. Each year, a cohort of 12 fellows is selected in a very competitive application cycle. The fellows, typically either M.D.’s and graduate level engineers, is led through a 9-month structured innovation program, with the goal of creating new biomedical products. The program has launched 41 new companies to date. Each year is focused on a specific topic area – the 2017-2018 topic was “aging”. This was the program’s first foray into an area that is not purely clinical and the Center on Longevity was asked to help create a “bootcamp” for the incoming fellows to help steep them in the important aspects of aging, followed by a series of immersive visits to a range of senior care settings ranging from homes to memory care facilities. This program is just completing its work and the resulting projects will be presented prior to the Council meeting.

Faculty and Staff


  • James Landay, PhD
    Professor of Computer Science


  • Thomas Andriacchi, PhD
    Professor of Mechanical Engineering (Biomechanical Operations) and of Orthopedic Surgery
  • Karen Cook, PhD
    Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor of Sociology; Department Chair, Department of Sociology
  • Mary Goldstein, MD, MS
    Professor of Medicine (Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research) and, by courtesy, of Health Research and Policy at the PAVAHCS
  • William Haskell, PhD
    Professor (Research) of Medicine, Emeritus
  • Iris F. Litt, MD
    Marron and Mary Elizabeth Kendrick Professor of Pediatrics, Emerita
  • Pamela Matson, PhD
    Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences/ Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor in Environmental Studies and Senior Fellow at Woods Institute
  • Margaret Neale, MS, PhD
    Adams Distinguished Professor of Management, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Director of the Managing Teams for Innovation and Success Executive Program; Director of the Influence and Negotiation Strategies Executive Program; Co-Director of the Executive Program for Women Leaders


  • Ken Smith
  • Jonathan Streeter
    Social Science Research Professional


In an age of unprecedented longevity, a focus on lifelong individual financial security has never been more crucial. The mission of the Financial Security Division is to bring a unique interdisciplinary perspective to financial security issues facing our society by rethinking the perceived problems around an aging population, especially retirement planning and the need to work longer. By understanding the role that research, education and policy can play in solving these issues and by looking at the problems from multiple perspectives, we will drive the dialogue forward in order to facilitate a healthier state of long-term financial security for the individual and society.

We bring together the best thinkers, policymakers, and business leaders to drive innovation and change around financial security issues. We focus our efforts on three topic areas: financial capability; the new career lifecycles; and common financial pitfalls such as fraud. For each of these areas, we identify key research and policy issues, catalyze research around practical solutions, disseminate information to key stakeholders and thought leaders, and discuss ways to encourage evidence-based policy decision. More specifically, for financial capability, we will explore how to help individuals become wise consumers of financial information and prepare for financial milestones such as retirement. For the new career lifecycle, we will redefine the concepts of “work” and “retirement” in order to reflect the reality of increased longevity. Finally, our work on common financial pitfalls such as fraud will consolidate research from a range of disciplines to form a unified understanding of fraud and effective fraud prevention.

2016-17 PROJECTS

“Working Longer and Retirement: Apply Research to Help Manage an Aging Workforce”

This conference was held in April 2017 and gathered a small group of academic researchers, employers and human resource practitioners to discuss practical ideas that apply emerging academic research to managing an aging workforce.  The topics of the conference included:

  • Myths about the older workforce, measuring older worker productivity/labor costs
  • Strategies to enhance older worker productivity, including alternative career trajectories
  • Strategies, issues, and programs to help older workers transition from the workplace.

A number of areas for future research emerged, including the need for a business case which provides the support for hiring and retaining older workers.  The feedback from attendees was very positive and we are considering making this conference a regular (every 2 years) event.

Optimizing Retirement Income Solutions Integrating In-Plan and Out-of-Plan Strategies

This project analyzes retirement income solutions in IRAs, compares to solutions in employer-sponsored retirement plans, and develops metrics to assess retirement income strategies.  The project is currently under way and we expect completion by mid-2017.

