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About NIA

NACA meeting: January 27-28, 2009

Institute-Sponsored Meetings, Workshops, and Conferences

I. Past Meetings

Asthma in the Elderly – September 8-9, 2008
The National Institute on Aging Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology (DGCG) sponsored this exploratory workshop on September 8-9, 2008, in Virginia.  The goal of the workshop was to review current knowledge on asthma in older adults and to identify knowledge gaps and research opportunities.  Participants included basic and clinical researchers from the fields of geriatrics and primary care, allergy and immunology, pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine, and the pharmaceutical industry.  Representatives from the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Neuron Research also participated in scientific presentations and panel discussions.  The group identified priority areas for research across a spectrum of topics, including basic disease mechanisms and their relationship to aging processes in the lung, clinical epidemiology of asthma in older patients, and new treatment approaches.  (For more information, contact: Dr. Susan Nayfield, DGCG, Ph: 301-496-6761.) 

Shock Symposium/BLSA 50th Anniversary – September 11, 2008
The National Institute on Aging Intramural Research Program (IRP) and the Nathan W. and Margaret T. Shock Foundation hosted the 6th Annual Nathan W. Shock Aging Symposium entitled, "Implication of Longitudinal Studies for Intervention on Promotion of Healthy Aging” on Thursday,
September 11, 2008.  In conjunction with the Shock Symposium, NIA celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) on Friday, September 12, 2008.  This two-day program was held at the Maritime Institute of Technology in Linthicum, MD, and included several prestigious speakers.  Dr. Bret H. Goodpaster, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Endocrinology, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education at the University of Pittsburgh, presented NIA's 19th Annual Nathan W. Shock Lecture.  (For more information, contact Ms. Jamie Hertzfelt, IRP, Ph: 410-558-8110, Email: HertzfeltJa@mail.nih.gov.)

Workshop on National Health Accounts – December 11-12, 2008
This NIA-supported exploratory workshop was held in Cambridge, MA, the most recent in a series of meetings with the objective of developing a revised set of National Health Accounts.  (For more information, contact Dr. John Phillips, DBSR, Ph: 301-496-3138.)

II.  Future Meetings

Harmonization of Longitudinal Aging Surveys – February 2009
This Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR)-supported exploratory meeting will bring together a group of experts, including the principal investigators (PIs) from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), internationally comparable studies, and teams developing such studies, to a meeting to support harmonization of surveys and the development of a cross-national research agenda on health and health systems.  The meeting will be held in New Delhi, India.  (For more information, contact Drs. Richard Suzman or John Phillips, DBSR, Ph: 301-496-3136.)

NIA-Alzheimer’s Association Meeting on Alzheimer’s Disease Prevalence – March 19-20
The Division of Neuroscience (DN) in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Association, will convene an advisory workshop on the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) on March 19-20, 2009, in the Washington, DC, area.  The three goals of the meeting are:  (1) to review the major projects that have produced national prevalence figures and to review other recent research efforts focusing on diagnostic approaches that may shed some light on why national prevalence figures for AD differ; (2) to review trends data in the prevalence of dementia and AD; and (3)  to consider the utility of using computer and web-based technology to facilitate case ascertainment in population-based studies of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)/Cognitive Impairment no Dementia(CIND)/AD/dementia.  (For further information, contact:  Dr. Dallas Anderson, DN, Ph: 301-496-9350; andersda@nia.nih.gov).

Meeting of PIs of HRS, ELSA and SHARE – March 2009
This exploratory meeting, co-sponsored by DBSR, will consider methodological approaches to maintaining panel participation and statistical approaches to answering substantive questions in the presence of attrition.  Participants will be the PIs of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), and the Survey of Health and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) – three large panel studies of aging supported by NIA.  The workshop is being organized by the primary sponsor, University College London, and will be held in London.  (For more information, contact Drs. Richard Suzman or John Phillips, DBSR, Ph: 301-496-3136.)

Workshop on Results from the NLTCS – April 2009
The purpose of this NIA-supported exploratory meeting is to illustrate the research value of the 2004 wave of the National Long-term Care Survey (NLTCS).  At this meeting in Ann Arbor, MI, leading scholars will be invited to present papers using the NLTCS, including findings from the 2004 wave of the study.  Other interested researchers and scholars will be invited to participate through guided discussion of the presented papers and a session devoted to developing value-added products that can enhance the research value of the NLTCS.  (For more information, contact Georgeanne Patmios, DBSR, Ph: 301-496-3138.)

Systems Biology Approaches to Understanding Aging – May 3-5, 2009
This exploratory workshop is planned for May 3-5, 2009, in Santa Fe, NM.  Launching an integrated, systems approach to understanding the biology of aging and longevity was one of the central recommendations and a central theme of the Biology of Aging Summit held in September 2008.  Dr. Geoffrey West of the Santa Fe Institute, Dr. Michal Jazwinski of Tulane University, Dr. Anna McCormick and Dr. Jose Velazquez of DAB are the primary scientific organizers of the proposed workshop on “Systems Biology Approaches to Understanding Aging.”  Mark Collins of the Glenn Foundation and Stephanie Lederman of AFAR were active participants at the Biology of Aging Summit and offered to co-sponsor this workshop as well.

