Professor Leonard W. Poon


Leonard W. Poon is trained in systems engineering (B.S.), experimental psychology (Ph.D.), psychophysiology and gerontology (Post-Doctoral Fellow).  He is a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus in Gerontology and a Professor Emeritus of Public Health and Psychology at the University of Georgia. His teaching and research focused on longevity and survival of the oldest old and normative and pathological changes in cognition and aging.  His major research project in the last 20+ years was the NIH-funded Georgia Centenarian Study that examined the influences of nature (genetics) and nurture (functional capacity, neuropathology, and psychology) on longevity and well-being. He served in three NIH study sections spanning a period of 12 years.  His research fostered international collaborations throughout his career.  He established a centenarian DNA and a centenarian brain banks to share with international scientists.  He is currently the executive director of the International Centenarian Consortium with active collaborations among scientists from 12 countries.  He has been the president of the international jury for the annual Longevity Prize from the Ipsen Foundation, Paris.  Favorites among his recognitions are the Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society’s Love of Learning Award that reflected his love of mentoring and an honorary doctorate (D.Phil, h.c.) from Lund University, Sweden, for his life-time research achievements.