Martin to receive GSA’s 2017 Distinguished Career Contribution to Gerontology Award


The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) — the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging — has chosen Peter Martin, PhD, FGSA, of Iowa State University as the 2017 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 18 to 22 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.

Martin is a University Professor within the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University. His research has impacted the field of adult development and aging, particularly as related to understanding functioning and well-being in very late life. He has earned distinction for landmark work in understanding factors that contribute to healthful patterns of aging and longevity, as well as his service to the International Centenarian Consortium.

He also was instrumental in laying the foundation for Iowa State's master's and doctoral degrees in gerontology, and has encouraged and mentored more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students. Over the span of his career, Martin has secured more than $11 million in external support, including grants from the National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, and National Science Foundation. In 2013, he received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant to analyze longevity, health, and family support in Japan and the United States. His integrative research model emphasizes psychological and social development across a person's lifespan, moving beyond purely genetic factors.

With more than 180 publications to date, Martin's contributions to his discipline are far-reaching. His studies of centenarians include communities in Georgia and Iowa within the U.S., and overseas studies in Germany, Sweden, India, and Japan.

Martin is a GSA fellow, which represents the highest level 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 branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.


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