Skip to main content

May 2017 Director's Status Report

Budget and Appropriations

Status of FY 2016, 2017, and 2018 Budgets:

FY2016

The NIA closed out fiscal year 2016 with final obligations of $1.596 billion in appropriated money. This amount included $474 million in funding, with a particular focus on Alzheimer's disease and other Alzheimer-related dementias. NIA awarded 1,648 research project grants (RPGs), including 624 competing awards. The FY 2016 success rate for the Institute was 22.8 percent which compares to 17.7 percent in FY 2015 and 15.9 percent in FY 2014. The FY 2016 success rate was higher for Alzheimer's focused research than for other areas of aging.

Support levels for other key extramural funding mechanisms included $113.6 million to fund 88 research centers; $25.3 million to support 500 full-time training positions; and $55.7 million for research and development contracts.

The President signed into law a $1.149 trillion Omnibus spending bill on December 15, 2015 to keep most of the federal government funded through September 2016. For NIA, the FY 2016 level was $1.600 billion. An amount of $1.945 million was transferred to the NIH Office of AIDS Research for HIV/AIDS and $2.215 million was transferred to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for Zika research, resulting in a revised operating level of $1.596 billion. This amount included an additional $350 million for Alzheimer's disease funding. Reporting of FY 2016 actual amounts will be released in late May 2017.

FY 2017

The President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2017 on May 5, 2017 to keep the government operating through September 2017. The enacted bill provides NIA $2.048 billion, a $452.576 million increase over FY 2016 level. This amount included an additional $400 million for Alzheimer's disease funding. Development of an operating budget for FY 2017 is in progress.

FY17 NOITPs FOR REGENERATIVE MEDICINE INIATITIVE RESEARCH SUPPLEMENT (June 2017)

Given the tremendous promise of regenerative medicine to enhance human health and treat disease, Congress included a provision in the 21st Century Cures Act to support a Regenerative Medicine Innovation Project ($30 million distributed over FY17 through FY20) for the funding of clinical research to further the field of regenerative medicine (RM) using adult stem cells, including autologous, non-autologous use as well as eligible induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). A total of $2 million was provided for FY 2017. This year, NIH and FDA will be issuing RFA/RFPs for competitive revisions to utilize those funds to support ongoing clinical research studies in RM across several ICs including NIA. These are referenced in 11 NOITPs specific for each mechanism that is eligible this year for the supplements. New applications will be accepted next year. The FOA will support revision projects that utilize rigorous science and reproducible methods to establish proof of concept and a robust evidence base for clinical applications that will advance the field of RM more broadly, such as proposing solutions to widely recognized issues in the development of safe and effective regenerative medicine therapies. Emphasis will be given to projects that address critical issues in product development relevant for regulatory submissions. Areas of focus may include improved tools, methods, standards, or applied science that support a better understanding and improved evaluation of product manufacturing, quality, safety, or effectiveness. The Act stipulates that the NIH, in coordination with FDA, award funds contingent upon the recipient making available non-Federal contributions in an amount not less than $1 for each $1 of Federal funds provided in the award (i.e., a matching funds requirement). Program staff from DAB (Dr. Kerr) and DN (Dr. Wise) are members of the RM working group and Dr. Hodes is a member of the oversight committee involved with its implementation.

FY 2018

The President's budget request for FY 2018 will be presented to Congress in late May 2017, at which time it will become available to the public.

FY 2017 Omnibus National Institutes of Health
(Dollars in Thousands)

BUDGET MECHANISM (in thousands)
  FY 2016
Final
FY 2017
Omnibus
Increase vs.
FY 2016
NCI      
NCI Omnibus $5,206,292 $5,389,329 $183,037
NCI Cures Act from CR   $300,000 $300,000
Subtotal, NCI $5,206,292 $5,689,329 $483,037
NHLBI $3,109,221 $3,206,589 $97,368
NIDCR $412,821 $425,751 $12,930
NIDDK      
NIDDK Omnibus $1,813,793 $1,870,595 $56,802
NIDDK Type 1 Diabetes (mandatory) $150,000 $139,650 -$10,350
Subtotal, NIDDK $1,963,793 $2,010,245 $46,452
NINDS $1,692,832 $1,783,654 $90,822
NIAID $4,749,897 $4,906,638 $156,741
NIGMS      
NIGMS Budget Authority $1,728,960 $1,826,395 $97,435
NIGMS PHS Program Evaluation Funds $780,000 $824,443 $44,443
Subtotal, NIGMS $2,508,960 $2,650,838 $141,878
NICHD $1,338,348 $1,380,295 $41,947
NEI $707,007 $732,618 $25,611
NIEHS      
NIEHS LHHS Appropriation $692,573 $714,261 $21,688
NIEHS Interior Appropriation $77,349 $77,349 $0
Subtotal, NIEHS $769,922 $791,610 $21,688
NIA $1,596,031 $2,048,610 $452,579
NIAMS $540,912 $557,851 $16,939
NIDCD $422,351 $436,875 $14,524
NINR $145,709 $150,273 $4,564
NIAAA $466,798 $483,363 $16,565
NIDA $1,049,059 $1,090,853 $41,794
NIMH $1,516,530 $1,601,931 $85,401
NHGRI $512,509 $528,566 $16,057
NIBIB $343,026 $357,080 $14,054
NCCIH $129,760 $134,689 $4,929
NIMHD $280,293 $289,069 $8,776
FIC $70,019 $72,213 $2,194
NCATS $684,468 $705,903 $21,435
NLM $395,138 $407,510 $12,372
OD      
OD Omnibus $1,570,790 $1,677,783 $106,993
OD Cures Act from CR   $52,000 $52,000
Subtotal, OD $1,570,790 $1,729,783 $158,993
B&F $128,863 $128,863 $0
Total, Program Level $32,311,349 $34,300,999 $1,989,650

 

Back to contents

Legislative Update

May 2017

Legislation of Interest:

H. Res. 160 -- On March 1, 2017, Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) introduced H. Res. 160, Amending the Rules of the House of Representatives to establish a Permanent Select Committee on Aging. The resolution, if enacted, would amend the rules of the House to establish a Permanent Select Committee on Aging. H. Res. 160 was referred to the House Committee on Rules.

