Gatz to Receive GSA’s 2018 Distinguished Career Contribution to Gerontology Award

For Immediate Release
August 29, 2018

Contact: Todd Kluss
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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Margaret Gatz, PhD, FGSA, of the University of Southern California as the 2018 recipient of the Distinguished Career Contribution to Gerontology Award.

This distinguished honor is given annually to an individual whose theoretical contributions have helped bring about a new synthesis and perspective or have yielded original and elegant research designs addressing a significant problem in the literature. Membership in GSA’s Behavioral and Social Sciences Section also is required.

The award presentation will take place at GSA’s 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting, which will be held from November 14 to 18 in Boston, Massachusetts. This conference is organized to foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers, educators, and practitioners who specialize in the study of the aging process. Visit for further details.

Gatz is a professor of psychology, gerontology, and preventive medicine at the University of Southern California. She also is a foreign adjunct professor in the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

She has made wide-ranging contributions in the field of clinical geropsychology. Her impact can be seen through empirical, conceptual and methodological contributions. She is an acknowledged leader in the study of Alzheimer’s disease, having initiated the world’s largest twin study of dementia to date — the Study of Dementia in Swedish Twins.

Gatz has also published widely on late life depression. Her current research addresses age-related changes in depressive symptoms, personality, and cognition; risk and protective factors for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; how families manage aging and dementia; and evaluations of interventions to treat mental disorders or improve preventive health behaviors.

She has contributed extensively to the literature on mental health and aging, including authoring more than 250 peer-reviewed journal articles, more than 40 book chapters, and authoring or editing four books. Gatz is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received an honorary doctoral degree from the Karolinska Institutet.

She also has been the recipient of many prestigious awards. Among them are several from the American Psychological Association, including the Presidential Citation; the Zenith Research Award from the Alzheimer’s Association in 2001; GSA’s Donald P. Kent Award in 2006; and GSA’s Behavioral and Social Sciences Section Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award in 1997. Gatz is a GSA fellow, which represents the highest category of membership within the Society.


The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society, and an educational unit, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.

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