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May 2022 Director’s Status Report

Click on the links below to view sections of the May 2022 Director’s Status Report:

Budget and Appropriations

Status of the FY 2022 Budget

  • On March 28, 2022, the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 President’s Budget was released. This budget was developed relative to the continuing resolutions that extended into March 2022. It was not developed relative to the final FY 2022 appropriations that were passed on March 15, 2022 (see below). As a result, while the FY 2023 figures represent an increase relative to the continuing resolutions, some of the FY 2023 figures below look like decreases relative to FY 2022 appropriations.

The President’s Budget calls for $49 billion in discretionary funding for NIH, including:

  • $4.01 billion for NIA (note: FY 2021 enacted: $3.9 billion; FY 2022 appropriations: $4.22 billion)
  • $5 billion to fund the Advanced Research Projects Authority for Health (ARPA-H) as an entity within NIH (FY 2022 appropriations: $1 billion)
  • On March 15, 2022, President Biden signed into law H.R. 2471, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, which provides FY 2022 appropriations to federal agencies. Among other provisions, the bill:
    • Provides $4.2 billion for NIA, including an additional $289 million above the FY 2021 enacted level for AD/ADRD research.
    • Renames The Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Building (Building T–44) to honor Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), who is retiring at the end of this Congress.
    • Provides $1 billion to fund the Advanced Research Projects Authority for Health (ARPA-H) within the HHS Office of the Secretary, though Congress has yet to pass authorizing language for ARPA-H. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra subsequently provided formal notification to Congress that these funds would be transferred to NIH to establish ARPA-H.
  • On March 11, 2022, President Biden signed into law H.J. Res. 75, a continuing resolution which extended FY 2021 funding through March 15, 2022. An earlier set of continuing resolutions, H.R. 6119 and H.R. 6617, extended FY 2021 funding through February 18, 2022, and March 11, 2022, respectively.

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Legislative Update

Legislation of Interest

  • On Tuesday, March 15, 2022, the Senate HELP Committee held a markup of S. 3799, the PREVENT Pandemics Act. An amendment adopted during the markup attached the bipartisan bill, S. 3819, the Advanced Research Projects Authority for Health (ARPA-H) Act, sponsored by Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) to the larger PREVENT Pandemics Act. The bill would establish ARPA-H at NIH with several provisions, including but not limited to:
    • ARPA-H would be housed within NIH and be authorized with “such sums as may be necessary to carry out” the ARPA-H mission.
    • The ARPA-H director would be appointed to a four-year term (renewable one time) directly by the President, and would report to the NIH Director.
    • ARPA-H would be provided with flexible hiring authorities for personnel, with the total number of employees not to exceed 120.
    • Program managers would serve three-year terms, renewable one time.
    • ARPA-H personnel cannot have been employed by NIH at or during the three years prior to appointment.
    • ARPA-H efforts may not duplicate other research conducted or supported by the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies.
    • ARPA-H must not be located in the Washington, D.C., region or on any part of NIH campuses.

The Committee advanced the PREVENT Pandemics Act by a vote of 20-2. It now proceeds to the Senate floor for consideration, though no timetable is currently available.

  • On February 22, 2022, Rep. William Keating (D-MA) introduced H.R. 6813, a bill to direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct a study on the neurological impacts of COVID-19 on individuals with a neurological disease. The bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
  • On February 4, 2022, the House passed H.R. 4521, the America Competes Act, its response to Senate bill S.1260, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, passed in June 2021. Both bills are meant to spur research and development investment in the U.S., among other provisions. Notably, the America Competes Act includes a provision to reauthorize through 2027 the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, which aim to support technology commercialization by fostering partnerships between small businesses and federal science agencies. The House and Senate are currently negotiating a final bill that resolves differences between the America Competes Act and U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.
  • On February 3, 2022, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), the chair of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, introduced H.R. 6584, the Diverse and Equitable Participation in Clinical Trials (DEPICT) Act. The bill has been referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee. If enacted, the bill would require the reporting of clinical trial enrollment targets by demographic subgroup and mandate that trial sponsors provide a Diversity Action Plan detailing the actions the sponsor will take, such as outreach and engagement strategies, to reach these enrollment targets. While the bill primarily addresses authorities held by the Food and Drug Administration, the legislation would also:
    • Provide funding to NIH for community engagement and outreach efforts to increase inclusion of underrepresented minorities in clinical trials and research.
    • Provide grant funding to Community Health Centers to increase their capacity to participate in clinical trials and research.

Hearings, Visits, and Other Topics of Interest

Senate HELP and Special Aging Committee Briefing on Geroscience – February 9, 2022

On February 9, 2022, NIA Director Dr. Richard Hodes briefed the staff of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the Senate Special Committee on Aging on geroscience research.

House and Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Staff Meeting – February 1, 2022

On February 1, 2022, Dr. Richard Hodes met with the health subcommittee majority and minority staff of the House and Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittees to discuss progress on AD/ADRD research implementation milestones and clinical trials reporting.

Briefing on Falls Prevention Research for Representative Frankel – January 14, 2022

On January 14, 2022, Dr. Hodes and NIA subject matter experts briefed Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL) on falls prevention research supported by NIA.

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General Information

Staff Changes

Irim Azam joined the Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) on February 28, 2022, as a Health Specialist in the Office of Data Resources and Analytics (ODRA). Her work includes supporting and developing data linkage activities within ODRA, project and contract management, and portfolio planning. Prior to joining BSR, she worked for over a decade at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). At AHRQ, Ms. Azam served as a Project Officer on the Patient Safety team where she managed program operations and oversaw safety and quality improvement grants and contracts. These projects included the development of the CANDOR toolkit. Ms. Azam later migrated to the National Healthcare Quality and Reports team where she was a staff writer and operations lead. Ms. Azam earned her bachelor’s degrees in psychology and biological sciences from Mount Holyoke College and her Master of Public Health from Drexel University.

Hongwei Gao joined the Division of Aging Biology (DAB) in the Aging Physiology Branch as a Program Director in February 2022. Before coming to NIA, Dr. Gao was a program director in the Division for Research Capacity Building at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), where he oversaw the Institutional Development Award Networks for Clinical and Translational Research (IDeA-CTR) program and managed grants for the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE​) program. Prior to coming to NIH, Dr. Gao was an assistant professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and a senior scientist in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Gao earned his Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics at Michigan State University. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the department of pathology at the University of Michigan.​

Myriam Gorospe, Chief and Senior Investigator in the Laboratory of Genetics and Genomics (LGG), was appointed Senior Advisor for Faculty Development for the NIA Intramural Research Program (IRP). Dr. Gorospe earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in molecular biology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain and her Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology from the State University of New York (SUNY), Albany, in 1993. Shortly after receiving her degree, she joined NIA as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology (LCMB). In 1998, she was appointed Tenure-Track Investigator within LCMB and served as the Acting Chief of the laboratory from 2001-2003. She received tenure and has been head of the RNA Regulation Section since 2003, first affiliated with the LCMB, later renamed the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology (LMBI), and since 2012 with the LGG. In October 2014, Dr. Gorospe was promoted to Chief of the LGG. She will remain in her role as LGG Chief while serving as Senior Advisor for Faculty Development for the IRP.