Hearings, Visits, and Other topics of interest:

On February 6, 2017, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK) visited NIH, and was accompanied by Subcommittee members and staff. Other members in attendance were Representatives Mike Simpson (R-ID), Andy Harris (R-MD), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), John Moolenaar (R-MI), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Barbara Lee (D-CA). The Chairman, Members, and staff visited Dr. Andy Singleton's lab at NIA, as well as NCI, and NICHD laboratories. The visitors also heard about the BRAIN Initiative, and met with NIH trainees.

On February 18-25, 2017, Laura Friedel, Clerk, and Adam Sullivan, Professional Staff, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education, traveled to Colombia and visited NIH and CDC research sites. One of the NIH sites visited was the Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative (API) Study site in Medellin, Colombia. The Senate staff delegation was accompanied by Drs. Richard Hodes and Eliezer Masliah for the NIA portion of the trip.

On March 29, 2017, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education, Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK), held a budget hearing on the President's budget proposal for HHS. The Honorable Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services testified. The President's 2018 Budget proposal requests $69.0 billion for HHS, a $15.1 billion or 17.9 percent decrease from the 2017 annualized CR level. It also reduces the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) spending relative to the 2017 annualized CR level by $5.8 billion to $25.9 billion.

On April 3, 2017, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) visited NIH to tour labs and meet with senior officials. Dr. Hodes participated in a group discussion along with other IC directors. He discussed NIA's Alzheimer's Disease research implementation milestones and planning process, as well as the importance of prevention trials. Specifically, they discussed the ongoing trial in Medellin, Colombia.

Submitted by: Dawn Beraud, Ph.D., Public Health Analyst, National Institute on Aging

Back to contents

Staff Changes

After 18 years of service at the National Institute on Aging, Dr. Alexei Bagrov, Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Cardiovascular Sciences, retired from his position in March 2017. Dr. Bagrov was first trained as a Medical Doctor and received his M.D. from the Ivan Pavlov First Medical School in June 1981. In June 1987, he received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the USSR Academy of Sciences in Leningrad. Before coming to the NIA, Dr. Bagrov worked as a physician and later as a researcher at several research institutions in Russia. He also worked as a Visiting Associate at the NIA briefly between 1992-1994. Dr. Bagrov later joined the NIA as a Senior Research Associate in 1998 before eventually becoming a Senior Investigator. His research interests were focused on the role of the cardiotonic steroid (CT), marinobufagenin (MBG), in high blood pressure conditions including: preeclampsia, chronic renal failure (CRF), congestive heart failure, aging, and salt loading.

Dr. Candace Kerr joined the Aging Physiology Branch in the Division of Aging Biology. She is the incoming Program Officer for Aging Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, and for Aging Physiology (Endocrine Systems). Candace joins us from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she was an Assistant Professor. She earned her Ph.D. at the Pennsylvania State University with her dissertation entitled "Genetics of female-related infertility in chickens" with Dr. Guy Barbato and Dr. Roy Hammerstedt. She went on to complete her postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health with Dr. William Wright and Dr. Barry Zirkin in reproductive sciences and Dr. John Gearhart in stem cells, after which she received her first faculty position at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Her research career has been in stem cells in diverse tissues, and was supported by the NIH and other funding agencies. She is the author of 32 peer-reviewed research papers and 14 review articles, textbook chapters, and commentaries. Candace taught in courses on a range of topics, including Biochemistry and Enzyme Kinetics, Molecular Biology, Clinical Genetics, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Comparative Anatomy, the Biology of Aging and Disease, and Stem Cells. She has also shared her expertise as Editor for the journals Stem Cells and Development, PlosOne, International Journal of Neuroscience, and Open Journal of Regenerative Medicine.

In February, DAB welcomed Dr. Manuel Moro, a new HSA in the Biological Resources Branch. Manuel comes to us from the Division of Comparative Medicine at ORIP/DPCPSI/OD, where he managed grant and contract portfolios related to the development of animal models of human disease as well as the biomedical training of future generations of veterinarian-scientists. Manuel is a DVM/PhD and has experience in both animal model development and animal disease research. Before coming to the NIH, he had an academic career at Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, where he taught courses related to epidemiology, public health, and infectious diseases. His research focused on mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance and the pathobiology of tick-borne diseases including Lyme disease. Manuel obtained his veterinary degree at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru and a MPH and PhD from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University respectively. He completed his postdoctoral training in the Department of Immunology/Experimental Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. In DAB, Manuel will focus on developing animal models of aging and management of biological resources for the research community.

Ms. Charryse Shell became a BSR employee on January 8, 2017, as Program Specialist/Extramural Office Manager, a role which she has ably filled as a contractor since December of 2015. Before coming to BSR, Charryse worked for several years as Office Operations and Procurement Manager for a security services firm. Before that, for four years she was Senior Administrative Assistant at the GAVI Alliance, the global health care organization that supports vaccine initiatives in poor countries. She also worked as a part-time event planner for a marketing and public relations firm and is an active volunteer with community organizations. Charryse brings to BSR valuable experience in international travel arrangements, high-level administrative support and coordination, event planning, and procurement. Charryse holds a Certificate in Administrative Excellence from the American Management Association.