The major goals of the proposed workshop are to gather experts in many areas of aging biology and systems biology to discuss research opportunities related to understanding the biology of aging and to explore rational plans to develop a systematic and integrated systems biology approach to understanding aging biology.  Several NIA staff members will be invited to participate in this workshop because of wide-spread interest in this scientific discipline and approach to further aging research.  (For more information, contact:  Dr. Anna McCormick, DAB, Ph: 301-496-6402.)

An Advisory Workshop to Develop Consensus Criteria for Defining Normal Aging in Rodent Models – Spring 2009
Recent scientific advances in aging and age-linked diseases serve as key drivers to learn more about aging phenotypes, which seem required for future aging studies in rodents and humans.  The NIA-supported workshop on biosignatures of aging (May 1-2, 2008) clearly illustrated the need for defining consensus-based aging phenotypic criteria.  The expert group agreed that better defined aging phenotypes would strengthen many future NIA-supported aging studies, including high throughput-derived biomarkers/biosignatures, testing genetic backgrounds and manipulations, interventions, testing diet effects and gene-environment interactions.  This advisory workshop will be held in spring 2009.  (For more information, contact:  Dr. Mahadev Murthy, DAB, Ph: 301-496-6402.)

Alternative Animal Models for Aging Research – Spring 2009
Aging research has benefited tremendously from the use of several invertebrates (yeast, worms, etc.) and vertebrate models (rodents, birds, non-human primates, etc.).  The community has leveraged various models to reveal many aspects of aging and age-linked diseases, including rate of aging, life span, genetics, pathophysiology, and interventions.  However, there are still gaps that need to be addressed by the community and these could be addressed with the use of alternative, underutilized animal models.  In this context, aquatic species have received very limited support from NIA and several of these (zebra fish, annual fish, Japanese medaka, etc.) may prove to be valuable to the aging research community for studies on physiology, genetics, anatomy and pathology.  The objective of this workshop is to explore the advantages of supporting alternative animal models for aging biology research.  The workshop will be held in spring 2009.  (For more information, contact:  Dr. Mahadev Murthy, DAB, Ph: 301-496-6402.)

The Role of the Cytoskeleton in Cellular Aging – Spring 2009
The primary goal for this exploratory workshop is to assemble a group of experts in cytoskeletal biology with experts in aging research, to identify novel approaches, roadblocks, challenges and opportunities in determining if and how the cytoskeleton changes with age.  It is anticipated that the expert panel will provide NIA with specific recommendations on the best approach to advance the science in this underserved area of research.  The workshop will be held in spring 2009.  (For more information, contact:  Dr. Jose Velázquez, DAB, Ph: 301-496-6402.)

Model Systems to Study the Epigenetics of Aging and Longevity – Spring 2009
Understanding the role of epigenetics in tissue-specific aging and organismal longevity was identified as one of the top research priorities for DAB at the Biology of Aging Summit held in September 2008.  This year the NIA joined the RoadMap “Epigenetics of Health and Human Disease” RFA and several investigators have sent letters of intent regarding aging-related projects, which is very encouraging.  One limitation of this RoadMap RFA is the almost exclusive focus on studying epigenetics in humans and human cell models.

With respect to understanding the role of epigenetics in aging and longevity, Summit participants highlighted the opportunity and added value to be gained from parallel studies in well-studied models systems including Drosophila, C. elegans and mice.  The major goal of the planned workshop on “Model Systems to Explore the Epigenetics of Aging” is to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these three model systems and to try to develop a coordinated and cooperative approach to studying this evolving field of research on aging.  Several experts in epigenetics, genetics, biology, and physiology will be invited to the planned three-day discussion-focused workshop to develop a plan for studying the epigenetics of aging and longevity.  Several NIA staff will also be invited to attend due to broad NIA-based interest in epigenetics.  This exploratory workshop is planned for spring 2009.  (For more information, contact:  Dr. Anna McCormick, DAB, Ph: 301-496-6402).

Traumatic Brain Injury and Risk of Dementia Exploratory Workshop - Spring/Summer 2009
The Division of Neuroscience is organizing a multidisciplinary exploratory workshop, which will take place during the spring or summer of 2009 in the Washington, DC, area.  The workshop will bring together clinicians, epidemiologists, geneticists and basic research scientists with expertise in Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as well as from other relevant fields.  The goal of this workshop is to critically appraise the current state of knowledge on the subject of TBI and risk of dementia to outline possibilities for new research that would address these issues.  (For further information, contact:  Dr. Laurie Ryan, DN, Ph: 301-496-9350; ryanl@mail.nih.gov).