Chelsea Haakenson joined the Division of Neuroscience(DN) as a Health Program Specialist in the Neurobiology of Aging and Neurodegeneration Branch in January. Chelsea comes to NIA from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she is a graduate student in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program. She expects to receive her Ph.D. in May 2022, and her thesis is focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms in the neural circuitry underlying the motivation to engage in vocal communication.

Shoshana Kahana joined the Office of Strategic Extramural Programs (OSEP) as Deputy Director in December 2021. OSEP is an office within the Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) that coordinates NIA’s extramural training, career development, and small business funding programs. Prior to joining OSEP, Dr. Kahana was the NIH Training Policy Officer and Senior Advisor in the Division of Biomedical Research Workforce in the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER). In that role, she provided scientific leadership and oversight for NIH extramural training and career development programs and policies. Dr. Kahana also developed and led several NIH-wide programs linked to the NIH Next Generation Researcher Initiative and the sustainability of the biomedical research workforce, including co-chairing the Early-Stage Investigator Extension Committee and overseeing the development of the Katz Early-Stage Investigator program. Dr. Kahana also has considerable programmatic expertise, having served as a Program Director at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) from 2008 to 2017, where she managed an extensive grant portfolio focused on substance abuse and HIV treatment development and health services research. During her tenure at NIH, Dr. Kahana has earned numerous honors, including NIH Director’s Awards and NIH Office of the Director Honor Awards. Dr. Kahana earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 2006 from Case Western Reserve University.

Candace Kerr left DAB at the end of March 2022, accepting a new position at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Dr. Kerr was a Program Officer in the Aging Physiology Branch since 2017 where she managed the Stem Cell and Regenerative Program, Cardiovascular Program, Pulmonary Program, Digestive Program, Urogenital Program, and the Reproductive and Endocrinology Program. Dr. Kerr was also Program Officer for the Nathan Shock Centers and Onco-Aging Consortium with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and a member of the NIA-wide working groups on Data Sharing, Artificial Intelligence, and Women’s Health.

Theresa Kim joined BSR on April 11, 2022, as a Social and Behavioral Science Administrator in the Population and Social Processes Branch (PSP) where she is administering a portfolio in health systems research with a focus on interventions. Dr. Kim has a statistical genetics, population health, and global health background related to health behavior topics such as drug and alcohol abuse, reproductive health services, and research infrastructure. Prior to joining BSR, she managed a program on methods to improve Clinical Effectiveness Research and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research at the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). She earned her Ph.D. in health services with a Certificate in Global Health at the University of Maryland and her M.S. in biostatistics at the University of Washington. Dr. Kim has also served as a monitoring and evaluation specialist at the Women in Public Service Project, a nongovernmental organization founded by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. She has conducted program evaluations for the Gates Foundation, U.S. State Department, U.S. Health and Human Services Department, and USAID-funded programs. Dr. Kim also previously served as an at-large board member and the mentoring division chair of the American Statistical Association, Washington, D.C., branch.

Jamie Lahvic joined OSEP as a Program Officer focused on NIA’s training and career development programs. Dr. Lahvic completed her Ph.D. in developmental and regenerative biology at Harvard Medical School in 2017. She continued to a postdoc in cancer biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Lahvic was an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the training and career development team at OSEP from August 2021 through March 2022, and recently was converted to a federal position. She helps to manage communications with NIA’s emerging researchers, new initiative development, and program evaluation. In her short time at NIA, Dr. Lahvic has already created a Listserve of NIA and NIH training and career development opportunities to disseminate to the extramural community, created and posted sample K99 applications for the extramural community as a learning resource, spearheaded a mentorship component to the launch of the NIA Healthy Aging Start-Up Challenge and Bootcamp to Foster Diversity and Accelerate Innovation, and is participating in various trans-NIH training- and diversity-focused workgroups and committees.

Maria Fe Lanfranco joined DN as a Health Specialist in the Translational Research Branch. Dr. Lanfranco has a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Her research experience is diverse, from biophysical properties of protein allostery to neuroinflammation and the APOE genotype’s effects on the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. To further her interest in drug research and development and how to get a drug from clinical trials to the market to improve patients’ health, Dr. Lanfranco took the Mini-MBA in BioPharma Innovation (Rutgers Business School, 2020), and the Certificate in BioBusiness (Georgetown University, 2021-2022). There, she learned concepts of commercialization, market fundamentals for life scientists, intellectual property, product-oriented discovery, and regulatory affairs.

Charles Le joined BSR on February 17, 2022, as a Social Science Analyst in BSR’s PSP Branch. He is working with the PSP team on grant portfolio administration, scientific workshop and funding opportunity development, literature reviews, and portfolio analyses to support new and ongoing BSR research initiatives. Mr. Le earned a Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice and Policy, and he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Health Services Research. Previously, Mr. Le worked for the NIH Center for Scientific Review, where he worked in the Division of Receipt and Referral on Assignment Change Requests and other activities to support scientific review.

Kaitlyn Lee joined BSR on April 25, 2022, as a Health Specialist in the PSP Branch. Prior to joining NIA, Ms. Lee served in public health positions in Oregon as a communicable disease analyst and in Colorado as a program coordinator tracking COVID-19 outbreaks, providing data intended to help manage spread. Her research experience includes serving as a research assistant in the Community Thrives Lab at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, where she managed interview data and produced manuscripts on reproductive and mental health care access for young mothers with a history of maltreatment. She also joins NIA with previous experience at NIH, having served as an ORISE Fellow in the Office of Global Research for NIAID, where she conducted research on infectious disease prevalence in Bolivia and identified novel collaborations and grant opportunities to further research on underfunded diseases. Ms. Lee earned a Master of Public Health, Behavioral and Community Health from the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

NIA IRP implemented organizational changes. The following changes have been approved as official reorganization and realignment by the Office of Management Assessment (OMA): The Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology (LMG) was dissolved and the Sections previously in the 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 Helicases and Genomics Integrity Section, led by Dr. Robert Brosh, realigned with the Translational Gerontology Branch (TGB). The Section on Replication Stress and Aging, led by Dr. Michael Seidman, realigned with the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology (LMBI).

Xylena Reed was promoted to Staff Scientist/Facility Head (SS/FH) in the Center for Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias (CARD). Dr. Reed received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Washington in 2008 and went on to receive her Ph.D. in human genetics from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, in 2015 where she studied non-coding DNA and gene regulation in neural crest derived cells. After receiving her doctoral degree, Dr. Reed joined the Laboratory of Neurogenetics (LNG) at NIA as a postdoctoral fellow under Dr. Mark Cookson, where she explored her interests in connecting common genetic variation with gene regulation and functional outcomes in subtypes of neurons. After completion of her postdoctoral fellowship in 2020, Dr. Reed became a Research Fellow in LNG where she generated and analyzed single cell RNA-seq and single nuclei ATAC-seq datasets from induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived neurons and microglia to create another foundational dataset that can be used in neurodegeneration research. As SS/FH, Dr. Reed will serve as Head of the newly established Single-Cell Sequencing Core, managing projects and collaborations through initiation, strategy development, strategic planning, execution, and closeout of phases.

Andrew (Andy) Reinheimer joined BSR as an NIH Pathways Intern on May 8, 2022. He is currently completing his sophomore year at Northern Virginia Community College where he is majoring in social sciences. Mr. Reinheimer is working part-time in BSR, assisting with administrative activities in support of the division, including scheduling, travel, business operations and purchasing. He is mentored by Ms. Roxanne Semple (Program Analyst).

