William R. Markesbery, MD (1932-2010)

Dr. Markesbery led the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging from its founding in 1979 until his death in 2010. He was also director of the UK-Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and was recognized as an international leader in research to advance the understanding of Alzheimer's disease.

Remembering Dr. Markesbery - click here for links to published recollections/tribute articles.

The University officially initiated its aging program in 1963 with the formation of a Council on Aging. In 1972, as a result of a grant from the Eleanor and JohnY. Brown Jr. Foundation, funding was obtained for the construction of the current Sanders-Brown Research Building and, with additional funding from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, a program in biomedical research was implemented within the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center. In 1979, the center opened its doors and emerged as a national leader in efforts to improve the quality of life for the older adults through research and education. It is one of the original ten NIH-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers. 

The center was established to identify and study those issues that directly influence how older persons live today and will live tomorrow. The center's research efforts are directed at improving the lives of older individuals by searching for the causes, treatment and cures of dementing neurodegenerative diseases and stroke and by the study of physical and social environments that lead to improved health. Center efforts also focus on education and community service. For example, there are specialized clinical services for geriatric patients, training programs for health care professionals, and self-enrichment activities for older persons.

A major goal of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging is to support life-long growth and development. To accomplish this goal, we sponsor a wide range of research, service, and educational activities. We hope that these efforts enrich the environment for those who are old today and will benefit those who grow older tomorrow.

The center is directed by Linda J. Van Eldik, PhD, professor of neuroscience.