Molecular geneticist Pamela Larsen, an assistant professor of gerontology at the University of Southern California, is the first researcher to hold the Paul F. Glenn Foundation Chair in Cellular and Molecular Gerontology. She received the appointment in February, when the foundation announced the $1.5 million endowment to establish the chair at USC's Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center.

In what USC officials maintain is a unique arrangement, the chair is designated to pass from one promising young gerontological researcher to another all within the Andrus center--every three years. In contrast, most endowed chairs are usually awarded to an established researcher, who holds the title until the end of his or her academic career.

Larsen, 35, who came to USC in January, says she is gratified by the prestige that comes with the title.

"I was thrilled that I could be nominated to a chair when I first started my job. That's...

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