Rebecca Ricklis joined BSR on February 17, 2022, as a Health Specialist in BSR’s Individual Behavioral Processes (IBP) Branch, where she is supporting IBP scientific initiatives and workshops. Prior to joining BSR, Ms. Ricklis worked at the Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research as a Grant Manager and Senior Research Program Coordinator and at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as a Clinical Assay Development and Validation Project Manager and Senior Research Specialist. She also has experience in quality control, strategic communications, and freelance scientific editing. Ms. Ricklis earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Towson University and her master’s degree in biotechnology from the Johns Hopkins University.

Caroline Sferrazza is a new Health Specialist in the Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience Branch in DN. Prior to joining NIA, Ms. Sferrazza was a Senior Associate and Science Writer/Analyst at Rose Li and Associates (RLA). As the manager of RLA’s neuroscience portfolio, she served as the lead consultant, writer, and editor for all neuroscience-related content (e.g., workshop and working group reports, journal articles, public-facing documents) and organized scientific workshops. Ms. Sferrazza supported numerous clients in this role, including NIA, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), and the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). Ms. Sferrazza has a background in science communication and academic research, with a focus on cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disease. She earned an MS from the Neurosciences Graduate Program at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where she studied differential processing and trafficking of amyloid precursor protein in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neuronal models of Alzheimer’s disease, and a B.A. in neuroscience and behavior from Vassar College. Ms. Sferrazza specializes in the translation of technical scientific concepts across disciplines as well as to the public. She has developed this expertise through her service as Director of the Neurosciences Outreach Program at UCSD and as an organizer of numerous scientific workshops and events designed to facilitate multidisciplinary collaborations and share scientific research with diverse audiences.

Mulualem E. Tilahun joined DAB in the Aging Physiology Branch as a Program Director in February 2022. He was previously a Program Director in the Diversity Training Branch of NCI’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) since August 2019. In this role, Dr. Tilahun contributed to the grants management of the K01, K22, and Comprehensive Partnerships to Advance Cancer Health Equity (CPACHE U54) programs. Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Tilahun was a Health Scientist and AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR). In this role, he supported reducing the incidence of HIV, performed reviews of the HIV vaccine portfolio and the funding plan requests for HIV vaccine research, contributed to the development of the NIH strategic plan for HIV and HIV-related research, performed portfolio data analysis related to rural health research and HIV-associated coinfections, led OAR scientific briefings, and contributed to NIH priorities for HIV and HIV-related research. Before joining OAR, Dr. Tilahun was a fellow in the intramural program in the Laboratory of Immunology at NIAID, investigating the mechanisms of viral immune evasion and the molecular and cellular mechanisms of drug-induced, HLA-associated, T-cell mediated hypersensitivity reactions. Dr. Tilahun has extensive multidisciplinary knowledge and experience in translational and basic research in immunology, cancer biology, therapeutic antibody development and engineering, immunotherapy, infectious diseases, and pre-clinical animal models. Dr. Tilahun graduated with a Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Massachusetts and a D.V.M. from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

Liza Zeinert joined BSR on February 28, 2022, as a Clinical Trials Specialist. Prior to joining NIA, Ms. Zeinert served as the Project Officer of the NIDA/Veterans Affairs Cooperative Studies Program Coordinating Center (VACSPCC) Interagency Agreement and, over the course of two decades, managed the clinical operations for a variety of large-scale multisite trials conducted in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Ms. Zeinert also counts many years as Project Manager for a government nonprofit corporation focused on facilitating research between the VA and its extramural partners. Until her departure, Ms. Zeinert was the appointed advisor/consultant to NIDA on the requirements and systems for data submission into the clinicaltrials.gov database and will be providing this same guidance at NIA. Ms. Zeinert received her B.S. in family and community studies with a double-major in psychology from Syracuse University and an M.A. from Bowie State University in psychology.

Staff Honors

The Nonhuman Primate Core within the TGB, led by Dr. Julie Mattison, SS/FH, has been awarded the NIH Green Lab Certification for participation in the Collaborative Research Exchange. The NIH Green Labs Program recognizes laboratories that demonstrate sustainable practices daily by conserving energy and water, reducing waste, and collaborating with other NIH researchers.

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Institute-Sponsored Meetings, Workshops, and Conferences

Past Meetings

31st Annual Nathan W. Shock Award Lecture – Baltimore, MD – January 31, 2022

This lecture, previously scheduled for November 17, 2020, was held on January 31, 2022. 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 School of Medicine, received the Nathan W. Shock New Investigator Award and presented their research. For additional information, please contact Sarah Lewis, sarah.lewis@nih.gov, 667-205-2604.

Limbic-predominant Age-related TDP-43 Encephalopathy (LATE) 2022 – Virtual – February 11, 2022

LATE 2022 was an open follow-up meeting to a 2018 workshop. The international meeting was organized by Drs. Peter Nelson (University of Kentucky) and Julie Schneider (Rush University) in collaboration with NIA to update research findings and discuss research gaps and future directions for LATE. The meeting featured a wide range of topics including epidemiology, clinical and imaging features, potential biomarkers, and genetic studies in LATE. The meeting also highlighted the important intersection between LATE and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 inclusions (FTLD-TDP), including similarities as well as important differences that distinguish the two, and the common co-occurrence of LATE with Alzheimer’s disease. The meeting recording and pre-recorded short presentations related to LATE can be found on the LATE 2022 meeting website. Alzforum covered the meeting in a three part series, and there was a session on LATE in the ADRD Summit in March. For more information, please contact Nina Silverberg (silverbergn@mail.nih.gov) and Grayson Donley (grayson.donley@nih.gov).

The 18th Annual NIH Graduate Student Research Symposium – virtual – February 16-17, 2022

This symposium included poster presentations by six NIA IRP graduate students, one of whom was selected as a speaker at the event.

OncoAging Consortium – Bethesda, MD – February 17-18, 2022

In collaboration with NCI, this was a 1.5-day kickoff meeting for the OncoAging Consortium consisting of talks from NIA and NCI investigators of RFA-CA-20-040 and invited guests to make introductions and discuss future directions to accomplish the goals of the RFA, entitled Aging, Cancer-Initiating Cells, and Cancer Development.

Social Network Diffusion of Individual Behavior Change Interventions – Virtual – March 2-4, 2022

This NIA-supported workshop focused on gaps, opportunities, and strategies for leveraging or strengthening social networks to enhance the reach of individual behavior change interventions. It addressed an important question for the next decade of behavior change research: how to enhance uptake of behavioral change at scale. Large-scale behavior change is often conceptualized as resulting from widespread dissemination and implementation of behavioral interventions that have been developed for individuals or other small social units, such as the dyad or family, with efforts prioritizing direct administration of an intervention to all individuals within a target population. An alluring but underexamined alternative model for producing large-scale behavior change involves leveraging social network dynamics across the lifespan. By strategically drawing upon research on social networks and social influence when administering behavioral interventions to promote healthy aging, slow cognitive decline, prevent Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD), and improve outcomes for persons living with AD/ADRD and their care partners, we may effectively change behavior in people who themselves never directly receive the intervention. This workshop aligned with NIA’s AD+ADRD Research Implementation Milestones focused on promoting innovation in AD/ADRD trial design and supporting development of non-pharmacological interventions for AD/ADRD. A workshop summary is being prepared and will be posted on the BSR website. For more information, please contact Liz Necka (Liz.Necka@nih.gov), Laura Major (Laura.Major@nih.gov), or Allie Walker (Allie.Walker@nih.gov).