Back to contents

Institute-Sponsored Meetings, Workshops, and Conferences

  1. Past Meetings

GSIG SEMINAR "Bone Marrow Aging and the PTH Receptor: A Model of Integrative Physiology"

February 1, 2017: Dr. Clifford Rosen, Director, Center for Clinical & Translational Research at the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, presented a seminar as part of an ongoing series organized quarterly by the GeroScience Interest Group (GSIG). The GSIG was formed to enhance opportunities for discussion of the intersection between the biology of aging and the biology of disease and conditions that are of interest across NIH institutes and centers. It is focused on the intersection between the basic biology of aging and the biology of diseases and conditions of aging, but with a longer view towards translation. The seminar, focused on the origin and function of bone marrow fat cells, supported the NIH Mission of understanding and treating diseases through explorations of the underlying molecular mechanisms causing or promoting diseased states. Dr. Rosen has had more than twenty years of continuous NIH funding, first at The Jackson Laboratory and subsequently at Maine Medical Center Research Institute. The Rosen laboratory is studying mesenchymal stem cell fate with particular reference to the switch between pre-adipocytes and pre-osteoblasts. The focus of these efforts relates to cell autonomous factors such as substrate utilization and bioenergetics of the osteoblast, to cell non-autonomous determinants such as parathyroid hormone and sympathetic tone. Dr. Rosen's current projects revolve around three aging-related research areas: the origin and function of bone marrow fat cells; the role of IGFBP-2 in osteogenesis and the bioenergetics of the osteoblast; the impact of anabolic therapy for age-related osteoporosis on marrow adipose tissue; and whole body and cell phenotyping related to metabolic function in mice. Dr. Rosen is the past president of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research. He served as an associate editor at Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, senior associate editor at the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research and Aging Cell. He is currently an Associate Editor at New England Journal of Medicine and eLife. (Contact: Dr. Francesca Macchiarini, DAB, 301/496-6402).

Twenty-Second Annual NIA/IRP Scientific Retreat, MARCH 2 & 3, 2017

The Retreat was held at the Biomedical Research Center on March 2 and 3, 2017. The two-day, NIA-sponsored event featured two large poster sessions, brief talks from IRP scientists, and a keynote address from Dr. Stephen Chanock, Director, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, NCI. No recommendations were made for initiatives or publications on issues of public health. For more information, please contact Dr. Cheryl Leonard (OSD), 410-558-8306.

Alzheimer's Disease Centers Panel - March 9-10, 2017- Bethesda, MD

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) Division of Neuroscience completed a strategic planning effort for the future of the Alzheimer's Disease Centers Program. The last time such an effort was carried out was in 2001-2002. The primary focus of this planning effort was to develop recommendations for how the network of AD Centers can best support the implementation of the goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's: To treat and prevent AD by 2025. Specifically, we want to ensure that the next generation of AD centers can enable the implementation of the new integrated translational research agenda put forward at the 2012 and 2015 Alzheimer's Research Summits and outlined in the research milestones developed based on recommendations from these strategic planning events.

The principal objectives of the Alzheimer's Disease Centers Program have been to promote research, training and education, technology transfer, and multi-center and cooperative studies of diagnosis, treatment and clinic-neuropathological correlations. They also serve as shared research resources that facilitate research in AD and related disorders, distinguish them from the processes of normal brain aging and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), provide a platform for training, develop novel techniques and methodologies, and translate these research findings into better diagnostic, prevention and treatment strategies.

The panel that developed the recommendations was made up of leading experts from academia, industry and non-profit foundations, working in Alzheimer's and other complex diseases. The recommendations covered a wide range of topics focusing on the areas of:

  1. Gaps in disease mechanisms and risks.
  2. Clinical Research Capacities.
  3. Maximize value of neuropathology expertise across ADCs.
  4. Translational research.
  5. Cross-ADC interactions/networking.
  6. Interactions beyond the ADC network.
  7. Infrastructural supports.
  8. Further development of training programs.

The Alzheimer's Disease Centers Program leadership is already beginning to implement the recommendations in a strategic, well-planned and forward-looking manner. For more information, contact Dr. Nina Silverberg, DN.

BIOMARKERS OF NEUROINFLAMMATION: A WORKSHOP – March 20-21, 2017 - Washington DC

A workshop on Biomarkers of Neuroinflammation was organized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine's (NASEM) Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders (NeuroForum). This NIA-supported workshop was held in the NAS Building, Washington DC and had focused on the state-of-the-science of neuroinflammation biomarkers including availability of research tools and resources, and the identification of challenges and of activities that would move research from basic to translational science. The workshop was attended by leaders from government, industry, academia and advocacy organizations. Dr. Masliah served as a Moderator of the Session on CSF and Other Fluid Biomarkers. For additional information, contact Dr. Eliezer Masliah, DN.

PHYSIOLOGY, METABOLISM, AND AGING SESSIONS AT THE 58TH ANNUAL DROSOPHILA RESEARCH CONFERENCE - March 29, 2017

The Aging sessions at the Genetics Society of America (GSA) annual meetings provide dedicated discussion forums on research advances in using Drosophila to study the biology of aging. The speakers are often trainees (i.e., postdocs and grad students), although PIs are selected to speak occasionally. For the proposed sessions at the 2017 GSA meeting, the session chairs, Daniel Promislow (Univ. Washington) and Benoit Biteau (Univ. of Rochester) have been invited. Together with a postdoctoral fellow, they will review abstracts (due by mid-Dec) to select the speakers. The postdoctoral fellow will also review poster abstracts to decide on an award for best poster by a graduate student and also by an undergraduate. Recognizing the importance of a dedicated biology of aging forum at the GSA annual meeting, DAB supported the Aging sessions in 2015. Therefore, continued support from DAB at the 2017 GSA meeting was proposed. (Contact(s): Dr. Yih-Woei Fridell, DAB, 301/496-6402).

Cognitive Aging Summit- April 6-7, 2017-Bethesda, MD

The third Cognitive Aging Summit was held April 6-7, 2017 in Bethesda, MD. The Summit featured presentations and discussion on promising areas of research into age-related brain and cognitive changes, with a special focus on neuroplasticity, compensation, resilience, and reserve. The two-day meeting built on priorities and research directions identified at the last two Cognitive Aging Summits held in 2007 and 2010. The Summit is convened by the NIA and made possible by the McKnight Brain Research Foundation through a generous grant to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. For additional information, contact Dr. Molly Wagster or Dr. Jonathan King.

