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Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging

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Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging

Past Events

Dr. Granholm's RESEARCH UPDATE on Healthy Aging and Dementia

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On Wednesday, February 27, KIHA hosted more than 80 attendees for Dr. Ann-Charlotte (Lotta) Granholm-Bentley's update on her research on healthy aging and dementia. Dr. Granholm kept the audience engaged with her lively presentation. Click here for a link to the slides from this engaging presentation. 

KIHA CAPTURES HISTORY from Manhattan project member

Dr. H.W. KochOn Monday, January 28, 2019, KIHA filmed Dr. H. William Koch sharing his work on the Manhattan Project. Students of all disciplines will enjoy hearing this lecture on history, physics, World War II and atomic weapons. The Manhattan Project began in 1942 and resulted in production of the atomic bombs that were dropped in August 1945 on Hiroshima and Nagasaki bringing World War II to an end. Dr. Koch's involvement with the Manhattan Project is an intriguing story. He presents a living history of the development of nuclear weapons. Click on this link to watch the story of Dr. Koch's research in physics.

Dr. Koch originally presented on the evening of December 7, 2018 to a packed event space. He enthralled the audience with his lecture.


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Jenna Powell, a DU alumna who was instrumental in the start of KIHA's concussion study, landed her first post-college job as a clinical research coordinator for Children's Hospital Colorado.Powell double majored in biology and psychology as part of DU's cognitive neuroscience program. During her time at DU, she worked in Dr. Bradley Davidson's Human Dynamics Laboratory. As a senior, Powell was chosen to give a speech at the opening of the Engineering and Computer Science Building. In her current role, Powell hopes to make a difference through orthopedic research in her first job post-graduation. Read more about Powell here.


Veteran in Audience ImageWe hope that you had a chance to attend our holiday celebration on December 7. We focused this year's celebration on World War II veterans, and we had some interesting speakers. The first speaker was Dr. William Koch, a 98-year-old physicist who participated in the Manhattan Project as a young graduate student. Everyone so enjoyed his talk that KIHA brought him back on Monday, January 28 to present to the broader community.

Dr. Leah Weinberg, who is a Visiting Professor in Musicology in the Lamont School, followed Dr. Koch. Dr. Weinberg talked about the history and societal context of the music of the WWII era, including the USO and what that music means to the veterans.

The celebration also featured photographs and stories from U.S. Veterans displayed around the event space for attendees to read about their bravery and life stories. Some photos did not contain a story, a poignant reminder of the ravages of dementia. Dr. Roddy MacInnes, a DU Studio Art and Photography professor, produced these lovely portraits and provided the integrated photo and story prints.


On May 23, 2018, more than 50 guests attended a seminar on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) with a Keynote Address by Nazem Atassi, MD. MMSc. Participants learned about current drugs in clinical trials and the hope of developing a successful intervention. Dr. Nazem Atassi is Associate Director of the Neurological Clinical Research Institute (NCRI) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, Massachusetts, Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Other Attendees/Presenters included: ALS Association: Rocky Mountain Chapter, Colorado Neurological Institute, Augie's Quest/ALS Finding a Cure, Steph Courdin: ALSNeverSurrender, Daniel Linseman, PhD, KIHA at DU.

Engaging in Aging conference is KIHA's first sold-out event!

On June 30, 2018, Dementia Friendly Denver, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), A Little Help, and KIHA partnered to present Engaging in Aging. This half-day session began with a keynote to 150 attendees in the ECS Event Space by Dr. Paula Bickford about Lifestyle Changes for the Aging Brain. Attendees then chose to attend two of four breakout sessions:

  • Changes in the Aging Brain
  • Movement and the Aging Brain
  • Dementia and the Aging Brain: Reducing Your Risk
  • Financial Security, Cognitive Health, & the Aging Brain

Attendees then regathered in the ECS Event Space for a panel Q&A session. Everyone enjoyed this event so much that we are going to do it again on October 6, 2018, so stay tuned to the KIHA website for details. 