Caenorhabditis Intervention Testing Program (CITP) Grantee Meeting – Virtual – March 4, 2022

This is the annual grantee meeting for the CITP. This year’s meeting discussed the progress and accomplishment for the CITP and planned for the next phase of the CITP. The information and issues discussed at the meeting will help inform the NIA staff, NIA leadership, and the CITP Steering Committee about the status of the CITP. An additional objective of this workshop was to address the difficulties inherent in developing reproducibility, including the levels of detail required to achieve this important outcome. The issues related to aging hallmarks reporters and screening of AD-relevant compounds were also discussed at this meeting. This is the end of the second phase of the CITP. This meeting discussed detailed plans for the next phase of the CITP and how to implement data-sharing tools and resources. The invited participants included the PIs and at least one staff member in the labs and the data coordinating center funded in the CITP. For more information, please contact Viviana Perez (Viviana.perezmontes@nih.gov, 301-496-6428) and Max Guo (qmguo@mail.nih.gov, 301-402-7747).

Can Autism Spectrum Disorders Tell Us Anything About Alzheimer’s Disease – Virtual – March 8-9, 2022

The goal of this NIA-sponsored workshop was to discuss whether there might be a link between autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and, if so, whether this potential association can help us in understanding mechanisms underlying AD. Epidemiological and basic science research in ASD (idiopathic and single-gene ASD) and AD was presented. Evidence of possible links between having ASD and developing early-onset AD as well as similar pathways affected by both disorders was discussed. We reviewed the state of the field and identified opportunities for research in this area, which are largely focused on identifying whether there are more direct links between the disorders. For more information, contact Lisa Opanashuk, lisa.opanashuk@nih.gov.

Symposium on “The Impact of Aging on Musculoskeletal Crosstalk” at the Annual Meeting of the Experimental Biology (EB) Annual Meeting – Philadelphia, PA – April 2, 2022

The purpose of the 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 for Experimental Biology national meeting on April 2-5, 2022, in Philadelphia, PA. Each speaker gave a 20-minute presentation on their recent research findings with an emphasis on how it relates to the area of aging-related changes in the physiological interactions of that year’s symposium topic, “The Impact of Aging on Musculoskeletal Crosstalk.” The symposium was chaired by Division of Aging Biology program staff. For more information, please contact John Williams, williamsj6@mail.nih.gov, 301-496-6403.

27th Annual NIA/IRP Scientific Retreat – Baltimore, MD – April 4-5, 2022

This two-day, NIA-sponsored event featured two large poster sessions, brief talks from IRP scientists, and keynote addresses from Dr. Michael Gottesman, Deputy Director of Intramural Research, NIH, and Dr. Daniel Kastner, NIH Distinguished Investigator, Metabolic Cardiovascular and Inflammatory Disease Genomics Branch and Head of the Inflammatory Disease Section, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH.

ADSP Functional Genomics Consortium (FunGen-AD) Kickoff Meeting – Virtual – April 7, 2022

The ADSP Functional Genomics Consortium (FunGen-AD) was established in August 2021 to address the challenge of functional interpretation of AD genetic variants. The goal of the FunGen-AD consortium is to apply cutting-edge genomics technologies and high-throughput genetic screening to characterize the functional impacts underlying the genetic basis of AD/ADRD and to enable the discovery of genetics-guided targets for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of AD/ADRD. The NIA-sponsored FunGen-AD consortium kickoff meeting was held on April 7, 2022, where the consortium investigators, the External Advisory Board members, and NIA program staff and leadership met virtually to discuss progress and plans for the future. The FunGen-AD is comprised of 12 core projects focusing on the following four scientific areas: a) Identifying Genomic and Epigenomic AD-related Changes in Diverse Populations, 2) High Throughput Functional Characterization and Testing, 3) AD Impact on Transcriptome in Brain and CSF, and 4) Neural Interactions With Microglia and Vasculature in AD. The FunGen-AD consortium is building a scalable pipeline for functional dissection and validation of genetic variants to reveal mechanistic insights to enable genetics-based target discovery. The consortium is generating a rich research resource including iPSC-derived cells, 2D & 3D organoids with AD pathology and neuro-vascular interaction, multiplex or HTP genetic and functional assays, mouse and fly models to assess CNS interaction with Abeta, Tau, and other pathogenic proteins, functional maps including ancestry specific and cell-type specific atlas and xQTL reference maps, a suite of analysis tools, and multidimensional omics datasets. These research resources will be shared with the larger research community through NIAGADS and NCRAD. The FunGen-AD consortium is actively engaging with other ADSP investigators and investigators from AMP-AD and NIA CARD for synergy and collaboration. For more information, contact Alison Yao, alison.yao@nih.gov.

Understanding Heterogeneity of Responses to, and Optimizing Clinical Efficacy of, Exercise Training in Older Adults – Virtual – April 7-8, 2022

The Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology convened a virtual workshop focusing on the intersection of mechanistic and clinical perspectives of exercise responsiveness to disentangle the relationships between exercise training and physiologic responses. Exercise training interventions continue to be challenged by variations in responsiveness, in particular in older adults. Given the pleiotropic effects of exercise, a wholistic approach to understanding exercise responsiveness is critically dependent on the outcome(s) on which responsiveness is based. For example, a positive response in one outcome may not always equal a positive response in another outcome. Other confounding factors include intrinsic (non-modifiable) and extrinsic (modifiable) influences. To accelerate research in this complex transdisciplinary area, the goals of this workshop were to: 1) provide brief, state-of-science updates on the variation in exercise response with regards to disease conditions/comorbidities and targeted outcomes; 2) identify key research gaps and propose transdisciplinary research approaches to elucidate the relationships between endogenous/intrinsic and exogenous/extrinsic factors underlying the variations in exercise responses; 3) propose research opportunities to identify systemic modulators, biomarkers, and other potential mechanisms underlying exercise responsiveness; and 4) advance work on this problem by stimulating cross-field scientific discussion, networking, and collaboration between investigators from different scientific fields. The workshop involved experts from several relevant disciplines including Exercise Physiology, Muscle Physiology, Physical Therapy, Geriatrics, Endocrinology, Biostatistics, Clinical Trials, Neurology, Implementation Science, Behavioral Science, and Nutrition. The workshop drew more than 200 registrants, including staff from the NIA Intramural Division, other NIH institutes, and several institutes and universities. For additional information, please contact Lyndon Joseph, lyndon.joseph@nih.gov.

Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP) – Virtual – April 13-14, 2022

The ADSP is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The ADSP has expanded rapidly over the past 18 months with the addition of four new initiatives. During this interval, the ADSP launched the Follow-Up Study 2.0 Diversity Initiative, PAR-21-212, that will support all aspects of genetic data acquisition, subject follow-up, and data analysis on 18,000 cases and 18,000 controls EACH for African American, Hispanic, and Asian subjects. A portion of these data are already available. It is anticipated that ~150,000 ethnically diverse whole genomes will be available to the research community by 2027/2028. The reach of this effort is global and includes India, Africa (nine sites), Central and South America (six sites), Korea (two sites), and Australia (one large consortium). The Phenotype Harmonization consortium PAR-20-099, funded in the fall of 2021, will harmonize the following clinical/phenotypic data across all 150,000 subjects: Cognitive, Structural imaging — brain MRI, Molecular imaging — amyloid PET, Longitudinal clinical data, Neuropathology data, Cardiovascular risk factor data, and Biomarker data. These perpetually curated data will be available from the NIA Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease Data Storage Site (NIAGADS) in waves beginning in 2023. The Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning(ML) initiative PAR-19-269 was also launched in 2021 to develop AI, ML, and Deep Learning (DL) approaches to identify gene mutations/variants that cause or contribute to the risk of or protection against the development of AD/ADRD via analysis of a variety of genetic, genomic, and clinical data that are currently available to the research community through NIAGADS and other databases. Eight awards are funded under this FOA. The Functional Genomics Initiative RFA-AG-21-006 was launched in the spring of 2022 with the overarching goals of discovering and characterizing functional genomic and epigenomic elements and elucidating and validating their functional roles and mechanisms of action to explain the heterogeneity, pathogenesis, and progression of AD/ADRD. With the doubling of the size of the ADSP to more than 350 investigators, the ADSP has established the Cross Consortium Communication and Collaboration (4C) Committee to facilitate communication across the ADSP, coordinate activities among groups, and create a process that will render the ADSP greater than the sum of its parts. The ADSP annual Program Review was held virtually on April 13 and 14, 2022, to present their growth and recent discoveries. For more information, contact Marilyn Miller, millerm@nia.nih.gov.

Modeling Basic Mechanisms of Brain Aging in Vitro and in Silico – Virtual – April 27-28, 2022

The objectives of this NIA-sponsored virtual workshop were to highlight research advances, recognize opportunities for progress, and identify gaps of understanding in experimental (in vitro) and computational (in silico) modeling of brain aging and AD/ADRD, including consideration of the ethical implications accompanying this research. During the workshop, participants discussed in vitro “Alzheimer’s disease-in-a-dish” and population-level “village-in-a-dish” approaches as they relate to the underlying mechanisms driving brain aging and dementias. They also discussed to what extent human cell reprogramming approaches like iPSCs and brain organoids are reflective of their donors’ age, neuropathology, and cognitive status. Importantly, this was followed by consideration of how in vitro research intersects with simulated models and computational approaches to investigate mechanisms driving brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease in silico. Finally, the workshop concluded with a discussion on how existing structures might be leveraged to evaluate the neuroethical considerations accompanying this type of research. More details can be found at the workshop webpage. For additional information, contact Amanda Dibattista, amanda.dibattista@nih.gov.

Biology of Stress Responses in Aging workshop – virtual – Thursday, April 28, 2022

This workshop featured presentations from experts in the field of aging and included discussions of the molecular aspects of stress responses and stress responses in cells and tissues.

NASEM Board on Behavioral, Cognitive and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS) Spring Meeting on Understanding the Trajectory of Metacognitive Capacity in Aging and Implications for Measuring Subjective Experience – Washington, D.C., and virtual – May 2, 2022

The purpose of this NIA-supported meeting was to identify issues in the assessment of subjective experience in people living with dementia and identify promising avenues for research to develop new tools that incorporate the perspectives of people living with dementia. Because the measurement of subjective experience relies largely on self-report, which draws on the metacognitive capacity of the individual whose subjective experience is being measured, this meeting focused on how metacognition changes across the life course and its trajectory in healthy aging, as well as how Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias affect metacognition. For more information, please contact Liz Necka (Liz.Necka@nih.gov) or Allie Walker (Allie.Walker@nih.gov).

NASEM Board on Health Care Services (BHCS) Spring Meeting on The Long-term Care and Caregiving, including Measurement and Support of Informal Care – Washington, D.C., and virtual – May 3, 2022

This NIA-supported meeting discussed the economics of formal and informal dementia care provision. The meeting commenced with an introduction about what is known regarding the market for paid and unpaid caregiving and long-term care. Meeting participants then contemplated the future of the delivery of care services, given the demographic shifts in families, changes to supply and demand for caregivers in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, and innovations in home and community-based service payments. The meeting also focused on what is known regarding gaps in the payment system and in data collection, aggregation, access, and analysis. Data collection to measure and assess burdens and outcomes of informal care for caregivers and care recipients, to improve equity, and to generate new knowledge were emphasized. For more information, please contact Partha Bhattacharyya (Partha.Bhattacharyya@nih.gov), Priscilla Novak (Priscilla.Novak@nih.gov), or Prisca Fall (Prisca.Fall@nih.gov).

NASEM Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) Spring Meeting on a Designed Data System of Blended Data With Models to Correct Selection Bias – Washington, D.C., and virtual – May 4, 2022

Given the challenges that individual national sample surveys increasingly face regarding consent, attrition, and privacy, this NIA-supported meeting considered how a data system could be designed to address representativeness in the data infrastructure that BSR supports. The goals of this meeting were to consider a data system that is designed such that: Representative or full data (such as the decennial census) serve as a benchmark, sample sizes are large enough to detect disparities, multiple sources of administrative data serve as the base or “backbone” data source, surveys are deployed strategically to take advantage of their strengths, and innovative statistical methods are applied to correct for multiple forms of selection bias. For more information, please contact John Phillips (John.Phillips@nih.gov) or Charlie Le (Charlie.Le@nih.gov).

Gaps and Opportunities for Real-World Data (RWD) Infrastructure – Virtual – May 4, 2022

NIA convened an exploratory workshop to learn what gaps exist in current real-world data (RWD) infrastructure, and what opportunities lie in expanding availability of RWD sources for aging and Alzheimer’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (AD/ADRD) research. Presenters and discussants were charged with identifying and prioritizing gaps and opportunities that exist in current RWD infrastructure that require further exploration to support aging and AD/ADRD research. Workshop topics included: (1) Secure access to health data (e.g., EMR, claims, genetics, etc.) from private data providers and academic institutions to gain insight on AD/ADRD disease trajectories; (2) Opportunities for developing a platform for an AD/ADRD digital cohort that could serve as a diverse recruitment pool (i.e., Recruitment as a Service) for clinical trials across NIA extramural divisions (e.g., drug trials, prevention trials, dementia care interventions); (3) Analysis of sensitive RWD through secure cloud workspaces while protecting privacy of the study participants; and (4) Collaborations with health care and community health providers to enable rapid drug trials (RDT) to launch embedded pragmatic clinical trials (RePCT) for improving care for older adults with multimorbidity, including dementia. In attendance were stakeholders from NIH, private industry, academia, and NIA-funded investigators who have firsthand knowledge of RWD and its application. For more information, please contact Partha Bhattacharyya (Partha.Bhattacharyya@nih.gov) or Shanna Breil (Shanna.Breil@nih.gov).

NIA-Sponsored Symposium “Microbiome Alterations With Aging” at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) – Portland, OR – May 8, 2022

This NIA-sponsored symposium was held at the annual meeting of the American Association of Immunologists. NIA has sponsored a symposium at this venue each year to highlight recent findings in the area of Immunity and Aging, and this year’s session was entitled “Microbiome Alterations With Aging.” The purpose of this symposium was to have presentations on state of the science findings on this research topic. For more information, please contact Rebecca Fuldner, fuldnerr@nia.nih.gov, 301-402-7748.