TRANS-NIH WORKING GROUP MEETING ON ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE (AD) AND AD-RELATED DEMENTIAS (ADRD) – April 18, 2017 – NIH Campus

The Trans-NIH Working Group Meeting on AD and ADRD was participated by IC Directors and representatives from 10 NIH Institutes including NIA, NINDS, NIMH, NINR, NICHD, NHLBI, NIDDK, NIDCR, NCATS, and FIC. Dr. Richard Hodes and Dr. Eliezer Masliah presented research milestones and Bypass Budget on AD and ADRD, which included funding levels for FY 2017 and 2018. Participants were also informed of new funding opportunity announcements on AD and ADRD, as well as opportunities for co-funding of grants. For additional information, contact Dr. Eliezer Masliah, DN.

NAS BBCSS Expert Meeting on Developing Informed Animal Models of Social Aging – Washington DC – May 8-9, 2017

This meeting was organized by NAS under a task order. The meeting convened active human and animal researchers, to address the central question: How might animal models fill critical knowledge gaps about the processes involved in the affective, cognitive, and social domains, in ways which could accelerate scientific discoveries about the impact of the social environment on the health and well-being of humans in midlife and older age? For additional information contact Dr. Melissa Gerald in BSR 301-402-4156.

NIA/NIAID INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON IMMUNITY AND THE ELDERLY - May 10-11, 2017

This symposium is a collaborative effort between the National Institute of Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The symposium upholds the NIA mission by supporting a better understanding of the immunological changes that occur during the aging process, and which contribute to impaired responses to infections and/or vaccines. The information gained from this workshop may be used to inform and design studies that improve the immune status and reduce the burden of infection-related morbidity and mortality in the elderly.

This symposium will bring together researchers studying aging and immunity in animal models and humans to summarize recent progress in research on immunology of aging; to promote a critical discussion on key findings and how they apply to improving immune responses of the elderly to infectious agents and vaccines, as well as controlling inflammatory conditions; to optimize interactions by fostering collaborations among scientists from the US and across the world; and to attract and train new investigators in this research area. This symposium will provide the opportunity to also serve as a basis for obtaining and identifying new scientific areas and research gaps in order to restructure the Immunity in the Elderly program that will be coming up for renewal in 2019.

There will be presentations that are divided into eight sessions, which cover the major areas in the forefront of aging immunity research. There will also be poster sessions on both days to provide opportunities for junior investigators and trainees to present their work and interface with senior researchers in the field. Thus a two-day meeting is necessary to accommodate presentations, poster sessions and discussions amongst attendees (see attached agenda).

Justification: Investigators present their findings and challenges, making this meeting highly interactive, promoting discussion among the investigators, and serving as an avenue for establishing collaborations, sharing data, resources and expertise. Therefore, a face-to-face meeting is necessary to advance the research program.

We anticipate approximately 180 attendees at this symposium because many researchers studying aging and immunity will be attending the upcoming Immunology 2017 conference in Washington DC from May 12-16, 2017. NIA will support the travel expenses of 18 speakers and NIAID will be supporting the remainder. NIAID will be providing support to the contractor who will cover logistical support including room rental, AV rental, poster board set up, registration of participants and printing of program and abstracts. (Contact: Dr. Rebecca Fuldner, DAB, 301/496-6402).

GSIG SEMINAR "The Contribution of Bone to Whole Organism Physiology"

May 11, 2017. Dr. Gerard Karsenty, the Paul A. Marks M.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Genetics and Development at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, presented a seminar as part of an ongoing series organized quarterly by the GeroScience Interest Group (GSIG). This seminar series is sponsored by the trans-NIH GeroScience Interest Group (GSIG). The GeroScience Interest Group (GSIG) was formed to enhance opportunities for discussion of the intersection between the biology of aging and the biology of disease and conditions that are of interest across ICs. It is focused on basic biology, but with a longer view towards translation.

The seminar, focused on the potential role of bone as an endocrine organ, supported the NIH Mission of understanding and treating diseases through explorations of the underlying molecular mechanisms causing or promoting diseased states. His laboratory uses genetics to study how organs interact with one another to regulate in vertebrates' various physiological functions. They study this aspect of vertebrate biology by focusing on one particular organ, bone and by addressing the following questions: Does bone have any other function besides making bone and if yes, what are they? A series of cell biological and clinical observations they had originally proposed, the hypothesis whereby there would be a coordinated regulation, endocrine in nature, of bone growth energy metabolism and reproduction. The testing of this hypothesis led to the demonstration that bone is an endocrine organ regulating insulin secretion, glucose homeostasis, adaptation to exercise, testosterone production and male fertility, neurotransmitters synthesis and cognitive functions. They also identified a receptor for osteocalcin in muscle, testis and pancreas. In looking at the known function of osteocalcin they noticed that they are all needed when living in a hostile environment. Moreover, circulating osteocalcin levels decrease abruptly and early in life of all species tested. Hence, they proposed a second hypothesis: Osteocalcin was originally needed for animals living a short life in a hostile environment, such as the one in which bone vertebrates evolved. They are now using this hypothesis to identify novel function of osteocalcin. (Contact: Dr. Francesca Macchiarini, DAB, 301/496-6402).

NIA SPONSORED SYMPOSIUM "INNATE IMMUNITY AND AGING" AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF IMMUNOLOGY (AAI) -May 15, 2017

This NIA sponsored symposium is being held at the American Association of Immunologists annual meeting in May 12-16, 2017 in Washington, DC. The NIA has sponsored a symposium each year to highlight recent findings in the area of Immunity and Aging and this year's session is entitled "Innate Immunity and Aging".

The purpose of this symposium is to have presentations on state of the science findings on this research topic. (Contact: Dr. Rebecca Fuldner, DAB, 301/496-6402).