KIHA HOSTS COCARE State of Aging Conference 

On Friday, April 13, 2018 KIHA hosted the first COCARE State of Aging Conference. COCARE is a group of Colorado Universities united in research, service and education to address the challenges of aging. This group first came together in September of 2017 when Dr. Granholm-Bentley convened a meeting of area universities with programs in aging. The original participating universities were the University of Denver, Regis University, CU Anschutz, CSU Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging, CU Boulder Healthy Aging Project, and the UCCS Aging Center. To learn more about COCARE and the State of Aging Conference, please see the Spring 2018 newsletter. 

KIHA represented at senior law day

Eric Chess, M.D., J.D., KIHA's Director of the Financial Security and Cognitive Decline Initiative, presented the opening session for the 20th annual Senior Law Day on July 27, 2018. His presentation was titled Financial Security and Cognitive Health. 

Eric Chess presents kiha's Financial security initiative at state agency Round Table

Eric Chess, MD, JD, Director of the Financial Security and Cognitive Decline Initiative presented at the State Agency Round Table on Aging, hosted by the Colorado Department of Law on June 8, 2018. This was an invitation-only event organized by the Attorney General of Colorado to inform the Attorney General's Financial Literacy initiative as well as bring agencies together to further common goals. Dr. Chess was connected to the Attorney General at the COCARE conference in April. 

KIHA HOSTS movie and seminar with Dr. Nicholas Bazan

Dr. Nicolas G. Bazan is a neuroscientist and eye researcher, author, educator, mentor, entrepreneur, music enthusiast, and art lover. His research focuses on neurodegenerative diseases, aiming to understand endogenous modulation of neuroinflammatory signaling, with a lifelong quest to help people affected by stroke, Alzheimer's disease, pain, blindness, and other diseases. He has written two books: The Dark Madonna: A Fable of Resilience and Imagination and Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind, on which this movie is based. On February 21 this year, we screened his beautiful movie Of Mind and Music at KIHA. There was hardly a dry eye in the audience during this powerful story that links music and Alzheimer's disease in a fascinating and engaging story. The event was organized in collaboration with Alzheimer's Association. The following day, Dr. Bazan presented his research to the community in a well-attended seminar. 


On November 17, Dr Granholm held a round table on "Technology and Business Opportunities." Download the presentation here.


KIHA's executive director, Dr. Lotta Granholm-Bentley, is conducting an interdisciplinary study on concussions. Athletes from DU are helping serve as test subjects. The Colorado Neurological Institute (CNI) will help follow concussed athletes later in life. And the project includes Bradley Davidson, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of DU's Human Dynamics Lab. Read more about the concussion study here.


We had a great turnout for this community event! Thanks to Dementia Friendly Denver and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for parterning with us on this informational event for the public. Topics covered included:

• What is the difference between Alzheimer's and dementia?
• What are the warning signs for dementia?
• How do I communicate with someone with dementia?
• What are the latest research updates?
• What resources are available in my community?

This successful event led to the Engaging in Aging conference held at KIHA in June of 2018. 


The first Pioneer Symposium of the 2016-2017 year was held on September 16, 2016 with the theme of Health and Aging. Dr. Harry Johns, CEO and President of the National Alzheimer's Association, gave the opening address at the lunch that opened the symposium. Dr. Johns was introduced by Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. Following this luncheon, many faculty presented their research and education on aging-related matters in parallel sessions, followed by a well-attended reception hosted by the DU Alumni. Learn more about this Pioneer Symposium.

Grand Opening in the Engineering and Computer Science Building

Thank you for celebrating the grand opening of the Engineering and Computer Science Building on Friday, October 14, 2015. Click here to see photos.

We also celebrated the grand opening of the Knoebel Institute for Healthy Aging at the University of Denver on October 15, 2016. We had a great time and hope that you did too.

We would like to offer a special thanks to everyone who participated in our opening program. The Clermont Park Showstoppers Senior Choir began our program. DU cheerleaders joined the choir and the crowd sang along to a rousing rendition of the DU fight song.

Our featured speakers included

  • Dr. Alexander Leonessa, who recently completed a position as Director of the National Science Foundation General and Age-Related Disabilities Program 
  • Dr. Dean M. Hartley, Ph.D., Director of Science Initiatives at the Alzheimer's Association.

The program concluded with a performance piece directed by Lucianne Lajoie featuring seniors from Brookdale Senior Living.