The Polykarp Kusch Lecture Series

Concerns of the Lively Mind


A Scientific Journey

photo of Denise Park

Dr. Denise Park

Distinguished University Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences
UT System Board of Regents’ Research Scholar
Director of Research, Center for Vital Longevity

Thursday, April 22, 2021
2 p.m.

The public is invited to attend this free lecture.

Dr. Denise Park

Dr. Denise C. Park, Distinguished University Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, joined the UT Dallas faculty in 2008. Park is the founding director of the Center for Vital Longevity and became director of research at the center in 2014.

Dr. Park is a pioneer in understanding normal aging and how the mind changes with age. Park’s research is focused on how cognitively normal adults transition to cognitive frailty as they get older, and how to isolate a neural footprint during middle age that can predict who will age well cognitively and who will not.

Park directs the Dallas Lifespan Brain Study to address these issues. Her research has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Aging, part of the National institutes of Health, for her entire career. The study has tracked brain and behavior changes in adults of all ages for the past 12 years. Park also has developed novel adult learning environments to assess whether challenging new activities can enhance cognitive vitality and delay brain aging. Additionally, Park has conducted extensive research in cultural neuroscience to understand how different environments and social values affect brain and behavior in both old and young adults.

An active member of the American Psychological Association (APA), Park has received the Distinguished Research Contributions Award and the Distinguished Mentor Award in the Psychology of Aging and served in leadership roles in the APA and other nation and international associations. Prior to joining UT Dallas, Park held tenured appointments as professor of psychology at the University of Georgia, the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois. As a mentor, Park has advised graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, many of whom now hold appointments at elite universities across the world.

Dr. Polykarp Kusch

photo of Dr. Polykarp Kusch

Dr. Polykarp Kusch was Nobel laureate in physics in 1955 and came to The University of Texas at Dallas in 1972. At UT Dallas, he was Regental Professor and served on the physics faculty.

His distinguished science career was complemented by his superb teaching. He delighted students with his presentations of physics experiments in his "Phenomena of Nature" classes.

Before coming to UT Dallas, Dr. Kusch had served as professor, vice president, provost and dean of faculties at Columbia University.

When he retired in 1982, UT Dallas established a program of annual lectures with the theme "Concerns of the Lively Mind" to honor Dr. Kusch.


Kusch Lectures

2021 Denise Park The Amazing Aging Mind: A Scientific Journey
2019 Alex R. Piquero Nothing Fake Here: Debunking the Immigration/Crime Relationship
2018 Zsuzsanna Ozsváth Our Journey Home: My Life and Work in Dallas
2017 Hobson Wildenthal The Lifecycle of a Science from Conception to Metamorphosis
2016 Suresh P. Sethi Conflicts in Supply Chains and Contracts that Restore Efficiency
2015 R. David Edmunds Defending the Omaha Nation
2014 Ray H. Baughman Nanotechnology for Fun and Profit
2013 Bhavani Thuraisingham Reactively Adaptive Malware
2012 Aage Møller The Malleable Brain
2011 Ram Rao From Perfection to Retail Competition
2010 Rainer Schulte Life as Translation
2009 John Hoffman The Phoenix Mission to Mars
2008 George McMechan 3-D Imaging of Earth's Energy Resources
2007 Alice J. O'Toole How We Represent and Recognize Faces
2006 Edward J. Harpham Adam Smith's Lost World of Gratitude
2005 Lawrence J. Overzet Industrial Plasmas: Enabling the Future
2004 Clay Reynolds A Cow Can Moo: The Irony of the Artistic Lie
2003 Roderick A. Heelis Our Space Environment
2002 Rajiv Banker Pay for Performance: Myth or Reality?
2001 Emily Tobey The Bionic Ear: Connecting Technology to Societal Change
2000 Stephen Rabe Debate Without End: Vietnam - 25 Years After
1999 Irving Hoch Urban Population and the Quality of Life
1998 Hanna Ulatowska Narrative in Human Experience
1997 A. Dean Sherry From Molecules to Man: A History of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)
1996 Hal Sudborough Permutatios, Pancakes and Philogeny
1995 Robert Xavier Rodriguez The Mystery of the Two Worlds
1994 Frank Bass The Evolution of a General Theory of the Diffusion of Technological Innovations
1993 Bert Moore Passions of the Mind
1992 Gerald Scully Institutional Technology and Economic Progress
1991 Brian J. L. Berry Deeper Societal Structures - Glimpses Through a Macroscope
1990 William Hanson Our Solar System: A Perspective
1989 Robert Corrigan Tragedy - The Tragic, and The Historical Moment
1988 Sandy Friel-Patti The University in the Community
1987 R. Chandresakaran Education of High Quality: Can This be Achieved?
1986 Wolfgang Rindler Gravitation: From Newton to Einstein
1985 Anthony Champagne Science and the Edges of Life