  1. Future Meetings

2017 Nathan W. Shock Award Lecture

This seminar is scheduled for October 19, 2017 and is sponsored by NIA. (For more information, contact Laci Sasser (OSD), 410-558-8621, sasserl@mail.nih.gov)

MICROBIOMES IN BIOLOGY OF AGING - Spring, 2017

NIH Roadmap funded the Human Microbiome Project in 2008. The reference genomes from over 5000 bacterial and viral strains collected from human airways, blood, eye, GI tract, heart, lymph node, oral, cavity, skin, urogenital tract, and other parts of body have now been sequenced and made available to researchers in the field. In addition to the sequencing of many microbiomes and tool development, fifteen demonstration projects have been funded to test hypothesized correlations between the microbiome and human health and disease. Although none of the funded demonstration projects funded from the Human Microbiome Project had focused on age -related changes in the microbiome, there are now multiple reports that changes in the composition of the microbiome, also known as dysbiosis, happen with aging and that alterations in diet, different classes of medications and the living environment are important drivers of these observed changes. Links are emerging between the microbiota and a variety of clinical problems plaguing older adults, including physical frailty, Clostridium difficile colitis, vulvovaginal atrophy, colorectal carcinoma, atherosclerotic and neurodegenerative diseases. Many of the mechanisms behind these links are largely unknown. However, the role of the metabolites produced by different bacterial species in health and disease is beginning to be appreciated. For example, the effects of one class of products that is referred to as short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), including butyric acid is beginning to be studied more extensively. Butyrate and other fermentation-derived SCFAs are produced in the mammalian gut by the fermentation of dietary fiber by several different bacterial species. The effects of butyrate and related compounds on various age-related diseases that have an inflammatory basis such as colon cancer, diabetes and neurological disorders are areas of active research. The alteration of bacterial composition can affect the levels of various metabolites which in turn can affect energy metabolism, immune function and epigenetic alterations in tissues including the aging brain. Manipulation of the microbiota and microbiome of older adults therefore holds promise as an innovative strategy to influence the development of comorbidities associated with aging.

A workshop is being planned to discuss the status of the field and research opportunities on studies of the microbiome and aging. The proposed 1 1/2-day workshop may identify effective strategies to stimulate research on changes of microbiomes during aging and the effects on aging-related conditions and diseases.

(Contact: Dr. Rebecca Fuldner and Dr. Francesca Macchiarini, DAB, 301/496-6402).

Inclusion Across the Lifespan workshop (June 1-2, 2017)

Natcher Conference Center (Bldg. 45), Room E1/E2, NIH Main Campus.
In response to scientific need and a congressional mandate in the 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-255), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is convening a workshop of experts on the appropriate inclusion of pediatric and older populations in research studies involving human subjects. The workshop will bring together experts in clinical research to discuss barriers and opportunities for participation of these populations in clinical studies, including those supported by NIH. For those who are unable to attend in person, the plenary sessions will be videocast so that interested individuals may view the presentations and reports. The videocast will be found here: www.videocast.nih.gov. For additional information, contact Jaron Lockett at 301-451-8391.

NAS BBCSS Expert Meeting on Targeting Attitudes, Beliefs and Values for Behavior Change and Health in Older Adults – Washington DC – June 2, 2017

This meeting will be organized by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). This meeting will examine current evidence for the use of brief interventions to manipulate attitudes about aging, ability to change, self-efficacy, etc. in adult populations as interventions to motivate or sustain behavior change, or to influence psychological processes that support adaptive aging. Building on research on mindset interventions in children and young adults, studies of stereotype threat and aging attitudes, and examples of "psychologically precise" value- or belief-focused interventions in young adults, this seminar will consider next steps for application of these motivational interventions in older adult populations. The approach is consistent with the SOBC experimental medicine approach to behavior change. For additional information contact Dr. Lis Nielsen in BSR 301-402-4156.

NAS CNSTAT Workshop on Developing a Methodological Research program on Longitudinal Studies – Washington DC – June 5-6, 2017

This meeting will be organized by NAS. It will convene experts and researchers in longitudinal studies, survey researchers, and experts in alternative sources of data, such as administrative records and private sector data. Topics to be addressed may include Use of Alternative Interview Modes and Innovative Designs for Communication with Study Participants; Expanding the Use of Linkages to Administrative and Private Sector Data; Optimizing the Periodicity and Content of Surveys; Developing More Effective Incentives; and/or Facilitating the Sharing of Information. For additional information contact Dr. John Haaga in BSR 301-496-3131.

BBCSS - Workshop on Understanding Pathways to Successful Aging: Behavioral and Social Factors Related to AD – Washington DC - June 12-13, 2017

This workshop will be organized by NAS under a task order, and will address specific recommendations of the National Advisory Council on Aging to develop effective interventions to maintain health, well-being, and function; improve our understanding of the aging brain, Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases; and develop interventions to address Alzheimer's and other age-related neurological conditions. The workshop will also address NIA's objectives in the social and behavioral sciences that are consistent with strategies in the National Alzheimer's Plan, including to expand research aimed at prevention. For additional information contact Dr. Lis Nielsen or Dr. Jonathan King in BSR 301-402-4156.

NAS CPOP – Seminar on Aging and the Family – Washington DC – June 14, 2017

This meeting will be organized by NAS under a task order. The meeting will convene experts and researchers on aging and the family. Issues to be addressed may include the elderly and their kin; changing family patterns and relationships; transfers and caregiving; patterns of kin availability and access to care of the elderly; division of labor among the family, market and the state. For additional information contact Dr. John Haaga in BSR 301-496-3131.

NAS CPOP - Planning Meeting on SES Status and Increasing Midlife Mortality – Washington DC - June 15, 2017

This meeting will be organized by NAS. It will convene experts to discuss the evidence about causes of the widening socioeconomic status (SES) gradient in life expectancy, especially in later middle ages, and identify gaps in the research needed both to understand and to reverse the trend. For additional information contact Georgeanne Patmios in BSR 301-496-3138.

