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Release: April 13, 1999

Aging expert to deliver UI exercise science department Alley Memorial Lecture

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- An expert in the physiology of aging will present the seventh annual Louis E. Alley Memorial Lecture in the University of Iowa department of exercise science at 3:30 p.m. April 22. Raj Sohal, a professor of biological sciences at Southern Methodist University, will present his lecture, "The Role of Oxidative Stress in Aging," in the Medical Alumni Auditorium, E331 General Hospital.

Oxidative stress is the damage caused to cells due to oxidants. Sohal is a leading authority in the field of oxidative stress and aging and is studying the ways in which an oxidant imbalance contributes to the physical decline associated with aging. His hypothesis is that animals produce more oxidants as they age, leading to increased cell damage and ultimately physical deterioration.

Further study is needed in this area, but Sohal's research may ultimately enhance the quality of life for the aging population by finding a way to maintain proper balance between oxidants and antioxidants in the human system.

The UI department of exercise science holds this memorial lecture each year in honor of Louis E. Alley, a longtime professor of physical education at the UI who died suddenly in 1991. Alley was head of the department of physical education for men for 18 years, beginning in 1960. During that time he initiated and supervised a major revision of the graduate program in physical education. He introduced to graduate physical education the notion of areas of specialization and sought faculty members capable of providing in-depth instruction in these specialist areas.

Alley's influence was also felt at the national level through his service as leader of every major professional group in his field.

For further information contact the UI department of exercise science at (319) 335-9495.