Sofiya Milman

Sofiya Milman, MD, MS

Principal Investigator

Dr. Sofiya Milman is the Principal Investigator of the SuperAgers Family Study. She is also the Director of Human Longevity Studies at the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Milman’s research focuses on centenarians and their families who are generally free of age-related diseases. Healthy longevity of these families suggest a heritable basis for this phenomenon. Dr. Milman's team aims to discover biological mechanisms that protect against common age-related diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's disease.

Nir Barzilai

Nir Barzili, MD

AFAR Scientific Director, Co-Investigator

Dr. Nir Barzilai is a chaired Professor of Medicine and Genetics and Director and the PI of the Einstein Nathan Shock Center and the Glenn center. He was the recipient of an NIH Merit Award aiming to extend the healthy life span in rodents by biological interventions. He also studies families of centenarians that have provided genetic/biological insights on the protection against aging. He is on the board and the Scientific Director of AFAR, a founding member of the Academy for Health and Lifespan, the Longevity Biotech Association, and co-founded CohBar and Lifebiosciences.

Aoife McGovern Leahy

Aoife McGovern Leahy, BS

Study Coordinator

Aoife is the Study Coordinator for the SuperAgers Family Study at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She has experience in laboratory research and clinical research project management. Aoife is available to assist participants in their journey through the research study and answer any questions about the study.

Tina Gao

Tina Gao, MPH

Research Coordinator

Tina is the research coordinator for the SuperAgers Family Study. She oversees multiple aging research studies at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and enjoys interacting with older adults. Tina is interested in discovering evidence-based protective factors that contribute to healthier and longer lives.

Tom Perls

Tom Perls, MD, MPH


Dr. Tom Perls is the RD Evans Distinguished Professor of Medicine and leads several National Institute on Aging-funded studies of human exceptional longevity at Boston University School of Medicine. Tom is board certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics and is one of the world’s experts in enrolling and studying centenarians and their family members specifically to discover how they age so slowly and delay and in some cases entirely escape aging related diseases.

Alan Shuldiner

Alan R. Shuldiner, MD


Dr. Alan Shuldiner is the John Whitehurst Endowed Professor of Medicine (part-time), Associate Dean and Director of the Program for Personalized and Genomic Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He is also serves as Vice President at the Regeneron Genetics Center where he leads the Founder and Special Populations program. A leading national expert and researcher in precision medicine, Dr. Shuldiner focuses on the genetics of age-related diseases, including of type 2 diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.

Kara Wilson

Kara Wilson, MPH

Program Manager

Kara is the Program Manager for the SuperAgers Family Study and Manager of Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives at AFAR. She has extensive program management experience in the non-for-profit, pharmaceutical and higher education industries. She was most recently with the Rutgers Global Health institute managing international research in oncology in the developing world. She has an M.P.H. in Public Health Informatics from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a focus on system evaluation and project management.

Stephanie Lederman

Stephanie Lederman Ed.M

AFAR Executive Director

Stephanie is executive director of the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), a leading, not-for-profit organization supporting biomedical research on aging. Under Stephanie’s leadership, AFAR has grown into an organization that has contributed more than $189 million to nearly 4,500 new investigators and students conducting biomedical research. She holds a master’s degree from Boston University. She is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, a member of the Board of Directors of the American Aging Association, a member of Royal Society of Medicine and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Odette Ven Der Willik

Odette van der Willik

AFAR Deputy Executive Director

Odette van der Willik is the Deputy Executive Director and Director of Grant Programs at the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) where she develops and oversees the organizations’ series of grant programs, including the support of early and mid-career scientists, physicians, and medical students in the fields of aging research and geriatric medicine. She oversees the administrative and scientific grant reviews and grant award administration and serves as the Project Director for the Nathan Shock Centers Coordinating Center and the Resource Centers Collaborative Network. She is also one of the Multiple PIs of the Clin-STAR Coordinating Center.

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