BBCSS - Workshop on Understanding Pathways to Successful Aging: Behavioral and Social Factors Related to AD – Washington DC - June 29-30, 2017

This workshop, organized by NAS, will address specific recommendations of the National Advisory Council on Aging to develop effective interventions to maintain health, well-being, and function; improve our understanding of the aging brain, Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases; and develop interventions to address Alzheimer's and other age-related neurological conditions. The workshop will also address NIA's objectives in the social and behavioral sciences that are consistent with strategies in the National Alzheimer's Plan, including to expand research aimed at prevention. For additional information contact Dr. Lis Nielsen or Dr. Jonathan King in BSR 301-402-4156.

ELEVENTH ANNUAL DIVISION OF AGING BIOLOGY NEW INVESTIGATORS FORUM (DABNIF) - July 6-7, 2017

The purpose of the forum is to bring together new awardees (i.e. Principal Investigators who can be identified as "new investigators") in the spring of the year following their award, in order to allow NIA program staff to get acquainted with new PIs as well as allow the participants to network with each other. This year it will be opened up to a broader group of new investigators, including R01 and R56 recipients. In order to accommodate the larger number of participants, each new PI will give a poster describing the planned research (or results to date). Two plenary sessions will be held, one for a keynote speaker to kick off the meeting and one for Dr. Nadon to give an overview of NIH funding mechanisms. This format will provide a significantly expanded opportunity for networking amongst the investigators and interactions with NIA staff. In addition, the second day will include a technical assistance workshop to provide new investigators with more in-depth discussion on writing successful grant applications, with a Q&A session at the end. The overriding goal of the meeting is to encourage continued success for the new PIs as well as encourage interactions and collaborations. As a result of past meetings, we have found that the PIs have indeed set up new collaborations. They also are much more likely to keep us informed of their new publications and progress. (Contact(s): Dr. Nancy Nadon, DAB, 301/496-6402).

AGING CONCEPT SERIES: WORKSHOP I – IMAGING IN AGING RESEARCH (July 10-11, 2017)

Research in the past several decades suggest that the underlying cause of aging is the time-dependent accumulation of stochastic damage to cells, organelles and biomolecules. With changes happening in cells, tissues, and whole organisms over time, it's important to be able to observe and analyze these changes in vivo over time. Advanced imaging technology is imperative for aging research. This workshop will be the first for DAB's Aging Concept Series. This 2-day workshop will be held in Bethesda in July 10-11, 2017. 18 experts (mostly postdoctoral fellows and graduate students) in relevant areas will be invited. This workshop will evaluate imaging technologies and discuss the future research directions using the most advanced imaging technologies in aging research. (Contact(s): Dr. Ronald Kohanski, Dr. Jose Velazquez and Dr. Max Guo, DAB, 301/496-6402).

GSIG SEMINAR "Hematopoietic Stem Cells Aging – Mechanisms, Consequences and Interventions" - July 13, 2017

Dr. Emmanuelle Passegué is a Professor in the Department of Genetics and Development at the Columbia University Medical Center and Director of the Columbia Stem Cell Initiative (CSCI) in New York. She is widely recognized for her expertise on hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) biology. Her research over the past 10-years has focused on understanding the cellular and molecular processes controlling HSC activity during homeostasis, and addressing how these regulations are changed in myeloid malignancies and physiological aging. Her ultimate goal is to identify genetic and/or molecular pathways as therapeutic targets to treat human diseases. To this end, her laboratory employs a variety of cross-disciplinary approaches using mouse models and human patient samples. Current projects investigate the role of apoptosis, autophagy, immune regulations, DNA repair mechanisms, and changes in the bone marrow (BM) niche microenvironment in HSC function in normal, stress, leukemic and aging conditions. Dr. Passegué seminar will focus on how the decline in autophagy observed with aging impacts the renewal potential of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and whether interventions aimed at re-activating autophagy in older HSCs can improve the health of the old blood system. This talk is part of a seminar series sponsored by the trans-NIH GeroScience Interest Group (GSIG). The GSIG was formed to enhance opportunities for discussion of the intersection between the biology of aging and the biology of disease and conditions that are of interest across NIH institutes and centers. It is focused on the intersection between the basic biology of aging and the biology of diseases and conditions of aging, but with a longer view towards translation.

(Contact: Dr. Francesca Macchiarini, DAB, 301/496-6402).

BIOMARKERS OF HUMAN AGING - July 23, 2017

The Geroscience hypothesis states that slowing the rate of aging will delay the onset and/or reduce severity of aging-related diseases without necessarily altering life span, thus improving health at older ages. This is based on the observation that aging is a major risk factor for development of chronic diseases and degenerative conditions. Measuring the rate of aging is still an open question, which should take into account the following variables: What are the metrics used to measure physiological aging? Do these metrics – or biomarkers of aging – explain the "risk factor" aspect of aging that underlies the geroscience hypothesis? Do these biomarkers of aging account for the variation in health for each age group in a population? This symposium is organized to address these issues.

The workshop will be held in conjunction with the International Association of Geriatrics and Gerontology (IAGG) and the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Joint Meeting on July 23-27, 2017 in San Francisco CA. The four confirmed speakers are: Rozalyn Anderson, Daniel Belsky, Nathan LeBrasseur and P. Eline Slagboom.

(Contact(s): Dr. Ronald Kohanski, DAB, 301/496-6402).

Research on Caregiving, Care, and Services for Persons with Dementia and their Families; Toward the Next Generation of Interventions – Bethesda, MD – July 31-August 1, 2017

The primary goals of this NIA-supported meeting are to determine the state of the science of research on evidence-based caregiving interventions for persons with dementia, and to articulate a research agenda for caregiving, care and services for persons with Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias. One aim is to classify the various types of informal and formal caregiving interventions in terms of the populations and outcomes targeted, and the settings in which they have been studied. Another aim is to understand some of the barriers that make adoption of evidence-based interventions difficult, and the ways in which these barriers can be overcome. The Stage Model for Behavioral Intervention Development will serve as a framework for considering the design and conduct of caregiving interventions.

