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May 2021 Director's Status Report

Click on the links below to view sections of the May 2021 Director's Status Report:

Budget and Appropriations

Status of the FY 2022 Budget

FY 2022 Update

The President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Discretionary Request (the “skinny” budget) was released on April 9, 2021, which calls for ~$1.5 trillion in spending in FY 2022. Non-defense discretionary spending comprises $769 billion, a 16% increase from FY 2021, while defense spending comes in at $753 billion, a 1.7% increase over the prior fiscal year. A more detailed budget proposal is expected in the coming months.

Proposed funding for NIH is $51 billion, an increase of $9 billion over the FY 2021 enacted level. This includes $6.5 billion to establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) within NIH, which would initially “focus on cancer and other diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.”

Promoting health equity is a major theme of the request, with additional funding for increasing the diversity of the health care workforce, expanding access to culturally competent care, and improving data collection for racial and ethnic populations.

This budget outline represents a starting place for negotiations as Congress begins determining FY 2022 appropriations; all figures listed above are subject to change.

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Legislative Update

May 2021

Legislation of Interest

A bipartisan group of Representatives, led by Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced H.R. 869, the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act, on February 5, 2021. If enacted, the Act would provide $25 billion, including $10 billion for NIH, in funds for the nation’s science-related agencies to support U.S. researchers who have been impacted by the pandemic. The bill has been referred to the House committees of jurisdiction. A Senate companion, S. 289, was introduced on February 8, 2021 by Senators Markey (D-MA), Tillis (R-NC), Peters (D-MI), and Collins (R-ME), and has been referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

Hearings, Visits, and Other Topics of Interest:

Appropriations Health Subcommittees Briefing: February 10, 2021
On February 10, 2021, National Institute on Aging (NIA) Director Dr. Richard Hodes, NIA Division of Behavioral and Social Research Director Dr. Lis Nielsen, NIA Division of Neuroscience Director Dr. Eliezer Masliah, and several NIA subject matter experts briefed the health subcommittee majority and minority staff of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Topics included a general overview of current research as well as therapeutics in development for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research/Coalition for Health Funding Joint Briefing: March 3, 2021
On March 3, 2021, NIA Director Dr. Richard Hodes provided updates on the role of NIA in advancing our understanding of, and response to, the COVID-19 pandemic and creating innovative methods to continue progress for patients enrolled in clinical trials at a Hill briefing hosted by the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research and the Coalition for Health Funding.

Elder Abuse Research Briefing: March 3, 2021
On March 3, 2021, NIA Division of Behavioral and Social Research Director Dr. Lis Nielsen and several subject matter experts from NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research and Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology briefed the staffs of Representatives Spanberger (D-VA), Schakowsky (D-IL), and Bonamici (D-WA) on elder abuse research. Majority staff from the House Appropriations and House Ways and Means Committees also joined the briefing.

Submitted by: Brian Gray, Ph.D., Health Science Policy Analyst, National Institute on Aging

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General Information

Staff Changes

Ms. Alexis Berry joined the BSR on March 8, 2021 as a clinical trials analyst (contractor). Ms. Berry will provide administrative and management support for experimental studies with human subjects and the appropriate conduct of behavioral interventions on individuals, communities, and populations. She will work with BSR’s Clinical Trials Coordinator to ensure that grants meet criteria required for clinical trials. Ms. Berry received an ScM in medical sciences and a B.A. in public health from Brown University. She was awarded a Brown University Global Health Scholarship to serve as a Clinical Researcher in a teaching hospital in Ghana. She was a Postbaccalaureate Fellow at NIH/NIAID where she strengthened her experience in clinical research, project management, protocol adherence, data analysis, and graphic design, and received an NIH Outstanding Poster Award for her work.

Dr. Maria Carranza joined NIA on February 1, 2021 as a program officer in the Office of Small Business Research (OSBR). Dr. Carranza will be managing NIA’s fellowship, research career development, and supplement programs, serving as primary point of contact for applicants, community, and program staff on policies, goals, and processes related to each specific funding opportunity. Dr. Carranza serves as NIA's representative to the NIH Training Advisory Committee and works with NIA divisions to develop, manage, and optimize NIA's fellowship and research career development programs. Dr. Carranza received her Ph.D. in chemistry from Baylor University and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. Her research focused on drug discovery for central nervous system disorders and cancer. As an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation, Dr. Carranza worked with the NSF INCLUDES initiative, where she co-led the development of the NSF INCLUDES Special Report to the Nation II and was a contributor to the Interagency Working Group for Inclusion in STEM (IGWIS).

Dr. Chee Chia was designated as Deputy Clinical Director of the NIA Intramural Research Program (IRP) in February 2021. Dr. Chia is a board-certified endocrinologist. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her medical degree from Northwestern University School of Medicine. She completed her postgraduate training in internal medicine at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School and her fellowship training in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Chia has been a Staff Clinician in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (LCI), NIA since 2004 and served as a Clinician Scientist for the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) from 2014-2017. As Deputy Clinical Director, she reports directly to the NIA Clinical Director under the Clinical Research Core.

Dr. Ronald Kohanski was appointed as the new Division of Aging Biology (DAB) director on December 21, 2020. As DAB director, Dr. Kohanski will provide strategic vision, expertise, and oversight for the division’s scientific portfolio, including all grants and cooperative agreement research activities, as well as administrative, budget, and staffing management. He also will serve in an advisory role to the NIA director, deputy director and executive officer. Dr. Kohanski started with DAB as a program officer in 2005 and became the division’s deputy director in 2007. He has been serving as acting director since the departure of Dr. Felipe Sierra last year. Dr. Kohanski assisted Dr. Sierra in founding — and now leads — the trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG), which includes program staff from most NIH Institutes and Centers. Geroscience is an emerging scientific field built on the hypothesis that slowing the rate of aging can delay the onset and reduce the severity of chronic disease and dysfunction that occur late in adult life. Dr. Kohanski earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry with Robert L. Heinrikson at the University of Chicago in 1981. After a postdoctoral fellowship with M. Daniel Lane at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he held a faculty position at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine before returning as a faculty member at Johns Hopkins. His fields of research included enzymology and developmental biology of the insulin receptor.