NASEM Committee on Population (CPOP) Spring Meeting on Consequences of Climate Change: Health and Morbidity at Older Ages – Washington, D.C., and virtual – May 9, 2022

In this NIA-supported meeting, researchers discussed the potential health consequences of climate change on older Americans, with the goal of identifying which problems are likely to be more prevalent for the older population, particularly by socioeconomic status. This meeting also explored the options available with current data for investigating key climate-aging interactions, what additional data are needed to advance research, and lower-cost strategies for obtaining these data. For more information, please contact Emerald Nguyen (Emerald.Nguyen@nih.gov) or Charlie Le (Charlie.Le@nih.gov).

Future Meetings

NASEM Committee on Population (CPOP) Workshop on Structural Racism and Rigorous Models of Social Inequity – Washington, D.C. – May 16-17, 2022

This NIA-sponsored workshop will identify the sources and mechanisms through which structural racism operates, specific data and methods, challenges to advancing the field, and policy interventions needed to achieve health equity for older adults. Invited experts will be encouraged to not only provide insights into known sources of structural racism and models of health equity but go beyond these to discuss novel sources and approaches, informed by other disciplines or related fields. The meeting will involve engagement of representatives from relevant longitudinal studies to identify specific challenges to advancing the field, including the data and methods needed to study structural racism. The workshop will address the following questions: 1) How does structural racism contribute to health inequities by race and ethnicity? 2) To what degree are structural health inequities explained by place-based factors and historical and contemporary experiences/exposures unique to ;people of color (e.g., immigration, segregation, incarceration, health care, etc.)? 3) What data and methods are needed to further study these topics, such as measuring structural racism? and 4) What policy and other interventions at different levels (e.g., individual, family, community, etc.) are needed to achieve health equity? For more information, please contact Frank Bandiera (Frank.Bandiera@nih.gov) or Charlie Le (Charlie.Le@nih.gov).

Death and Dying: Psychological, Emotional and Interpersonal Factors Influencing End-of-Life Transitions – Virtual – May 18-19, 2022

Currently, research on primary palliative care and end-of-life is supported by both BSR and the Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology (GCG). The goals of this NIA-supported workshop are to identify research priorities in this area for collaborative future development. This joint BSR and DGCG workshop will bring together subject matter experts from across the basic psychological sciences, palliative care researchers and clinicians, medical ethicists, communications scientists, and health care systems experts to identify key gaps and opportunities for multidisciplinary end-of-life research. For more information, please contact Janine Simmons (Janine.Simmons@nih.gov), Basil Eldadah (Basil.Eldadah@nih.gov), Melissa Gerald (Melissa.Gerald@nih.gov), or Allie Walker (Allie.Walker@nih.gov).

NASEM Board on Health Care Services (BHCS) Workshop on Accelerating Organizational Behavior Change To Address the Needs of People Living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias – Washington, D.C. – May 23-24, 2022

This NIA-supported NASEM BHCS Workshop will explore the practice and payment advances that lead to organizational change to meet the needs of people living with AD/ADRD. The purpose of this initiative is to identify mechanisms that can improve care to meet the needs of people living with AD/ADRD, connected to sustainable payment models that can be adopted by organizations. While many health systems, public health, and social service systems are redesigning their programs and processes to address the current siloed nature of care and service delivery, there remains a gap in understanding how to reliably implement organizational behavior change initiatives to better serve people living with AD/ADRD. Possible health outcomes and care processes that may be highly responsive to hospital organizational behavioral changes include: health care associated infections (HAIs); in-facility safety (mobility promotion, fall prevention, physical restraints); management of psychological and psychiatric symptoms; care transitions (including medication reconciliation); and person-centered care (assessments of what matters to people living with AD/ADRD, including person-centered care goals and advance care planning). For more information, please contact Priscilla Novak (Priscilla.Novak@nih.gov) or Charlie Le (Charlie.Le@nih.gov).

Economic Vulnerability and Work Across the Lifecourse – Virtual – Summer 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the multidimensional nature of economic vulnerability. Measures of poverty and inequality alone are not sufficient tools for understanding the impact of the risks and uncertainty faced by individuals and households in terms of their health and well-being. While individuals in poverty are generally considered highly vulnerable, vulnerability is multidimensional. Individuals are often navigating risk and uncertainty associated with employment, health care, housing, and family responsibilities. Increased risk exposure in any one of these areas may exacerbate vulnerability and impact health and well-being. The purpose of this NIA-sponsored workshop is to identify research gaps and data needs and identify opportunities to expand the research on economic vulnerability, work, and health. This workshop will potentially lead to a joint NIA/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) research initiative. For more information, please contact John.Phillips@nih.gov, Regina.Bures@nih.gov, or Charlie.Le@nih.gov.

The Sixteenth Annual Division of Aging Biology New Investigators Forum (DABNIF) – Bethesda, MD – June 28-29, 2022

The DAB new investigators forum (DABNIF) is a longstanding yearly event. It 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. Specifically, DABNIF provides the participating PIs an opportunity to get to know in person DAB and DEA staff, learn about the review and grant administration and what NIA-specific grant mechanisms are available, and network with colleagues at a similar stage of their career. To this end, each PI presents a poster describing the planned research (or results to date) and gives an “elevator speech” short talk where they introduce themselves and briefly talk about their research interests and career goals. In addition to these activities, the forum’s agenda includes a keynote presentation by an expert in the area of aging, and 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 disseminate 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 increased 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 more information, please contact Manuel Moro, morom@mail.nih.gov, 301-496-6402.

Effects of Genetic Variations on Anti-aging Interventions – Seattle, WA – July 11, 2022

Individuals vary in their genotypes and expression of their complex traits. These genetic variations can have lasting effects on their aging and how they respond to anti-aging interventions. It is often assumed that anti-aging or lifespan interventions would have similar effects across different individuals. It is also often assumed lifespan interventions extend healthspan, which is thus often ignored in aging studies. However, some studies have shown that certain lifespan interventions, such as calorie restriction, can have quite different or even opposite effects on animals with different genetic backgrounds. A better understanding of the effects of the genetic variations on the anti-aging interventions will not only uncover novel pathways but help better understand how natural evolution has shaped lifespan and aging. This workshop will evaluate the current status of the studies in this field and discuss the following questions: (1) What evidence do we have for genetic variation for response to interventions? (2) What evidence do we lack but should prioritize? (3) What evidence do we have for mechanisms that underlie the Genotype-Phenotype map? (4) What should be prioritized in this realm? Understanding natural genetic variation will be critical to the application of personalized geroscience approaches in the future. This workshop will be co-organized by DAB’s Max Guo, Daniel Promislow (University of Washington), and Pankaj Kapahi (Buck Institute). We plan to have this meeting on the campus of University of Washington on July 11, 2022. It will be planned as a hybrid meeting (both in-person and virtual video conference) to have more participation. For more information, please contact Max Guo, qmguo@mail.nih.gov, 301-402-7747.

Microphysiological Systems to Advance Precision Medicine for AD/ADRD Treatment and Prevention – Virtual – July 19-20, 2022

This workshop will bring together representatives from academia, biopharma, NIH, and the FDA to discuss advances and challenges in the development and use of microphysiological systems (MPS), including organoids, organ-on-chips, and iPSC platforms, as translational tools for precision medicine research and drug development for AD/ADRD. The overarching goals of this NIA-sponsored workshop are: (1) to review current MPS platforms used for modeling the complex biology of AD/ADRD and as translational tools for various aspects of drug development, and (2) to discuss challenges to the development of MPS as innovative drug development tools, including technical and scientific, rigor and reproducibility, and regulatory issues. The sessions will include I. Using 2D and 3D in Vitro Systems for Modeling Disease Complexity, Target Validation, and Drug Screening; II. Using Microphysiological Systems as Tools for Predictive Drug Development; III. NCATS Tissue Chip Program and MPS Testing Centers; and IV. Regulatory Perspective on MPS for Therapeutic Development. For more information, please contact Zane Martin, zane.martin@nih.gov.