The Milestones Project

This project which is examining how important life milestones, especially those that have a significant influence on financial outcomes (e.g.: education completion, first job, marriage/cohabitation, children, house purchase) are changing generation to generation and across socio-economic groups. The initial analysis confirmed that there have been significant shifts across education and economic groups.  A paper and brief on those findings is being drafted.  A significant finding from that initial analysis has led to a secondary “Milestones” project to further examine how these shifts are affecting women, especially highly educated women and their financial decision-making.  A survey was fielded in December, 2016 and the results are currently being analyzed.

State of Financial Fraud in America Conference

Our inaugural fraud conference was held 5 years ago, and this conference, again co-sponsored with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, and held in Washington, D.C. on November 30th, brought together researchers, regulators and practitioners to hear presentations on topics ranging from the prevalence of fraud, to how technology is being used to combat fraud and what is happening on the front line of fraud defense.  Keynote speeches were given by Robert Cook, President/CEO of FINRA and Chair of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Bill Baer, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General, Department of Justice and Charles Schaeffer, Executive Producer of CNBC’s American Greed.  The conference was well attended with close to 175 participants.

Health and Retirement Survey Module on Fraud

Working with Profs. Olivia Mitchell (Wharton) and Annamaria Lusardi (George Mason), we developed a survey module to be included in the HRS study.  Data expected to be available in 2017 and we received a grant from TIAA to complete the analysis.

Faculty and Staff


  • John Shoven, PhD
    Charles R. Schwab Professor of Economics; Wallace R. Hawley Director, SIEPR; Senior Fellow, by courtesy, Hoover Institution


  • Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD
    Associate Professor of Medicine, and by courtesy in Health Research and Policy and Economics
  • Gopi Shah Goda, PhD
    Senior Research Scholar and Postdoctoral Fellow Program Coordinator, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)
  • Hazel Markus, PhD
    Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences
  • William F. Sharpe, PhD
    STANCO 25 Professor of Finance, Emeritus


  • Martha Deevy
  • Steve Vernon
    Consulting Research Scholar
  • Marti DeLiema, PhD
    Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Sasha Freyd-Johnson
    Social Science Research Professional


The aim of the Sightlines Project is to characterize how well Americans are doing over historical time in three key areas known to optimize longer lives: Healthy Living, Financial Security, and Social Engagement. The inaugural report illuminated where Americans need the most support. In response, since the last Advisory Council meeting, we have begun to embark upon next steps including: 1) showcase findings from Sightlines and other relevant work through our new website in order to proliferate new research, inform key influencers for policy development and program implementation, and inspire national conversation about living long and living well; and 2) conduct more in-depth analyses to determine whether and how Sightlines findings differ by various demographic contexts such as gender and geographic region to better identify subgroups that are most vulnerable.

2016-17 PROJECTS

Sightlines Project Website

The website is intended to reach engaged audiences with some knowledge of issues surrounding longevity. The content includes in-depth Sightlines data disaggregated by demographic groups, spotlight webpages featuring the latest news and research on aspects of Healthy Living (e.g., diet), Financial Security (e.g., home ownership), and Social Engagement (e.g., volunteering). In addition, these webpages include interviews with faculty affiliates who have expertise on the spotlight topic and related commentaries that range in perspectives from experts in academia, field work, as well as viewpoints from representatives of specific generations (e.g., Millennials). We are continuing to develop a Tools section that includes downloadable content such as a brief 2 page description of Sightlines and a survey that can be used to assess special populations of interest to see how they might compare to the U.S. population. Please visit http://sightlinesproject.stanford.eduto view these features and more.

Sightlines Demographic Report

The inaugural report generated a great deal of interest in how Sightlines’ findings may or may not differ among subgroups of the American population. For instance, is the uptick in physical activity among Millennials similar for men and women?  Or, is social disengagement seen among Baby Boomers more pronounced for unmarried compared to married individuals? Currently, we are developing the second annual Sightlines report focusing in on such demographic trends including variation by gender, educational attainment, income quartile, marital status, and ethnicity. This second report will provide a more in-depth understanding for the purpose of targeted policy development, interventions, and future research. Since the last Advisory Council meeting, we have compiled, analyzed, and reviewed all demographic subgroup data. Using sophisticated software, we have created appealing visualizations of all data to house on our website with select findings to be featured in the written report.

