NIH to host October 2013 geroscience summit
On October 30–31, the NIH, with support from the Alliance for Aging Research and the Gerontological Society of America, will host “Advances in Geroscience: Impacts on Healthspan and Chronic Disease.” The scientific conference, which will take place on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, will examine the extent to which the physiological effects of aging represent a common major risk factor for chronic diseases.
The objectives of the summit are:
- To use the foundational concepts of geroscience to understand basic cellular and molecular underpinnings of aging as a principal risk factor for a variety of chronic diseases
- To explore common mechanisms governing relationships between aging and chronic diseases
- To identify new pathways for research collaboration
The meeting will begin with a plenary session featuring a lecture by NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins. Other speakers in the session will be Drs. Brian Kennedy of the Buck Institute, Linda Fried of Columbia University, and Chris Murray of the University of Washington. This will be followed by seven scientific sessions looking at major intersections of aging and disease. Using a panel discussion format led by renowned scientists in the field, the sessions will focus on inflammation, adaptation to stress, epigenetics and regulatory RNA, metabolism, macromolecular damage, proteostasis, and stem cells and regeneration.
The summit program is the brainchild of the Trans-NIH GeroScience Interest Group (GSIG). Established in October 2011, the GSIG focuses on many of the same relationships between aging and age-related disease and disability that will be discussed at the Geroscience Summit. Dr. Felipe Sierra, director of the NIA Division of Aging Biology (DAB), Dr. Ronald Kohanski, DAB deputy director, and Dr. Kevin Howcroft, program director in the Cancer Immunology and Hematology Branch of the National Cancer Institute, led development of the summit program.
The overall goals of GSIG are:
- To promote discussion, sharing of ideas, and coordination of activities within the NIH, relating to the specific needs of the research community working on mechanisms underlying age-related changes, including those that could lead to increased disease susceptibility
- To raise awareness, both within and outside the NIH, of the relevant role played by aging biology in the development of age-related processes and chronic disease through seminars featuring both internal and external speakers, as well as symposia and workshops
- To develop potential public/private partnerships through interactions with scientific societies, industry, and other institutions with related interests
- To develop trans-NIH funding initiatives (including PAs, RFAs, and Common Fund initiatives) or other creative approaches that might present themselves to encourage research on basic biology of aging and its relationship to earlier life events, exposures, and diseases, that will advance the goals and vision of the GSIG, and which complement and enhance the goals and vision of participating Institutes and Centers
Participation in the GSIG summit is free, but pre-registration is required.