Dr. Sally Marik joined the Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) as a Health Scientist Administrator in February 2021. She serves as a Referral Liaison for NIA, primarily working on referral functions related to NIA-assigned applications. Dr. Marik completed her graduate studies at the University of California, Riverside, where her thesis work examined underlying circuit mechanisms of experience-dependent plasticity in the adult cortex. She then pursued postdoctoral training at the Rockefeller University, where she investigated how different neuronal cell types in sensory cortices contribute to experience-dependent plasticity. Staying on as a senior research associate and staff scientist, Dr. Marik explored the molecular mechanisms of axonal pruning that accompanies adult experience-dependent plasticity. While in the lab, Dr. Marik accepted a guest faculty position at Sarah Lawrence College where she taught a course about the neurobiology of Alzheimer’s disease, covering epidemiology, normal aging, MCI, molecular mechanisms, and caregiving. Recently, Dr. Marik was an Assistant Professor at Pace University where she and her laboratory of undergraduates used zebrafish to examine how autism spectrum disorder risk genes may impact microglia dynamics negatively and contribute to macrocephaly.

Dr. Elizabeth Necka joined the Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) on February 16, 2021, as a program officer in the Individual Behavioral Processes Branch. Dr. Necka will be directing a portfolio of basic and translational research focused on interpersonal relationships in healthy aging and well-being, with particular emphasis on dyadic interactions and informal caregiving. Her portfolio will also include research on aging-related processes in pain, social disconnection, and social cognition. Dr. Necka received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Chicago and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Her research focused on the role of social and interpersonal factors on health and cognition and on psychophysiological regulation of social behavior. While an AAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, Dr. Necka served as a program officer in the Division of Translational Research at the National Institute of Mental Health. She has served as a representative to the Office of Basic and Social Sciences Research and the Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network, as well as coordinator of the NIH Intramural Affective Neuroscience Seminar.

Dr. Viviana Perez Montes joined DAB as a new program officer in its Genetics and Cell Biology Branch. Dr. Perez comes to DAB from Oregon State University. She received her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences in 2004 at the Medical School of the University of Chile under Dr. Felipe Sierra’s mentorship. She then moved to San Antonio, Texas to pursue her postdoctoral training under Dr. Arlan Richardson at the Barshop Institute for Aging and Longevity Studies. In 2011, she was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Oregon State University and as a Principal Investigator at the Linus Pauling Institute. She was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2017. During her research career, she was continuously funded from a variety of Federal and non-Federal sources. Her research interests were focused on the study of the oxidative stress theory of aging, the role of proteostasis in long-lived organisms using a comparative biology approach including redox state in naked mole rats, and more recently the role of Nrf2 in mediating the anti-senescence effects of rapamycin.

Dr. Yanjun Qi joined the Division of Neuroscience (DN) as a Data and Technology Advancement (DATA) National Service Scholar in January 2021. Her current role focuses on guiding the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) activities in the Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project. Dr. Qi is an associate professor at the University of Virginia in the Department of Computer Science. Her research interests are in ML and in ML's applications with biomedical impact. She obtained her Ph. D. from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University in 2008 and her bachelor’s degree with high honors from the Computer Science Department at Tsinghua University, Beijing. Dr. Qi was a researcher in the Machine Learning Department at NEC Labs America in Princeton, New Jersey from 2008 to 2013. She has served multiple international conferences/journals and has co-chaired the NeurIPS’s Machine Learning for Computational Biology workshops and the ICLR's Robust-AI workshops. Dr. Qi received a CAREER award from NSF and the Best Paper Award at NeurIPS's workshop on Transparent and Interpretable Machine Learning.

Dr. Saroj Regmi was hired as a program officer in OSBR, which manages NIA’s SBIR/STTR programs and training grants. Dr. Regmi advises and provides guidance to potential applicants about the SBIR/STTR programs. Additionally, he plays an active role in several initiatives across NIH where he represents NIA. He has developed multiple initiatives to promote entrepreneurship training and he co-leads NIA’s small business investor initiatives. Dr. Regmi received his Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Dartmouth, where his dissertation work was focused on mitochondria and aging, and completed his postdoctoral training at NICHD.

Dr. Eleanor Simonsick was designated Acting Co-Director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) in the Translational Gerontology Branch (TGB) of the IRP in December 2020. In this role, Dr. Simonsick will maintain oversight while furthering the research initiatives of the BLSA. Dr. Simonsick received her Ph.D. in behavioral science and health education in 1988 from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and joined NIH as an epidemiologist in 1990. In 2001, she joined the NIA IRP as a Staff Scientist/Epidemiologist and, in 2019, was named Deputy Director of the BLSA.

Effective internally on January 31, 2021, the NIA IRP implemented organizational changes. The following changes are pending the approval of an official reorganization and realignment with the Office of Management Assessment (OMA): The Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology (LMG) was dissolved and the Sections previously in LMG were realigned with other laboratories. The DNA Repair Section, led by Dr. Vilhelm Bohr, realigned with the Office of the Scientific Director. The Telomere Maintenance Section, led by Dr. Yie Liu, realigned with the Laboratory of Genetics and Genomics (LGG). The DNA Helicases Section, led by Dr. Robert Brosh, realigned with the TGB. The Gene Targeting Section, led by Dr. Michael Seidman, realigned with the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology (LMBI).

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Institute-Sponsored Meetings, Workshops, and Conferences

Past Meetings

NIH SCIENCE OF BEHAVIOR CHANGE (SOBC) CAPSTONE RESEARCH CONFERENCE – February 22-23, 2021 – Virtual

The NIA Division of Behavioral and Social Research staff and NIH-wide partners from multiple Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs) hosted the SOBC Common Fund Program’s final research conference. The event celebrated 10 years of SOBC Program science advances and accomplishments and highlighted innovative examples of mechanisms-focused behavior change science implemented across a range of fields. This conference, attended live by more than 350 participants, encouraged bridges between the SOBC Program and other NIH-wide initiatives as part of the goal to sustain and expand the approach after Common Fund funding for the program ends. Visit the meeting website at https://commonfund.nih.gov/sobc-capstonemeeting for more information and view a recording of the meeting at https://youtu.be/kN6UIQOCqc4.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Lisbeth Nielsen, Lisbeth.Nielsen@nih.gov, 301-496-3136 or Dr. Chandra Keller, Chandra.Keller@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

LONGEVITY INNOVATIONS AND NEURODEGENERATION COMPANY SHOWCASE (LINCS) – February 23-24, 2021 – Virtual

NIA and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) co-hosted the inaugural Longevity Innovations and Neurodegeneration Company Showcase (LINCS) on February 23-24, 2021. This virtual meeting showcased NIA small business grant awardees and provided a chance for the entire NIA small business awardee portfolio to hear from private and non-profit organizations with a specific interest in investing and partnering with small businesses in the aging space. Over 100 investors and 100 NIA/NINDS small businesses participated in the event, which also included a virtual partnering platform that enabled attendees to meet with one another and explore synergies.

