Announcements

  • February 4, 2015

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.

    The application period for the Summer Training in Aging Research Program is now underway. Students accepted into the program will get a unique, hands-on experience alongside NIA investigators and scientists in the labs of NIA’s Intramural Research Program. Any high school, college, graduate or medical/ dental students interested in biomedical research are encouraged to apply.

    Read the full blog post: Summer training in aging research—now accepting applications

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • February 11, 2015

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    Robin Barr, Director of the Division of Extramural Activities, explains what the recently announced NIA payline means for potential applicants and sheds light on NIA’s future funding outlook for the remainder of the year.

    Read the full blog post: Payline update

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • February 3, 2015

    Older adults who take anticholinergic drugs, which are commonly prescribed for a wide range of health conditions, may be at significantly higher risk of developing dementia—and the greater the use of the drugs, the higher the potential risk. The NIA-supported findings appeared online Jan. 26, 2015, in JAMA Internal Medicine.

    Anticholinergics are prescribed for many health conditions in older people, including overactive bladder, seasonal allergies, and depression. Some are available over the counter and are often used as sleep aids. These medications block a neurotransmitter--acetylcholine—in the brain and body and may cause such side effects as impaired cognition, especially in older people. This side effect was thought to be reversible once the person stopped taking the medication.

    However, researchers led by Dr. Shelly Gray, University of Washington School of Pharmacy, Seattle, showed that these medications may have a lasting impact. By analyzing records and data from the NIA-supported Group Health/University of Washington Adult Changes in Thought (ACT) study for drugs prescribed over 10 years to 3,434 adults age 65 and older, they calculated cumulative exposure to drugs with strong anticholinergic effects.

    The analysis showed that 78 percent of ACT participants used anticholinergics at least once in 10 years. Nearly 800 participants (23 percent) developed dementia, usually Alzheimer’s. The higher the use of anticholinergics, the higher the risk of dementia, regardless of whether the drugs had been taken recently or years ago.

    The findings suggest that physicians treating older people should prescribe alternatives to anticholinergics, when possible, or lower doses of the drugs. More studies are needed to determine to what extent stopping anticholinergics can reduce the risk of developing permanent dementia.

    Reference: Gray SL, et al. Cumulative use of strong anticholinergics and incident dementia. JAMA Internal Medicine. Published online Jan. 26, 2015. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7663.

  • January 21, 2015

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    The Advisory Council of the National Institute on Aging meets on January 28. Watch online from 8:00 AM to about 1:15 PM EST.

    Dr. Robin Barr, director of the NIA Division of Extramural Activities, describes plans for the meeting in a new blog post, with links to the agenda, meeting materials, and live videocast. "Although NACA members don’t make final approvals, their advice and direction is very closely heeded," he writes.

    By paying attention to NACA meetings you can learn more about:

    • the NIA budget for research in 2015 and 2016
    • new areas of research or new kinds of grants that the NIA is planning to fund
    • plans for addressing policy issues—like tightening budgets—across NIH

    Read the full blog post: Watch as it happens, live! Tune in to the NIA Council webcast

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • January 15, 2015

    NEW! Funding Opportunity Announcements in the Science of Behavior Change​

    Application receipt date: March 20, 2015

    We are very pleased to announce four new funding opportunities from the NIH Science of Behavior Change Common Fund Program http://commonfund.nih.gov/behaviorchange/index. Please consider applying and/or sharing these widely with your colleagues and networks.

    SOBC activities are driven by the overarching goal of integrating insights from basic behavioral and social research into the design of improved interventions for behavior change. Three of the Requests for Applications (RFAs) (RFA-RM-14-018, RFA-RM-14-019, and RFA-RM-14- 020) call for teams of scientists to conduct target validation activities intended develop the tools required to implement a mechanisms-focused, experimental medicine approach to behavior change research. These activities will focus on targets in the three domains of self-regulation, stress reactivity and stress resilience, and interpersonal and social processes, which are hypothesized to be relevant to multiple health behaviors involved in multiple clinical endpoints.

    The Target Validation Project teams may span labs, disciplines, and institutions to bring together the expertise needed to achieve the target validation aims proposed in response to these announcements. Basic researchers in the behavioral sciences are needed to identify candidate measures of processes that are thought to be causally linked to health behaviors and conduct tests to verify that these processes can be manipulated. Intervention scientists are needed to conduct the theory testing and experimentation that constitutes Stage 0-1 research in the behavioral intervention development pipeline. The Target Validation Project funding opportunities are flexible with respect to the approaches teams may consider in achieving their aims.

    The fourth RFA is to support a Resource and Coordinating Center (RCC) (U24) that provides national leadership for the coordinated efforts of projects and initiatives of SOBC to validate assays for behavior change. The RCC will also serve as the central resource for the organization of the meetings and other activities of the SOBC Program, including the support of its Steering Committee and External Scientific Panel, and any SOBC Steering Committee subcommittees that are established.

    Applicants are encouraged to review the FAQs, register for the relevant pre-application technical assistance webinar, and discuss potential applications with the scientific contacts listed in the RFAs.

  • January 14, 2015

    Historian Gabrielle Tayac, Ph.D., spoke at a Native American Heritage Month Celebration Nov. 12 2014 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

    The talk was part of the “Healing Our Community Through Narrative: The Power of Storytelling” series organized and hosted by the NIH Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, in partnership with the Trans-NIH American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN)  Health Communications and Information Workgroup, the Trans-NIH AI/AN Research Interest Workgroup and the NIA Office of Special Populations.

    Read more at: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/newsletter/2014/12/spotlight-nihprogram/index.htm

  • January 13, 2015

    NIA and NASA have funded an experiment on T cell activation in microgravity. This experiment has successfully reached the International Space Station (ISS) on 1/12/2015 aboard the SpaceX5 Falcon. Dr. Millie Hughes-Fulford is conducting experiments on the effects of microgravity on immune system function and comparing these effects to those observed for aging individuals. Here is the YouTube video that CASIS has placed on the NASA website:

  • January 14, 2015

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    "NIA funding announcements come with an expiration date," writes Dr. John Haaga in a new blog post. Dr. Haaga, deputy director of the NIA Division of Behavioral and Social Research, explains what happens when a Program Announcement expires, covering questions such as:

    • Is the NIA still funding research on the topic?
    • Is there money for research on this topic in the future?
    • What in the world is a Program Announcement and how do those applications get reviewed and funded?

    Read the full blog post: What does it mean when a Program Announcement expires?

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • January 7, 2015

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    In a new blog post, Dr. Carl V. Hill, director of the NIA Office of Special Populations, describes new activities that help foster diversity in the research workforce. "This funding can help us reach goals of increasing racial diversity in the biomedical scientific community," Dr. Hill explains. "And, there may be a chance to increase the number and variety of scientists who are trained and mentored to conduct much-needed, multidisciplinary health disparities research!"

    Read the full blog post: Diversity training and health disparities research at the NIA

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • December 18, 2014

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    Dr. Creighton Phelps, Deputy Director of the Division of Neuroscience, has a new blog post about the NIA-funded National Cell Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease, or NCRAD. "Identifying the genes involved in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is, of course, no easy task," Dr. Phelps writes. "From among the thousands of gene candidates in the human genome, we need to determine which are involved in onset and progression, and which increase risk or offer protection. Where can researchers find the biological specimens needed to unlock these mysteries?"

    Read the full blog post: NCRAD offers genetic samples and data vital to Alzheimer’s research

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

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