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Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging

Knoebel Institute

Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging

History

VISION—QUALITY IN LIFE, WELLNESS AND COMMUNITY

The idea of the Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging started before 2006, when the University began to look for a signature project that could become a regional center of excellence as well as a focus of the institution's research and academic talent. In September 2006, DU submitted a paper about establishing a center on aging to the Colorado Health Foundation.

Also in 2006, Dr. Lynn Taussig, a pediatric pulmonologist, was recruited to the University of Denver when he retired as president and CEO of National Jewish Medical and Research Center. Dr. Taussig's role was to assist in the growth of the Life Sciences program, implementation of the Molecular Life Sciences and Biophysics Programs and integration of the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (ERI) into DU and the life sciences initiative. Prior to his service at National Jewish, Dr. Taussig served as professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics and director of Steele Children's Research Center at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson. He is the author of more than 170 publications, four books, and numerous chapters and monographs related to respiratory illnesses in children. Dr. Taussig was instrumental in creating the vision for the implementation of the Institute and promoting interdisciplinary programs and research focused on aging. Dr. Taussig continued his work to grow the Institute through strategic planning within DU and collaborations with a number of clinical organizations to support research and education until his retirement in December of 2017.

In May 2010, DU received a generous gift from Betty Knoebel and used the gift to establish the Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging. The Knoebel gift also funds faculty positions in molecular life sciences and bioengineering. The Institute is named in recognition of a donation from Betty Knoebel, widow of Denver food services pioneer Ferdinand "Fritz" Knoebel.

In 2012, the Institute began funding internal grants to DU faculty in the area of aging research. The Institute has awarded three to five grants of $20,000 to $50,000 to DU faculty engaged in aging research each year. In May of 2014, DU broke ground on the new Engineering and Computer Science Building, with the intent of housing the Institute on the fifth floor.

In April 2015, Dr. Lotta Granholm-Bentley was appointed as the founding executive director of the Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging. Dr. Granholm-Bentley comes to DU from the Medical University of South Carolina, where she established the successful Center for Aging. She also has an appointment at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

In November 2015, the name was changed from the Knoebel Center for the Study of Aging to the Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging.

In August 2016, the Institute  moved into its permanent home on the fifth floor of the silver-domed Engineering and Computer Science Building, where we have offices on the west wing and a spacious open research wing on the east.