DEEPLY PHENOTYPED LONGITUDINAL STUDIES ON AGING: OPPORTUNITIES FOR COORDINATION AND COLLABORATIONS – Feb 25-26, 2021 – Virtual

NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) supports many deeply-phenotyped longitudinal cohort studies which, collectively, span the full life course. These studies collect rich data on behavioral and psychological processes, often incorporate qualitative experience sampling or daily diary protocols, and frequently include biomarker and neuroimaging assessments. Because multi-cohort projects inherently address the replication question, often allow findings to be extended to new contexts (different age group, different geographic location, etc.), and have greater potential to identify interesting moderators, increasing coordination among these existing longitudinal cohort projects could expand their impact. This workshop brought together 50 scientists involved with BSR-funded deeply-phenotyped longitudinal studies to encourage collaboration toward multi-cohort data integration, construct harmonization, and publications.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Janine Simmons, Janine.Simmons@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

THE FOURTH BIENNIAL TENURE-TRACK SYMPOSIUM – February 26, 2021 – Virtual

NIA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) virtually hosted the Fourth Biennial Tenure-Track Symposium on February 26, 2021. Tenure-track investigators from NIA and NIDA shared their ongoing research, and tenure-tracks in their second year met with the Promotion and Tenure Committee to discuss their progress.

For additional information, please contact Sarah Lewis, sarah.lewis@nih.gov, 667-205-2604.

NASEM/BBCSS CONSENSUS STUDY ON ACCELERATING BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE THROUGH ONTOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND USE – March 1, 2021 – Virtual

An introductory working meeting was held on March 1, 2021 with staff from NIA and other NIH sponsors to begin planning for this Consensus Study. The goal of the study is to define the scope of ontology development for behavioral science research, summarize the state of behavioral ontology development and use in behavioral science research, and identify compelling use cases as well as approaches, gaps, and challenges that need to be addressed in order to facilitate widespread ontology use in behavioral science research.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Janine Simmons, Janine.Simmons@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

BILINGUALISM AND COGNITIVE RESERVE/RESILIENCE – March 2-3, 2021 – Virtual

The goal of this two-day, NIA-sponsored virtual workshop was to bring together experts in bilingualism and cognitive reserve/resilience to review the current state of the science, address the gaps in our understanding, and discuss opportunities for further exploration of the impact of bilingualism on cognitive and brain health and age-related neurodegenerative disease. Speakers discussed how research on bilingualism as a driver of cognitive reserve and/or resilience to Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (AD/ADRD) remains controversial, with some studies showing evidence of these protective effects and others indicating no effects. Sixteen speakers from across and outside the U.S. presented in one of three sessions: 1) bilingualism across the lifespan and its impact on reserve and resilience; 2) factors complicating the study of bilingualism and its impact on cognition and the brain; and 3) mechanisms by which bilingualism may drive neuroplasticity in the brain. The workshop was viewed by nearly 500 people live, and 200 individuals have watched the livestream recording to date. An executive summary of the workshop is being produced and will be posted on the NIA website. For more information on the workshop, agenda, and links to videocast recordings for both days, see: https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/workshop-bilingualism-and-cognitive-reserve-and-resilience.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Matt Sutterer (DN), matt.sutterer@nih.gov, 301-480-7694 and Dr. Jonathan King (DBSR), jonathan.king@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

IMMUNE RESPONSE TO SARS-COV2 IN THE ELDERLY – March 16-17, 2021 – Virtual

NIA’s extramural and intramural divisions and the extramural division of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) organized a virtual two-day conference on Immune Responses to SARS-CoV2 in the Elderly on March 16-17, 2021. The purpose of this symposium was to present recent research findings related to characterization of the host immune response to SARS-CoV2 in older individuals. The symposium increased the understanding of how the host immune response is altered in the elderly and helped to identify the factors that contribute to increased mortality in this population. Recent results from both animal and human studies on the aged host response were presented. This symposium identified gaps in knowledge and future directions of research as it relates to SARS-CoV2 pandemic. The objectives were (1) characterization of the innate and adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV2 in aging; and (2) discussion of therapeutic treatments for mitigation of severity of infection in the elderly.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Rebecca A Fuldner, fuldnerr@nia.nih.gov, 301-402-7748.

NASEM/BHCS EXPERT MEETING ON UNDERSTANDING THE SUPPLY SIDE OF PROFESSIONAL CARE PROVIDERS OF PERSONS WITH DEMENTIA – March 23, 2021 – Virtual

Dementia (AD/ADRD) diagnosis is expected to triple in the next 30 years. With only a few promising therapies in the pipeline, there is a pressing need to understand how dementia care is supplied by various professional providers (e.g., primary care providers, neurologists, geriatricians, psychiatrists, and healthcare workers such as licensed practical nurse in healthcare facilities), the burden it can have on our health care system, and its effects on persons with dementia (PWD). The purpose of this meeting was to identify how professional care providers provide care for PWD (i.e., the supply side of care) and identify research needs. Discussion included strategies of surveying professional care providers in geographic locations with high concentrations of older Americans to understand the supply side of care; the professional caregiving workforce serving PWD and how this workforce will meet future needs; and the potential research value of administrative data linkages (EHR and claims). A summary is being produced and will appear on the NIA website at https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dbsr/workshop-reports.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Partha Bhattacharyya, Partha.Bhattacharyya@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

MEASURES OF SOMATIC MUTATION-RELATED CLONAL HEMATOPOIESIS IN HUMANS: ENHANCING CONTRIBUTIONS TO CLINICAL, EPIDEMIOLOGIC, AND GENETIC AGING STUDIES – March 24-25, 2021 – Virtual