Reconsider Dietary Interventions: Macronutrient Restriction, Fasting-Refeeding and Human Applications – Bethesda, MD – August 2022

To date, calorie restriction (CR) remains the most robust and consistent experimental paradigm to increase longevity in model organisms, discrepant results in non-human primates notwithstanding. However, recent studies have shown that in rodents, prolonged fasting accompanying the CR regimen may in fact contribute to the health and longevity benefits of CR. In this regard, intermittent fasting, prolonged fasting, or time-restricted feeding have all been shown to exert various levels of health benefits in several animal and human studies, albeit with certain side effects. Furthermore, selective macronutrient restriction, including amino acids and sugars, can influence nutrient sensing pathways and achieve healthspan and longevity benefits. Thus, alternative to sustained CR, manipulation of nutrient composition and the timings of fasting and refeeding hold a great potential to evoke innovative dietary interventions to promote human health. The workshop is planned to take place in August 2022 in Bethesda, MD. For more information, please contact Yih-Woei Fridell, yih-woei.fridell@nih.gov, 301-496-7847.

NIA/National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Special Lecture Series – Baltimore, MD – August 24, 2022

This event will be held at the Biomedical Research Center in Baltimore, MD, and will feature a keynote address from Dr. Gary W. Miller, Vice Dean for Research Strategy and Innovation at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) Working Group on Aging Symposia – Austin, TX – September 2022

Annually there are 12 to 20 Working Groups that meet on the same night of the ASBMR meeting at the end of the regular scientific 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 and certain clinical problems. In order to build attendance, improve the quality of the program, and build the NIA presence at ASBMR, DAB and GCG plan to combine efforts to provide modest annual financial support for the Working Group on Skeletal Aging. For more information, please contact John Williams (DAB, williamsj6@mail.nih.gov, 301-496-6403) and Lyndon Joseph (GCG, Lyndon.joseph@nih.gov, 301-496-6761).

Trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG) Animals for Translational and Preclinical Geroscience Workshop – Virtual – October 5-7, 2022

The geroscience hypothesis states that slowing the rate of aging will delay the appearance and decrease the severity of adult-onset diseases and ameliorate age-related decline in function observed in human populations. Recently, there has been a great deal of attention on leveraging geroscience insights from the laboratory to develop anti-aging or “geroprotective” therapies. In order to move potentially effective therapies toward the clinic, we must understand if we currently have the appropriate animal models to effectively translate geroscience findings into effective and safe therapies for humans. To begin to address that question, the Trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG) will host a virtual public workshop on the topic of Animal Models for Translational and Preclinical Geroscience Research. This workshop will aim to gather background information on the use of animals in basic geroscience-focused research studies across academia, government, and industry settings. Speakers at the workshop will examine the challenges and opportunities with studying a variety of animal models for translational geroscience research and the development of interventions that target fundamental aging processes. Workshop themes will include: current efforts in translational geroscience using laboratory mice, rats, domesticated animals, and non-human primates; applying comparative biology to gain new insights in geroscience; understanding the impact of nutrition and the microbiome in animal research; finding new ways to utilize data from animals that are retired from research; and exploring new and alternative models for translational geroscience. This virtual workshop is open to the public, and the target audience will include basic and clinical researchers with an interest in the biology of aging from academia, government, and industry. Additional audience members may include drug development experts, regulators, patient advocates, and trainees at a variety of career stages. For more information, please contact Siobhan Addie, Siobhan.addie@nih.gov, 301-827-6099.

14th Annual Baltimore Fellows Symposium (BFS) – Baltimore, MD – October 18, 2022

This event will be held at the Biomedical Research Center in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Michael Rosbash from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will be the keynote speaker for the event.

Basic Mechanisms of Stem Cell and Immune Cell Regulation of Tissue Maintenance and Homeostasis: A Cross Tissue Comparison – Bethesda, MD – TBD

What are the shared mechanisms required for stem cell survival, maintenance, and turnover that influence tissue homeostasis and/or regeneration during aging? How is homeostasis regulated during aging? Can we use AI and ML with a systems biology approach to uncover mechanisms regulating homeostasis that are common among different tissues? These are fundamental questions that are currently not well understood but may help to elucidate the link between aging and the development and progression of age-related comorbidities. These comparisons are now possible with the development of recent technologies including single cell analysis, multi-omics approaches, and AI advances, along with a better understanding of the different cell types residing within the tissues and organs. We now have more tools to address the mechanisms of aging that are critical to maintaining functional tissues and organs during aging of the organism. The goal of this three-day, in-person workshop will be to address these questions in order to increase our understanding of the roles of heterogeneity, mosaicisms, and rates of aging in stem cells and tissue resident immune cells in tissue maintenance and homeostasis in various tissues. Investigators with expertise in tissue resident macrophages and stem cells in different organ/tissue systems such as adipose tissue, skin, heart, lung, liver, and intestines will be invited to discuss their role in tissue homeostasis. How this regulation is affected by the aging of the tissue and organ will also be discussed. Recent findings regarding the ontogeny and function of the macrophage populations in different tissues will be discussed in the context of how the macrophage population changes with aging. Sessions will include: (1) How is homeostasis impacted by the aging of tissues and organs; (2) How do particular stem cells and resident macrophages change with aging; (3) Effects of rates of aging on stem cell and resident macrophage turnover; (4) Effects of aging on stem cell survival and maintenance across tissues, including how to maintain healthy aging by hindering quiescent stem cell depletion and maintaining the survival of healthy quiescent cells across tissues; and (5) Stem cell rejuvenation in aging tissues across species and tissues, including translational research to discover how to revive aging stem cell function. For more information, please contact Ron Kohanski (kohanskir@mail.nih.gov, 301-496-6402) and Mulualem Tilahun (Mulualem.tilahun@nih.gov, 301-435-5884).

Biology of Health Disparities in Aging – VIRTUAL – TBD

Much of the health disparities research currently supported at NIH is heavily focused on social determinants, structural factors, and clinical outcomes. However, health disparities research addressing the biological perspective as outlined in the NIA Health Disparities Research Framework is limited and is usually examined in the context of known impacts/stressors or identified clinical disparities. The goals of the workshop will be to bring together researchers in the biology of aging with experts in basic research on health disparities to discuss the state of science related to understanding heterogeneity and rates of aging in and across diverse communities. In addition, participants will provide input on defining the mechanisms leading to disparities in conditions of aging. Feedback from this workshop will inform future research opportunities supported by DAB. This will be a small, one-day virtual workshop with 15-20 participants. For more information, please contact Stacy Carrington-Lawrence, stacy.carrington-lawrence@nih.gov, 301-402-0836.

Exercise and Tissue Resilience in Aging – Bethesda, MD – TBD

The benefits of exercise towards improving health throughout life are well accepted. The major knowledge gap lies in the fact that we do not understand the molecular mechanisms that mediate these myriad effects, since preclinical data from rats in MoTrPAC indicate that all organs respond to exercise and thus it is physiologically essential that these responses are coordinated and regulated in order to maintain overall homeostasis. Complex tissue interactions have been documented between multiple organs independent of exercise, and the dynamic and beneficial effects of exercise on numerous organ systems are also well documented. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together experts from diverse fields, including exercise physiology, endocrinology, genetics, and bioinformatics to prioritize the areas that appear most ready for investigation and to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating the responses to exercise the most. For more information, please contact John Williams, williamsj6@mail.nih.gov, 301-496-6403.