Future Annual Reports

As with the upcoming demographic report in February 2017, we will continue to produce annual reports that describe focused research being conducted within each Sightlines domain. In 2018, we will provide an overview of projects focused on Financial Security, including a more in-depth look at the Milestones project (described below). In 2019 and 2020, we will release reports on focused research in Social Engagement and Healthy Living, respectively. In 2021, we will release our second Sightlines report featuring the next wave of Sightlines data with the intention of illustrating whether any progress has been made since the inaugural report.

The Sightlines Survey

Although we were able to compile data from high quality, nationally representative data sets, there were some limitations of this approach. For instance, many of the outcomes came from different datasets and thus, we were unable to assess how different aspects of one domain relate or how different domains relate to one another. In addition, while we were able to compare groups of Americans at two distinct time points, we were unable to follow the same group of people over time to characterize changes within an individual in living well. Finally, we were restricted to existing measures available to us. (e.g., for social engagement, survey respondents reported how often they interacted with family members outside of the home. There were no measures in the datasets we used that measured interactions with familyinside of the home). Therefore, we plan to administer our own survey of Americans using a nationally representative survey panel. Conducting our own survey will advance the Sightlines project aims in four important ways:

  1. We will be able to assess how Healthy Living, Financial Security, and Social Engagement relate to one another.
  2. We will analyze the composition of each index to determine what makes up the biggest piece of the pie. For instance, what matters most for Healthy Living: physical activity, sleep, diet, etc.?
  3. In addition to comparing different groups of people over historical time as in the inaugural report, we will be able to follow the same people of different age groups annually to assess changes in Healthy Living, Financial Security, and Social Engagement as they enter different stages of life.
  4. We will delve deeper into possible explanations for many of the observed patterns identified in the Sightlines project by including additional survey questions refined according to questions raised by the initial analyses.

Focused Research Projects

 Within each area, we will focus in on some of the most compelling findings of the initial Sightlines report. These projects range in approach and include webpages highlighting informative and timely news stories and research studies on select topics, comprehensive reviews of the academic literature, analysis of existing datasets, survey and experimental studies, and randomized interventions. Below are examples of projects currently underway in each domain:

Financial Security: Using data from the national longitudinal survey of youth, we are currently assessing whether shifts in the timing of common life events such as marriage/cohabitation and children is one reason for the lower likelihood of Millennials’ to own a home.

Healthy Living: Measures of a healthy diet are often erroneous and do not capture what   Americans are actually eating. To better capture this, we will be conducting a comprehensive review of the academic literature in both fields of medicine and technology to identify     commonly used assessments of diet and determine the possibility of a gold standard approach.

Social Engagement: Relative to today’s older generation when they were middle-aged, Baby Boomers are less socially engaged.  It is conceivable that this is because they are “sandwiched” between Millennials returning home and aging parents requiring care. We are currently piloting a nationwide survey of family caregivers to begin to explore this idea.

Faculty and Staff


  • Tamara Sims
    Research Analyst
  • Jialu Streeter
    Research Data Analyst


Distinguished Lecture – Courtney Martin: “The New Better Off”

Courtney E. Martin is an author, entrepreneur, and weekly columnist for On Being. Her latest book, The New Better Off, explores how people are re-defining the American dream (think more fulfillment, community, and fun, less debt, status, and stuff). Courtney is the co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is also co-founder and partner at Valenti Martin Media and FRESH Speakers Bureau, and editor emeritus at

Courtney has authored/edited six books, including Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, and Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women, and her work appears frequently in national publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. Courtney has appeared on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and The O’Reilly Factor, and speaks widely at conferences and colleges. She is the recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics and a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre.

She lives with her family in a co-housing community, called Temescal Commons, in Oakland. Read more about her work at

Watch the lecture

“Monster in the Mind” Screening

Last month, we co-sponsored a screening of the film “Monster in the Mind with Stanford’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. After the 60-minute version of the film, Stanford Center on Longevity Faculty Affiliates Drs. Victor Henderson and Frank Longo had a Q&A session with the over 160 attendees that were present. This event was free to the public and was extremely well-received. 