The overall purpose of this workshop was to gain knowledge on the prevalence of clonal expansion of hematopoietic cells associated with somatic mutations as a function of age in humans and the evolution of technologies to analyze these mutations in human specimens. The term “clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential” (CHIP) has been applied to a subset of such clones in which known genetic drivers of hematologic malignancies are found. However, mutations in many other genes are associated with clonal expansion in the absence of CHIP. Both these types of clonal hematopoiesis (CH) have been associated with increased mortality risk and cardiovascular disease risk in addition to risk of hematologic malignancies. With the rapid development of genomic technologies, a variety of options are available to assess these types of CH in human population studies focusing on exceptional longevity and age-related diseases, as well as in clinical trials testing interventions for health and life span. This two-day workshop was sponsored by NIA's Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology (GCG) and Division of Aging Biology (DAB). It included sessions focused on clonal hematopoiesis/somatic mutations and aging phenotypes in human cohorts; novel technologies that could potentially be used in clinical specimens and the implementation of these technologies in longevity studies; and translational (intervention) studies for biomarker discovery and therapeutic targets. The final session discussed opportunities to address research issues. The workshop had more than 340 registrants, and each day there were approximately 250 participants.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Nalini Raghavachari (DGCG), nalini.raghavachari@nih.gov, 301-435-3048; Dr. Candace Kerr (DAB), candace.kerr@nih.gov, 301-827-4474; and Kathleen Mercure (DGCG), kathleen.mercure@nih.gov, 301-480-8675.

STAFF SCIENTIST FACILITY HEAD (SS/FH) AND STAFF CLINICIAN (SC) REVIEWS – March 29, 2021 – Virtual

NIA virtually hosted Staff Scientist Facility Head (SS/FH) and Staff Clinician (SC) reviews on March 29, 2021. NIA and NIDA employees were invited to attend the presentations. SS/FHs and SCs presented their ongoing research and met with the Promotion and Tenure Committee to discuss their progress.

For additional information, please contact Sarah Lewis, sarah.lewis@nih.gov, 667-205-2604.

DEVELOPING EVIDENCE-BASED MUSIC THERAPIES FOR BRAIN DISORDERS OF AGING, FIRST MEETING OF THE SERIES – March 31, 2021 – Virtual

NIA, NINDS, and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), in collaboration with the Foundation for the NIH and the Renée Fleming Foundation, sponsored the first of a series of three virtual meetings (listed below) with the goal of developing evidence-based music therapies for brain disorders of aging. The roundtable format was used and will continue to be used to gather input from individuals representing neuroscience; music therapy and music medicine; behavioral intervention development; clinical trial methodology; and patient advocacy and art-based organizations. The NIH organizers will utilize input gathered from these meetings and the broader scientific community to inform the creation of a toolkit for research on music and health across the lifespan. NIH organizers ultimately hope to develop and disseminate the toolkit, which will include a consolidated set of common data elements for music-based intervention protocols.

  • Laying the Foundation: Defining the Building Blocks of Music-Based Interventions – March 31, 2021 (Videocast); Lead IC: NCCIH
  • Assessing and Measuring Target Engagement – Mechanistic and Clinical Outcome Measures for Brain Disorders of Aging – June 18, 2021 (Videocast); Lead IC: NIA
  • Relating Target Engagement to Clinical Benefit – Biomarkers for Brain Disorders of Aging – August 25, 2021 (Videocast); Lead IC: NINDS

For more information, please contact Dr. Coryse St. Hillaire-Clarke, coryse.sthillaire-clarke@nih.gov, 301-496-9350 and Dr. Lisa Onken, lisa.onken@nih.gov, 301-496-3131.

THE WOMEN’S SCIENTIST ADVISORS (WSA) AWARDS – April 20, 2021 – Virtual

The Women’s Scientist Advisors (WSA) Awards were held virtually on April 20, 2021 and honored awardees Dr. Payel Sen, Earl Stadtman Investigator, LGG, and Dr. Dushani Palliyaguru, Postdoctoral Fellow, TGB, with the Award of Excellence. Also honored were Dr. Allison Herman, Postdoctoral Fellow, LGG, and Dr. Roshni Roy, Postdoctoral Fellow, LMBI, who both received Research Recognition Awards, and Dr. Martina Rossi, Postdoctoral Fellow, LGG, who received the Promising Postdoctoral Award.

For additional information, please contact Sarah Lewis, sarah.lewis@nih.gov, 667-205-2604.

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE SEQUENCING PROJECT (ADSP) PROGRAM REVIEW – April 22-23, 2021 – Virtual

The Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP) held its annual program review on April 22 and 23, 2021. There were four major sessions. The session on ethnic diversity provided updates on sample collection, sequencing, and data production; highlights of new awards; and a summary of the important science that has emerged since last year. The second session focused on the theme of recent findings, with an emphasis on connecting associations to genes, genetic pathways, and how this is driving the field toward potential therapeutic targets. The third session provided information on new analytic strategies using ADSP data including: functional annotation to inform analysis of the non-coding genome; how local ancestry analysis can be used to enhance the ability to detect genetic associations in diversity cohorts; and how structural variants can be analyzed using multi-ancestry data, family structure, and functional information. The final session encompassed new ADSP analytical approaches such as artificial intelligence (AI); the emerging definitions of AD-relevant endophenotypes; why endophenotypes are important; and use of biomarkers including fluid/blood-based biomarkers to define endophenotypes. Because of the proximity of the program review to May NACA, the advisors’ comments will be provided at the September Council.

For more information, please contact Marilyn Miller, millerm@nia.nih.gov, 301-496-9350.

LIPIDS IN BRAIN AGING AND ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE – April 28-29, 2021 – Virtual

The objectives of this NIA-sponsored workshop were to highlight recent research advances, recognize opportunities for progress, and identify gaps of understanding in the field of lipids in the context of brain aging and AD/ADRD. During the workshop, participants engaged in discussion for three sessions: (1) lipid droplets in aging and AD/ADRD, (2) myelin in aging and AD/ADRD, and (3) APOE and lipid homeostasis in aging and AD/ADRD. Further details can be found on the following webpage: https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dn/virtual-workshop-lipids-brain-aging-and-alzheimers-disease-and-related-dementias

For additional information, please contact Dr. Amanda DiBattista, amanda.dibattista@nih.gov, 301-827-3342.

