The Gerontology Society of America has honored Bei Wu, MS ’97, PhD ’00, with its prestigious Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging. The award, funded by The New York Community Trust, recognizes an individual who has distinguished themselves by bridging the worlds of research, policy, and practice.
Wu is Dean’s Professor in Global Health and vice dean for research at New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing. She co-directs NYU’s Aging Incubator and the Rutgers-NYU Center for Asian Health Promotion and Equity. Before joining NYU she served as the Pauline Gratz Professor of Nursing at Duke University School of Nursing.
As an internationally known leader in gerontology, Wu’s scholarship is distinguished by interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers in various disciplines, including nursing and dentistry, in the U.S. and abroad. Her research areas cover a wide range of topics related to aging and global health, including oral health, long-term care, dementia, and caregiving. She is one of the first in the nation to study the linkages between oral health and cognitive decline in older adults. Her research has also addressed knowledge gaps in the linkages between oral health and diabetes.
As an educator, Wu has mentored hundreds of faculty members, visiting scholars, and students from various disciplines, including nursing, gerontology, dentistry, medicine, social work, demography, public health, sociology, public policy, geography, and economics.
The Gerontology Society of America will present the award to Wu at its annual scientific meeting in November 2023. She will deliver an award lecture at the 2024 GSA meeting in November 2024.
In sharing news of the Pollack Award, Wu acknowledges a UMass Boston mentor, Frank Caro, former chair of the gerontology department and director of the Gerontology Institute. “Frank was a champion of productive aging. As a student of his, I feel particularly honored to receive this award,” she says.