Heterochronic Blood Exchange Grantees Kickoff Meeting (RFA-AG-21-002) – TBD

The purpose of this kickoff meeting is to learn how prepared the awardees are to begin the research proposed in their applications and to provide an opportunity for collaborations if those are of interest to the awardees. The meeting would include investigators working with these technologies but not supported by this RFA, to encourage continued work in this field. Awards under this FOA support research on aspects of rejuvenation and accelerated aging observed specifically in heterochronic blood exchange (HBE) experiments. The objectives are to identify the multiple factors involved, the multiple cell types involved, and the mechanisms underlying rejuvenation or accelerated aging that are observed in the transfer of phenotypes between young and old laboratory animals. It is also anticipated that molecular signatures of rejuvenation or accelerated aging will be obtained from research supported under this FOA. The value of heterochronic blood exchange is to understand causal factors for different rates of aging and to reveal mechanisms of rejuvenation or accelerated aging that might differ from the processes of aging without interventions. This evolves from the observation that young bodies can respond to “old information” and that old bodies retain responsiveness to young information vis-a-vis rates of aging in diverse tissues and cell types. The outcomes of research supported by this RFA, based on the applications received and awarded, are several-fold and include at least the following: (1) How does rejuvenation or accelerated aging differ from molecular signatures (and other features) in the young or aged animals, respectively? (2) Achieve a better understanding of the heterogeneity of aging. (3) Do the effects of transferred aging phenotypes result in lasting impacts on the rate of aging? (4) What aspects of rejuvenation or acceleration of aging are either sufficient or necessary for the transfer of young/aged phenotypes? For more information, please contact Siobhan Addie (Siobhan.addie@nih.gov, 301-496-6402, DAB), Ron Kohanski (kohanskir@mail.nih.gov, 301-496-6402, DAB), and Amanda Dibattista (Amanda.dibattista@nih.gov, 301-496-9350, DN).

Integration of Basic Research Discoveries in the Biology of Aging with Epidemiological, Behavioral, and Sociocultural Factors Related to Health Disparities – Virtual – TBD

Understanding health disparities and how they are impacted by the biology of aging is a high priority for DAB. The NIA Health Disparities Framework and Goal F of the NIA Strategic Plan call attention to, and highlight the importance of, understanding the biological factors that delineate disparities in aging-related outcomes among health disparities populations, and across the sexes. Social and environmental factors significantly influence the trajectory of aging, health status, and outcomes and are major identifiers of populations at risk for health disparities. Also evident is the clear distinction in sexual dimorphisms in longevity, comorbidities, and disease outcomes. For those entering older age from positions of disadvantage, the burdens are greater, and the consequences of this disadvantage from a biological perspective represent a gap and may be dependent on several factors involved in differential rates of aging. The aims for this workshop will be to provide a forum to discuss how current aging biology research and recent discoveries can integrate within and inform the health disparities in aging research agenda. This is expected to be a two-day, virtual workshop with 20-30 participants. For more information, please contact Stacy Carrington-Lawrence, stacy.carrington-lawrence@nih.gov, 301-402-0836.

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  • Women for the Inn (WINN) Quarterly Meeting; virtual; January 26, 2022 – Dr. Melinda Kelley delivered keynote remarks during a meeting of WINN, a group of women supporters of the Children’s Inn at NIH. Dr. Kelley discussed aging in women, including topics such as dementia and cognitive health, menopause, osteoporosis, cardiovascular health, and caregiving.
  • American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR); virtual; January 26, 2022 – Dr. Richard Hodes, Dr. Melinda Kelley, and other NIA leaders met with AFAR to discuss NIA’s current geroscience research portfolio and future research opportunities in geroscience.
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Advisory Council Meeting; virtual; January 27, 2022 – Dr. Richard Hodes presented to the NIDCD Advisory Council, sharing information about the NIA budget and appropriations, joint NIA-NIDCD initiatives, and relevant science advances.
  • Grand Rounds, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; virtual; February 16, 2022 – Dr. Richard Hodes presented to a group of faculty, medical students, residents, fellows, and other trainees as part of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Grand Rounds. Dr. Hodes spoke about Alzheimer’s disease (AD) research plans and progress at NIA, including the AD research infrastructure, appropriations, AD and health equity, and research from across NIA’s AD research portfolio.
  • NIA Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology Workshop, “Development of Function-Promoting Therapies: Public Health Need, Molecular Targets, and Drug Development”; virtual; March 20-22, 2022 – Dr. Richard Hodes, along with other NIH and federal leaders, academicians, and industry and professional society representatives, participated in a panel entitled, “Building Synergistic Collaborations Across NIH, Academia, and Industry to Accelerate the Development of Function-Promoting Pharmaceutical Therapies.” Dr. Hodes delivered introductory remarks and provided NIA’s perspective on this area of research within the panel.
  • American Urological Association (AUA); virtual; March 25, 2022 – Dr. Richard Hodes, Dr. Melinda Kelley, and NIA staff met with AUA to discuss NIA budgetary and research updates, as well as research priorities and areas of opportunity identified by AUA.
  • IMPACT Collaboratory Annual Business Meeting and Scientific Conference; hybrid event in Bethesda, MD, and virtual; April 5-7, 2022 – Dr. Richard Hodes delivered opening remarks for the IMPACT Collaboratory’s Annual Business Meeting and Scientific Conference, reflecting on the IMPACT Collaboratory’s role as a national resource for the conduct of pragmatic clinical trials embedded within health care systems for people living with dementia and their care partners.
  • Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board; virtual; April 7, 2022 – Dr. Richard Hodes presented to the Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board, addressing the NIA mission and strategic research directions, NIA budgetary updates, and relevant research from the sleep and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias portfolios.
  • American Geriatrics Society (AGS); virtual; April 8, 2022 – Dr. Richard Hodes, Dr. Melinda Kelley, and other NIA leaders and staff met with AGS to discuss NIA budgetary and programmatic updates, as well as research updates from AGS.
  • “The Brain Across the Lifespan: Tools and Methodologies for Measuring the Changing Brain” Workshop, co-organized by NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; virtual; April 18-19, 2022 – Dr. Richard Hodes provided opening remarks for the workshop, along with Dr. Diana Bianchi, director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Hodes reflected on the goal of the workshop, to develop tools and methods to improve our ability to measure changes in the brain over time, and the significance in terms of advancing the NIA mission to better understand the aging process and diseases associated with aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life.
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Workshop, “Towards a Future of Environmental Health Sciences”; virtual; April 26-27, 2022 – Dr. Richard Hodes provided an overview of NIA’s vision for a future of aging research which integrates environmental health, in keeping with the meeting’s broader goal of modeling environmental health futures which integrate biomedical, disease-specific, and prevention research across a continuum from fundamental discovery research to public health policy and practice.
  • NIA Workshop on Modeling Brain Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease; virtual; April 27-28, 2022 – Dr. Richard Hodes provided opening remarks for this meeting on modeling of basic mechanisms of brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease in vitro and in silico, the state of the science in this area, and related opportunities and challenges.

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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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