NIA SYMPOSIUM ON “HALLMARKS OF AGING IN THE HEART” AT THE EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY (EB) ANNUAL MEETING – April 29, 2021 – Virtual

The purpose of this symposium was to highlight recent advances in aging-related changes in the physiological interactions of organs. The symposium was held at the annual meeting of the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology national meeting. Each speaker was asked to give a 20-minute presentation on their recent research findings with an emphasis on how it related to the area of aging-related changes in the physiological interactions of that year’s symposium topic, “Hallmarks of Aging in the Heart”. The symposium was chaired by DAB program staff (Drs. Candace Kerr and John Williams).

For additional information, please contact Dr. Candace Kerr, candace.kerr@nih.gov, 301-827-4474 and Dr. John Williams, williamsj6@mail.nih.gov, 301-496-6403.

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BREAKING DATA BARRIERS AND SCALING BEHAVIOR CHANGE INTERVENTIONS TO BENEFIT OLDER ADULT HEALTH THROUGH PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS – April 29-30, 2021 – Virtual

The digitization of massive data sets, including electronic health records and claims data, expands the boundaries of biomedical research and enables improvements in healthcare delivery for older adults. However, many of these data sets exist in silos, rendering them difficult to reconcile with one another or access them for analyses. The goal of this workshop with subject matter experts was to identify gaps, opportunities and strategies for breaking data silos, and address the need for data integration across multiple sources and infrastructure for analyses. The workshop also addressed existing barriers to the effective integration of big data, including addressing common data elements and harmonization of data across multiple sources, as well as the myriad ways that researchers and clinicians may leverage these unified data when such barriers are eliminated.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Partha Bhattacharyya, Partha.Bhattacharyya@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

NASEM SCIENTIFIC WORKSHOP ON VIOLENCE & RELATED HEALTH OUTCOMES IN SEXUAL & GENDER MINORITY COMMUNITIES – May 6, 2021 – Virtual

The goal of this State of the Science workshop, led by the NIH Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office and co-funded by several NIH ICs including NIA, was to identify and prioritize key research needed to further our understanding of violence within Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) communities. This workshop applied a four-level ecological model, as a multi-level approach, to explore four domains of interest related to violence against SGM individuals: family origin abuse, peer/friend victimization, romantic/sexual partner violence, and community violence. The model allowed the workshop to explore the impact of violence experienced by SGM populations and identify research opportunities across the lifespan and at various levels (intrapersonal, community, and structural). This state-of-science workshop was held on May 6, 2021. Online interactive working groups will meet over the summer and a final report-out public meeting is planned by the end of summer 2021.

For additional information please contact Dr. Melissa Gerald, Melissa.Gerald@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

NASEM/CNSTAT EXPERT MEETING ON DATA SHARING BEST PRACTICES FOR NIA LONGITUDINAL STUDIES – May 10, 2021 – Virtual

The recent National Advisory Council on Aging review of the Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) highlighted the need to reduce barriers to accessing data for research, and the review committee strongly supported BSR’s continued efforts to work through the regulatory and privacy issues to establish secure data approaches through which administrative records and other protected data can be readily accessed for research. During this half-day expert meeting, experts reviewed the current NIA guidance for data sharing and current implementation practices by NIA longitudinal aging studies. Specifically, the focus of the meeting was on data sharing and access for large, representative longitudinal panel studies. These studies present special challenges because they include a complex array of different kinds of data beyond survey questions, including administrative records and biological specimens, and repeated measurements over time of the same individuals are a greater threat to reidentification. Discussion sessions included an examination of the current guidance and implementation, consideration of some other exemplar approaches that could accommodate the complex longitudinal multi-mode data collections that BSR sponsors, and overarching issues related to the broader data environment, advances in technology for data protection and access, and threats to privacy and data confidentiality. A brief wrap-up session suggested next steps for consideration by BSR.

For additional information, please contact Dr. John Phillips, John.Phillips@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

Future Meetings

2021 TRANS-NIH ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE WORKING GROUP MEETING – May 18, 2021 – Virtual

The NIA Office of the Director and the Division of Neuroscience will be hosting the 2021 Trans-NIH Alzheimer’s Disease Working Group meeting on May 18, 2021. The meeting will invite participants from various NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs). The agenda will include the status of AD/ADRD and collaborations across ICs. It will also report on the 2021 NIH Alzheimer’s Research Summit: Path to Treatment and Prevention, which was held virtually on April 19-22, 2021.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jean Tiong-Koehler, tiongj@nih.gov, 301-827-7804.

NASEM/CPOP EXPERT MEETING ON DEVELOPING A RESEARCH AGENDA ON THE MEDIUM- AND LONG-TERM SOCIAL IMPACTS OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC – May 20, 2021 – Virtual

The focus of this half-day seminar will be considering research directions on the medium- and long-term social and economic impacts on COVID-19, with racial/ethnic, sex, and socioeconomic disparities of these impacts being an integral part. Understanding the social and economic effects of the pandemic cannot be separated from either the inequalities proceeding the pandemic or the disparate ways that the pandemic is already playing out (e.g., infections, hospitalizations, mortality, job loss, etc.). Indeed, it is now well known that the pandemic is exhibiting its most severe mortality effects in the United States on American Indians, Hispanics, and Blacks. Sex differences are likely to be just as important for understanding the short- and long-term effects of the pandemic, with women bearing the brunt of job losses, additional caregiving duties, assisting their children with remote learning, and serving in many risky job contexts since the pandemic began. The workshop will focus on the medium- (up to five years) and long-term (more than five years) effects of pandemic-related disruptions to the educational process for children, youth, and young adults; disruptions to work for working-age adults; and changes in the caregiving duties of working-age Americans, particularly women. The workshop is intended to provide expert insights into future directions for research. A summary will be produced and will appear on the NIA website at https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dbsr/workshop-reports.