AUGUST 17, 2017
Vote For The Encore Prize To Help Kids – Forbes

AUGUST 9, 2017
A Search For Anti-Aging Secrets Starts with the Blood of 600 Estonians – Wired

AUGUST 9, 2017
The unsung longevity factor of social connection – Amy Yotopoulos, TEDx San Francisco

AUGUST 8, 2017
Tech, Alcohol And Ageism On The Minds Of Top Aging Experts – Forbes

JULY 18, 2017
The New College Program To Launch Encore Careers – Forbes

JUNE 30, 2017
What age is considered “old” nowadays? – CBS Money Watch

APRIL 25, 2017
On transitions and identity: A reflection by Stanford’s Philip Pizzo – Stanford School of Medicine

MARCH 14, 2017
Here’s an ‘income menu’ that could help retirees make their savings last – MarketWatch

FEBRUARY 6, 2017
Stanford researchers aim to create global conversations about long, healthy living – Stanford Report

DECEMBER 26, 2016
Finding reasons to be cheerful gets easier with time – Chicago Tribune

DECEMBER 21, 2016
Retirement Wellness: Toward a More Complete Framework – Forbes

DECEMBER 7, 2016
The Power of Purposeful Aging: Culture Change and the New Demography – The Milken Institute

NOVEMBER 28, 2016
Oldest adults may have much to gain from social technology – Stanford Report

NOVEMBER 2, 2016
6 retirement strategies from a local pro – CBS MoneyWatch

OCTOBER 28, 2016
Here’s what happens when someone is forced to retire because they’re ‘old’ – MarketWatch

OCTOBER 21, 2016
How millennials can help themselves — and their parents – CBS MoneyWatch

OCTOBER 20, 2016
Do brain-training exercises really work? – CNN

OCTOBER 18, 2016
Five faculty members elected to National Academy of Medicine – Stanford Medicine

OCTOBER 11, 2016
Let’s retire retirement – BlackRock blog

OCTOBER 6, 2016
401(k) Plan Shortcomings Failing As Retirement Income Program – Forbes

OCTOBER 3, 2016
Do “Brain-Training” Programs Work? – Psychological Science in the Public Interest

OCTOBER 3, 2016
The Weak Evidence Behind Brain-Training Games – The Atlantic

OCTOBER 3, 2016
Brain Game Claims Fail A Big Scientific Test – NPR

SEPTEMBER 19, 2016
Seizing Longevity’s Competitive Advantages – Next Avenue

SEPTEMBER 13, 2016
A call for intergenerational engagement – Scope (Stanford School of Medicine blog) 

SEPTEMBER 13, 2016
A critical missing piece in 401(k) plans – CBS MoneyWatch

SEPTEMBER 12, 2016
How Higher Education Can Aid Life Transitions – Next Avenue

 Older people offer the resource that children need, Stanford report says – Stanford Report

 Prepare for the Rising Cost of Living in Retirement – US News and World Report


The remarkable speed with which the Stanford Center on Longevity was established reflects a generous founding gift from Stanford alumnus Richard Rainwater, who recognized one of the most urgent needs of our time: adapting our society to a rapidly aging population. His gift enabled the Center to begin immediately with a core staff and with key programs in place.

Going forward, the Center’s work continues to benefit from individuals and organizations that recognize the importance and urgency of redesigning long life. During 2016-2017, the Center received generous funding from individual donors as well as from AARP, Airbnb, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Allianz, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BlackRock, Care Innovations, Davis Phinney Foundation,, Eskaton, Fidelity Investments, FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Great West Financial, Halbert Hargrove, Home Care Assistance, Lixil, Mercer, The National Institute on Aging, Optum, Orange, Prudential, Qualcomm, The Society of Actuaries, State Street Global Partners, Target, Transamerica, and Whole You, Inc.

Gifts help the Center embark on new research projects, develop educational programs, collaborate with faculty and disseminate research findings so they can be put into practice. To discuss opportunities for partnering with the Center, please contact:

Nancy Easterbrook, Director of External Affairs
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (650) 721-7997
Mailing Address:
Stanford Center on Longevity
Littlefield Center, Room 350
365 Lasuen Street, Stanford, CA 94305

Gifts to the Stanford Center on Longevity are tax-deductible under applicable rules. The Center is part of Stanford University’s tax-exempt status as a Section 501 (c) (3) public charity.