For additional information contact Dr. Lisa Onken or Dr. Elena Fazio in BSR: 301-402-4156.

NAS CPOP - Workshop on the Future Directions for the Demography of Aging – Washington DC - August 17-18, 2017

This workshop will be organized by NAS under a task order. The workshop will convene experts who will review recent trends and discuss future directions for research on the demography of aging, including the study of mortality trends and differences, disability trends and healthy life expectancy, evolutionary and comparative demography and biodemography, economic demography and family demography. The workshop may address Demography of Families and Aging, Living Arrangements of the Elderly, Social Networks and Caregiving and Support, Integration of Biogenetic Information, and/or Understanding Later Life Implications of Early Life Events. For additional information contact Dr. John Haaga in BSR 301-496-3131.

MARMOSETS AS A MODEL FOR BIOLOGY OF AGING RESEARCH - August 25-28, 2017

This meeting will be a session held in the American Society of Primatologists (ASP) annual meeting in Washington, DC, August 25-28, 2017. The meeting will be coordinated by Drs. Nadon and Macchiarini (NIA) and Dr. Corinna Ross (Texas A&M University San Antonio) who will chair the session. The marmoset has many advantages over larger non-human primates as research subjects, and there has been an effort within the research community to characterize the aging process in marmosets. The focus of this session at ASP 2017 is to summarize the current knowledge of marmoset biology and discuss what needs are still unmet for using the marmoset to study the biology of aging. Topics and speakers to be proposed to the ASP meeting committee include:

  • Dr. Corinna Ross (TAMUSA) – locomotion changes with age in the marmoset.
  • Dr. Suzette Tardif (UTHSCSA) – advances in marmoset husbandry and experimental potential.
  • Dr. Adam Salmon (UTHSCSA) – update on the rapamycin and aging study.
  • Dr. Agnes Lecreuse (U MA) – menopause and cognitive changes in the marmoset.
  • Dr. Daniel Promislow (U WA) – metabolomics and aging.

(Contact(s): Dr. Nancy Nadon and Dr. Francesca Macchiarini, DAB, 301/496-6402).

NAS CPOP - Workshop on the Future Directions for the Demography of Aging – Washington DC - August 17-18, 2017

This workshop will be organized by NAS under a task order. The workshop will convene experts who will review recent trends and discuss future directions for research on the demography of aging, including the study of mortality trends and differences, disability trends and healthy life expectancy, evolutionary and comparative demography and biodemography, economic demography and family demography. The workshop may address Demography of Families and Aging, Living Arrangements of the Elderly, Social Networks and Caregiving and Support, Integration of Biogenetic Information, and/or Understanding Later Life Implications of Early Life Events. For additional information contact Dr. John Haaga in BSR 301-496-3131.

NIA/NIDDK FOCUSED ANCILLARY ANIMAL STUDIES TO THE MOLECULAR TRANSDUCERS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN HUMANS (MoTrPAC) WORKSHOP - Summer, 2017

This proposed workshop will be a collaborative effort between NIA and NIDDK. The goal of MoTrPAC is to document what molecular changes occur in response to exercise while staying away from the more granular interests of specific NIH Institutes. The goal of this workshop will be to capitalize on the NIH investment in the MoTrPAC initiative to develop plans to discuss and identify more Institute specific gaps that can be exploited with animal models in light of the MoTrPAC. NIDDK is interested in the role of exercise in brain regulation of metabolism/obesity/ingestive behavior and in standardizing rodent models of exercise for metabolic and homeostasis experiments.

DAB's interest would be to build on the animal models to expand on the molecular mechanisms of how and why the responsiveness to exercise changes with aging. We anticipate that the design of the study should follow the procedures developed in the MoTrPAC to be as comparable as possible.
(Contact(s): Dr. John Williams, DAB, 301/496-6402).

NUTRITIONAL INTERVENTIONS TO PROMOTE HEALTHY AGING (Summer, 2017)

Nutrition is a crucial determining factor of health across the life span. Different dietary patterns can affect aging processes and represent important determinants of health in the aging population. Importantly, nutritional regimens may play a key role in the prevention of a wide range of age-related debilitating conditions and diseases—including metabolic dysfunction, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, cognitive impairments, and most inflammatory-based disorders. Dietary interventions that can influence aging processes have the potential to prevent, delay, or even reverse multiple chronic diseases, improve well-being and quality of life in older populations, as well as increase life expectancy. While a variety of nutritional interventions have been tested in animal models and to a lesser degree in humans, there are several research avenues which remain to be explored to identify clinical interventions to promote healthy aging.

For example, caloric restriction (CR) has been shown in many (but not all) model organisms to increase life span and to delay or slow the progression of a wide variety of aging changes and age-related pathologies. The CALERIE clinical trial (Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy) was conducted to examine the effects of sustained caloric restriction in humans. DGCG and DAB are planning a one-and-a-half-day workshop (to be held Spring/Summer 2017) to discuss potential follow-up studies to the CALERIE trial and to further explore other types of nutritional regimens which may influence human health span. This workshop will also consider mechanistic studies and clinical translational research opportunities based on different types of dietary interventions demonstrated to affect health and life span in model organisms. Specific topics to be covered include:

  • Caloric restriction
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Diversified macronutrient regimens

For each of the above topics, the workshop will review the current literature and identify potential small-scale intervention studies or clinical trials to improve our understanding of the impact of different nutritional regimens on aging outcomes and disease risk factors. In addition, attention will be devoted to behavioral factors and/or strategies influencing adherence to various types of nutritional interventions and the feasibility of such studies in humans. (Contact(s): Dr. Giovanna Zappala DGCG, 301/827.6240 or Dr. Yih-Woei Fridell, DAB, 301/496-6402).

AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR BONE AND MINERAL RESEARCH (ASBMR) WORKING GROUP ON AGING SYMPOSIA (September 8-11, 2017)

Annually there are 12 to 20 Working Groups that meet on the same night of the ASBMR meeting after all of the regular day sessions. These Working Groups are not funded or sponsored by the ASBMR but are organized by people with similar interests. The level of attendance and the quality of these Working Group programs are wide ranging. There is only one Working Group devoted to the science of aging, while there are a wide range on things like Rare Diseases, certain Clinical problems etc. Historically the Working Group on Skeletal Aging has had modest success but is always financially strapped. In order to build attendance and improve the quality of the program we hope to get the Working Group a more reliable financial base to operate. For obvious reasons, we would like to build the NIA presence at ASBMR since most of the research funding for attendees comes from NIAMS.

The goal of the request is to pay the convention center fees associated with holding the meeting each year thus minimizing the Working Group's out of pocket costs and allow them to build a sounder financial base so that eventually we can build a more robust program. (Contact: Dr. John Williams, DAB, 301/496-6402).

Back to contents

General Information/Staff Awards

On April 11, 2017, the Women Scientist Advisors (WSA) of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) will hold a special program in conjunction with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to honor the 2017 WSA Excellence in Research Achievement Awardees. The program will feature presentations by the following awardees: Olga Fedorova, Ph.D. (NIA Staff Scientist), Qu (Teresa) Tian, Ph.D. (NIA Research Fellow), Marisela Morales, Ph.D. (NIDA Investigator), Subramaniam Jayanthi, Ph.D. (NIDA Staff Scientist), and Lindsay De Biase, Ph.D. (NIDA Fellow).

The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International Council on Accreditation recently conducted a review and granted Continued Full Accreditation (the highest level of accreditation) to the NIA/IRP facility.

Staff Honors

Dr. Lisbeth Nielsen was elected a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science.

Back to contents

PUBLICATIONS AND WEB CONTENT

Booklets, AgePages, Fact Sheets, DVDs:

  • Sierra, F. & Kohanski, R. Geroscience and the trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group, GSIG. GeroScience 39: 1-5 (2017).
  • Aging and Your Eyes AgePage (update/reprint)
  • Elder Abuse AgePage (update/reprint)
  • Older Drivers AgePage (update/reprint)
  • Shingles AgePage (update/reprint)
  • Exercise and Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the NIA (update/reprint)
  • Talking with Your Doctor (update/reprint)
  • Caring for a Person with Alzheimer's Disease: Your Easy-to-Use Guide from the NIA (update/reprint)
  • Frontotemporal Disorders: Information for Patients, Families, and Caregivers (update/reprint)

Web Content

  • The Trans-NIH GeroScience Interest Group GSIG) has recently re-launched an updated version of its web page (https://gsig.irp.nia.nih.gov/wordpress/ ). The GSIG was formed to enhance opportunities to explore the intersection between the biology of aging and the biology of diseases that are of interest to the various NIH Institutes and Centers. The GSIG is focused on basic biology, but with a longer view towards translation. By developing a collaborative framework that includes many NIH Institutes, we expect to identify major cross-cutting areas of research, to propose coordinated approaches, to identify hurdles, and to envision solutions. By working together, we expect to catalyze the development of new tools, models and paradigms that address the basic biological underpinnings of multiple diseases. The web page is open to the public and it contains updated information on the various activities of GSIG and Geroscience in general.
  • What Happens to the Brain in Alzheimer's Disease? (new web page)
  • Talking with Your Doctor video (new; added to TWYD presentation toolkit)
  • Feature article: Putting exercise to the test in people at risk for Alzheimer's
  • Feature article: NIH initiative tests in-home technology to help older adults age in place

MEDIA & OUTREACH

Press Releases and Research Highlights

NIA posted and distributed the following press releases:

NIA posted the following research highlights:

Social Media

  • @NIAGo4Life Twitter followers now more than 6,840 with an additional 9,685 subscribing to a daily e-alert of tweets
  • @Alzheimers_NIH Twitter followers now nearly 6,900 with more than 9,415 daily e-alert subscriber
  • More than 49,000 users on Go4Life GovDelivery monthly e-alert list

MEETINGS AND EXHIBITS

  • World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 2017 – Dr. Richard Hodes represented the NIA at the World Economic Forum. He was invited to deliver a talk about Alzheimer's disease during a session entitled, "Curing Alzheimer's: The Research Imperative." He also participated in an informal discussion on Alzheimer's during the Forum's "Health Hub" session. In both sessions, Dr. Hodes relayed the importance of innovation and collaboration in improving the lives of all those touched by such a devastating disease.
  • Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) visit, March 2017 – Dr. Richard Hodes traveled to St. Louis to meet with leadership, faculty, and trainees at WUSTL. As part of the visit, Dr. Hodes delivered a Director's Address, sharing with the WUSTL research community an overview of NIA, research priorities in each of the various divisions, and future directions for the Institute.
  • American Geriatrics Society (AGS), March 2017 – Drs. Richard Hodes and Marie Bernard along with senior NIA staff met with the leadership of AGS. Topics of discussion included the NIA budget, training programs, and joint NIA/AGS annual meeting efforts.
  • Women Against Alzheimer's (WA2), April 2017 – Dr. Marie Bernard along with senior NIA staff and Dr. Monica Basco from the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health met with the leadership of WA2. Topics of discussion included sex-based differences in research, ways that WA2 can promote NIA research, and how to better align our shared priorities.5
  • Aging in America, 2017 Conference of the American Society on Aging, March 21-23, Chicago, IL
  • (For more information about NIA's conferences or exhibits, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph. 301-496-1752. For more information about NIA's professional meetings, contact Dr. Melinda Kelley, Legislative Officer, Ph. 301-451-8835.)

Back to contents

Relevant Notices and Initiatives Published in the NIH Guide

For ‘Notices’ and ‘Research Initiatives’ with NIA’s participation or interest please visit these two websites: https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/funding and https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dea/nih-funding-policies (Please look for ‘Recent Changes in NIH Policy’).

Back to contents