For additional information, please contact Dr. John Phillips, John.Phillips@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

NON-PHARMACOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO THE EARLY PREVENTION OF AD/ADRD – May 24-25, 2021 – Virtual

Non-pharmacological interventions to prevent age-related AD/ADRD are of great interest to scientists, policy makers, and the public. Of particular interest would be prevention interventions beginning in midlife that could eliminate disease burden completely, as well as non-pharmacological interventions that would avoid the risks and costs of chronic drug regimens. Nevertheless, the “naïve” approach to the non-pharmacological prevention of AD/ADRD beginning in midlife, a decades long randomized clinical trial, would face immediate and significant design challenges. This workshop will address these core methodological challenges with respect to the populations we should be selecting, the intervention targets we are attempting to hit—including how best to measure target engagement—and the actual and specific outcomes we are seeking. In addition, the workshop will examine the overall process of intervention development and address how best to accumulate evidence to support intervention strategies that will be effective in populations of interest.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Johnathan King, Jonathan.King@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

NASEM/BBCSS EXPERT MEETING ON BEHAVIORAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS RELATED TO COVID-19 VACCINE UPTAKE ACROSS THE LIFESPAN – June 14-15, 2021 – Virtual

Effectively addressing the COVID-19 pandemic requires not only the production of vaccines, but also rapid and widespread vaccination of the U.S. public (i.e., ‘shots in arms’). Vaccinating the most people in the shortest amount of time offers the best potential to mitigate morbidity and mortality, achieve herd immunity, and minimize additional pandemic-related challenges such as viral mutations. Unfortunately, vaccine hesitancy interferes with the ability to rapidly achieve herd immunity. Groups with the highest vaccine hesitancy include the “want, but wait” group (~38-39%), nursing home workers (38%), rural residents (35%), African Americans (35%), and essential workers (33%). This situation creates a significant public health challenge, as well as an opportunity for behavioral research communities to contribute (Volpp et al., 2020; SOBC webinar, 2021). The NASEM BBCSS spring webinar will focus on ways to investigate the causal drivers of vaccine hesitancy and intervention strategies to address hesitancy-related challenges across the lifespan.

For additional information please contact Dr. Luke Stoeckel, Luke.Stoeckel@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

NIA INVESTIGATOR’S MEETING ON COVID-19 RESEARCH ON AGING – June 17-18, 2021 – Virtual

The purpose of this investigator’s meeting, planned for June 17-18, is to provide the opportunity for extramural program staff to learn about early research progress on NIA’s extramural COVID-19 research projects. NIA will host the meeting in virtual format and sponsor the creation of a full report on the proceedings that will be made publicly available in late summer 2021.

For more information, please contact Dr. Luci Roberts, roberlu@mail.nih.gov, 301-496-9350.

NASEM/BBCSS WORKSHOP ON BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL RESEARCH AND CLINICAL PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS OF BIOMARKER AND OTHER PRECLINICAL DIAGNOSTICS OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE AND AD RELATED DEMENTIAS – June 28-29, 2021 – Virtual

This workshop will address behavioral and social science research questions raised by the use of biomarkers and other measures (e.g., digital/sensor data) for pre-clinical AD/ADRD diagnosis, including the personal, social, ethical, legal, economic, health equity, and healthcare implications for patients and families; the impact of disclosure of preclinical diagnosis on identity and self-concept; study partners and interpersonal relationships; interactions with the healthcare system; participation in the workforce; and other outcomes. It will also address the implications of preclinical diagnosis of AD/ADRD for the design and conduct of AD/ADRD prevention research.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Luke Stoeckel, Luke.Stoeckel@nih.gov, 301-496-3136 or Dr. Elena Fazio, Elena.Fazio@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

26TH ANNUAL NIA/IRP SCIENTIFIC RETREAT – July 19-20, 2021 – Virtual

The 26th Annual NIA/IRP Scientific Retreat will be held virtually on July 19-20, 2021. The two-day, NIA-sponsored event will feature two large poster sessions, brief talks from IRP scientists, and a keynote address from Dr. Carlos Fernandez-Hernando, Professor of Pathology and Comparative Medicine at Yale School of Medicine.

For additional information, please contact Sarah Lewis, sarah.lewis@nih.gov, 667-205-2604.

THE FOURTEENTH ANNUAL DIVISION OF AGING BIOLOGY NEW INVESTIGATORS FORUM (DABNIF) – June 28-29, 2021 and September 14-15, 2021 – Virtual

The DAB new investigators forum (DABNIF) brings together new DAB awardees in the spring of the year following their award to meet and interact with NIA program and review staff as well as to network with each other. These are investigators at an early stage of their research careers and who are new to funding by DAB. The overarching goal of the meeting is to encourage continued success for the new PIs in the field of aging as well as to encourage interactions and collaborations. Each PI presents a poster describing the planned research (or results to date) and give an “elevator speech” short talk where they introduce themselves and briefly talk about their research interests and careers goals. In addition to these activities, the forum’s agenda includes a keynote presentation by an expert in the area of aging, as well as talks by DAB staff and NIA leadership on issues such as scope of the science supported by DAB; funding mechanisms; use of the Guide; navigating the NIA website; grant review issues; and in-depth discussions on writing successful grant applications. Ample Q&A opportunities are provided throughout the program. This forum directly supports the NIA mission related to fostering new areas of research in aging as well as to disseminating information about aging-related grant opportunities to the scientific community. As a result of past meetings, we have found that the PIs have indeed set up new collaborations and increase their interactions with DAB staff. They are also much more likely to keep DAB staff informed on their new publications and progress. In addition, the format of the forum reflects past years anonymous participant evaluation and feedback.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Manuel Moro, morom@mail.nih.gov, 301-496-6402.

INTER-ORGANELLE COMMUNICATION AND ITS ROLE IN HEALTH AND LONGEVITY – August 2021

An emerging theme in recent cell biological research is that dynamic interactions and communication among membrane-bound organelles are critical in regulating organelle functions during development, coping with environmental conditions, and maintaining tissue function. To probe inter-organelle communication, researchers have taken mostly in vitro approaches, assisted by sophisticated live-cell imaging techniques. However, the full physiological relevance of those findings will need to be interrogated in intact organisms through genetic manipulation of the molecules underlying such interactions, which remain poorly characterized. Finally, it is not known how the inter-organelle communication is affected by the aging process. The purpose of this workshop is to gather cell biologists and biology of aging researchers to discuss the state of the science of inter-organelle communication, available tools for the study of these phenomena, and what is known about their dysfunction in diseases and aging.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Viviana Perez, viviana.perezmontes@nih.gov, 301-496-6428 and Dr. Yih-Woei Fridell, yih-woei.fridell@nih.gov, 301-496-7847.

DIVISION OF AGING BIOLOGY REVIEW – September 2021 – Virtual

This is a series of meetings for a committee of present and former members of the National Advisory Council on Aging and other scientists and administrators appointed at the discretion of the NIA Director. The purpose is to obtain feedback on performance and activities of the Division since the last review and to obtain input on the plans of the Division for future activities. The Division presents information to the review committee on activities and processes for which DAB staff have influence and control and not on general NIA processes. This would include overall direction of the Division (under new leadership); RFA development; use of discretionary funds and administrative supplement money; staff and portfolio organization; special long-term programs overseen by the Division (such as the ITP and CITP); interactions with other NIA Divisions and other NIH ICs; roles in the Common Fund, NIA-wide and NIH-wide working groups; DAB-sponsored workshops and engagement at national meetings; and similar educational and outreach activities. The Division also provides information as might be requested by the review committee. The outcome of this review would be a guidance document presented at a future meeting of the National Advisory Council on Aging.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Ronald A. Kohanski, kohanskir@mail.nih.gov, 301-402-0836.

NASEM/CNSTAT WORKSHOP ON IMPROVING CONSENT AND RESPONSE IN LONGITUDINAL STUDIES OF AGING – TBD September 2021 – Virtual

The Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) will host a workshop to identify methods to improve response/retention and enhance consent protocols for biomarker and program (administrative) data linkage in nationally representative longitudinal studies of older Americans. This is in response to the 2019 National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA) Review, which recommended that NIA prioritize research to develop new, more effective, approaches for recruiting participants to ensure samples are population representative. The methods discussed will include innovations in survey methods with a multidisciplinary approach, such as framing of questions and consent protocols employing insights from psychology and behavioral economics; messaging and participant engagement approaches about the value of study participation; efforts to understand what would motivate consent to specific protocols; and efforts to understand if a study has adequately secured a social license/trust with respondents. A summary will be produced and will appear on the NIA website at https://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dbsr/workshop-reports.

For additional information, please contact Dr. John Phillips, John.Phillips@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

GLOBAL GENETICS ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE SYMPOSIUM: PATHWAY TO TRANSLATION SYMPOSIUM 2021 – July - September 1, 2021 – Virtual

NIA and the Alzheimer’s Association are organizing a virtual global symposium on Alzheimer’s disease genetics. “The 2021 Global Genetics Alzheimer’s Disease Symposium: Pathway to Translation” (see: http://alz.org/alzheimers-genetics-symposium/overview.asp) organizers are members of the NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP). This activity will be held as an ancillary session of the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC). This symposium will bring experts from across the globe to the research community, and will target a broad audience that will encompass basic science, translational medicine, and clinicians. The goals of this symposium are to inform clinicians, translational and basic researchers how genetic discoveries impact and drive biomarker development, target discovery, and target validation. The overarching aim is to facilitate conversation about using genetic findings in clinical practice and translational research. Sessions will include topics such as how genetics plays a role in developing therapeutics, the emerging use of biomarker data along with genetic data in clinical and research settings, prioritizing genes for clinical application using polygenic risk scores (PRS), and identifying therapeutics targets for AD/ADRD based on risk and protective factor variants in the genome. Participants will be able to access pre-recorded sessions starting in July. A live two-hour question and answer period is tentatively scheduled on September 1, 2021.

For more information, please contact, Dr. Marilyn Miller, millerm@nia.nih.gov, 301-496-9350.

13TH ANNUAL BALTIMORE FELLOWS SYMPOSIUM (BFS) – Fall 2021

The 13th Annual Baltimore Fellows Symposium (BFS) will be held in Fall 2021. The date and keynote speaker are TBD.

For additional information, please contact Sarah Lewis, sarah.lewis@nih.gov, 667-205-2604.

3RD ANNUAL NIDA/NIA SPECIAL LECTURE SERIES – Fall 2021

The 3rd annual NIDA/NIA Special Lecture Series will be held in Fall 2021. The date and keynote speaker are TBD.

For additional information, please contact Sarah Lewis, sarah.lewis@nih.gov, 667-205-2604.

AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR BONE AND MINERAL RESEARCH (ASBMR) WORKING GROUP ON AGING SYMPOSIA – October 2021 – TORONTO, CANADA

The Division of Aging Biology and the Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology have combined efforts to provide modest annual financial support for the Working Group on Skeletal Aging in order to build attendance and improve quality. This is the fifth year of the Working Group on Aging. At this time, the planning of the 2021 program is still in progress. The 2021 ASBMR meeting is scheduled to meet in Toronto Canada from Thursday, September 29th to Sunday, October 3rd.

For additional information, please contact Dr. John Williams (DAB), williamsj6@mail.nih.gov, 301-496-6402 and Dr. Lyndon Joseph (DGCG), lyndon.joseph@nih.gov, 301-496-6761.

TOWARDS INTERVENTIONS FOR HEALTHY AGING: CLOSING THE TRANSLATIONAL GAP SYMPOSIUM – October 29, 2021 – Baltimore, MD

On October 29, 2021, NIA will host a one-day symposium, “Towards Interventions for Healthy Aging: Closing the Translational Gap,” tentatively scheduled at the Biomedical Research Center (BRC) in Baltimore, MD, pending COVID-19 restrictions/limitations on in-person events. This event was previously scheduled for September 15, 2020 but postponed due to the ongoing pandemic. Experts in the field will present their research and lead discussions on the latest advances in translational medicine relevant to human aging in an effort to help identify knowledge gaps and challenges in developing interventions for extending health span during aging.

For additional information, please contact Sarah Lewis, sarah.lewis@nih.gov, 667-205-2604.

31ST ANNUAL NATHAN W. SHOCK AWARD LECTURE – November 5, 2021 – Baltimore, MD

The 31st Annual Nathan W. Shock Award Lecture, previously scheduled for November 17, 2020, will be held on November 5, 2021 tentatively at the BRC, pending COVID-19 restrictions/limitations on in-person events. Honorees Dr. Steve Horvath, Professor of Biostatistics and Human Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Dr. Morgan Levine, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Epidemiology at Yale University School of Medicine, will receive the Nathan W. Shock award and present their research.

For additional information, please contact Sarah Lewis, sarah.lewis@nih.gov, 667-205-2604.

SYMPOSIUM ON “ORGANELLAR INTERACTIONS IN THE REGULATION OF AGING AND LONGEVITY” AT GERONTOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA (GSA) ANNUAL MEETING – November 10, 2021 – TBD

This pre-conference workshop is being held at the GSA conference November 10th, 2021. Cellular adaptation is a critical aspect of the cellular response to both intra- and extracellular challenges. This pre-meeting workshop will address how the interactions between organelles that are critical in carrying out such cellular functions are involved in cell longevity. At this pre-meeting workshop, researchers working at the cutting edge of aging research will address how these and other organelle interactions can determine the rate at which cells age. In contrast to the workshop on this topic, this pre-meeting symposium is intended to focus on one specific aspect of inter-organelle communication that is better understood in the context of aging biology. It will serve as a springboard to stimulate further research in this broad area, irrespective of whether an RFA emerges from the workshop on Inter-organelle Communication and Its Role in Health and Longevity.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Viviana Perez, viviana.perezmontes@nih.gov, 301-496-6428 and Dr. Yih-Woei Fridell, yih-woei.fridell@nih.gov, 301-496-7847.

SYMPOSIUM ON “NONHUMAN PRIMATES AS A MODEL FOR AGING” AT THE 43RD MEETING OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PRIMATOLOGISTS – November, 2021 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The purpose of the symposium at the American Society of Primatology annual meeting is to highlight recent advances in the use of certain nonhuman primates in aging research at a national meeting. Each speaker has been asked to give a 30-minute presentation on their recent research findings with an emphasis on how it relates to a better understanding to the biology of aging. The symposium will be chaired by Division of Aging Biology program staff (Dr. Manuel Moro). This symposium was originally approved and scheduled for FY 2020, but due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic it was postponed.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Manuel Moro, morom@mail.nih.gov, 301-496-6402.

BIOLOGY UNDERLYING MOVING AND THINKING SYMPOSIUM – December 7, 2021 – Baltimore, MD

On December 7, 2021, NIA will host a one-day symposium, “Biology Underlying Moving and Thinking,” tentatively at the BRC, pending COVID-19 restrictions/limitations on in-person events. Several speakers will present their research on the tipping point of cognitive and physical decline, to address the issues with tools, and to provide and share information. The workshop will create a connection between the IRP and ERP and will bring collaborators together to generate research papers and enhance collaborative efforts. This event was previously scheduled for December 1, 2020 but was postponed due to the ongoing pandemic.

For additional information, please contact Sarah Lewis, sarah.lewis@nih.gov, 667-205-2604.

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Content, Media, Outreach, and Meetings

Publications

News Releases

NIH networks to advance emotional well-being research | National Institute on Aging.

Alzheimers.gov Website

In February, NIA launched www.Alzheimers.gov, a new website designed to educate and support people whose lives are touched by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The website serves as the federal government portal for dementia information and resources. To develop Alzheimers.gov, NIA collaborated with people living with dementia, caregivers, advocates, and others to ensure an informative, easy-to-use, and empowering site. It includes:

Print Publications (Booklets, Fact Sheets, and DVDs):

Web Content

Health Information Articles

Infographics

Featured Research

Inside NIA Blog

Media & Outreach

NIH News Releases and Media Availabilities

Web Statements and Announcements

Social Media

Email Listservs

  • Sent 95 emails from 12/1/2020 - 3/31/2021 to the following email lists:
    • NIA Exercise and Physical Activity Tips: 30,016 subscribers
    • Healthy Aging Highlights: 38,691 subscribers
    • Alzheimer’s News & Announcements: 23,869 subscribers
    • Alzheimer’s Recruitment Resources: 2,874 subscribers
    • Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials: 16,609 subscribers
    • NIA for Caregivers: 14,278 subscribers
    • Inside NIA Blog: 19,113 subscribers
    • NIA Funding Opportunities: 12,325 subscribers

Webinars

NIA-Hosted NIH Lectures

Meetings and Exhibits

Conferences, Exhibits, and Events

Professional Meetings

NIA-VA Partnership Meeting, January 2021 – Dr. Richard Hodes and Dr. Marie Bernard, along with NIA staff, convened with VA leaders to discuss both new and ongoing collaborations between NIA and VA, as well as programmatic updates from the two groups.

Research Centers Collaborative Network (RCCN) Inclusion of Older Adults in Clinical Research Workshop, February 2021 – Dr. Marie Bernard presented the workshop’s plenary address, discussing NIH efforts to include older adults in clinical studies through the NIH Inclusion Across the Lifespan policy.

RADx-UP COVID-19 Equity Evidence Academy, February 2021 – Dr. Richard Hodes served as a keynote speaker during the event, discussing the advancement of equity in the COVID-19 era from the perspective of aging science.

Friends of the National Institute on Aging (FoNIA) Budget Update Meeting, March 2021 – Dr. Richard Hodes, Dr. Marie Bernard, and senior NIA staff met with FoNIA representatives to review the NIA budget.

Laying the Foundation: Defining the Building Blocks of Music-Based Interventions Workshop, March 2021 – Dr. Richard Hodes delivered welcoming remarks on behalf of NIA prior to the event’s roundtable discussion on the development of evidence-based music therapies for brain disorders of aging. The roundtable format facilitated collection of input from individuals representing neuroscience, music therapy and music medicine, behavioral intervention development, clinical trial methodology, and patient advocacy and art-based organizations.

NIH Advisory Committee to the Director Working Group Meeting on Enhancing Rigor, Transparency, and Translatability in Animal Research, April 2021 – Dr. Richard Hodes, along with other NIH IC leaders, shared perspectives on the recommendations of the working group on animal research.

For more information, please contact Cindy McConnell, Office of Communications and Public Liaison director, cindy.mcconnell@nih.gov, 301-435-0024; or Dr. Melinda Kelley, Office of Legislation, Policy, and International Activities director, melinda.kelley@nih.gov, 301-451-8835.

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New Notices and Initiatives Relevant to the National Institute on Aging

For 'Notices' and 'Research Initiatives' with NIA’s participation or interest, please visit these two websites: Grants & Funding and NIH Funding Policies (please look for "Recent Changes in NIH Policy" on this web link).

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