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September 2015 Director's Status Report

Click on the links below to view sections of the September 2015 Director's Status Report:

Budget and Appropriations

Status of FY 2015, 2016, and 2017 Budgets:

FY 2015

The NIA is currently preparing to close out FY 2015. The FY 2015 operating budget is an additional $1,197.523 million. This amount includes $25 million for Alzheimer’s Disease funding. The operating budget allows for 1,424 total research project grants (RPGs), including 380 new and competing awards. The estimate includes $98.244 million for research centers, $40.378 million for other research, and $25.150 million for research training. The R&D contract mechanism will be supported at a level of $57.200 million.

FY 2016

The FY 2016 President’s budget was released to the public on February 2, 2015. The President’s request for NIH is $31.311 billion, which is $1 billion higher than the FY 2015 level of $30.311 billion.

The NIA budget request for FY 2016 is $1,267.078 million, an increase of $69.555 million over the FY 2015 comparable enacted level. This amount includes $50 million for Alzheimer’s Disease funding. The NIA FY 2016 Congressional Justification can be viewed at https://www.nia.nih.gov/about/budget/fiscal-year-2016-budget.

For NIA, the FY 2016 President’s Budget will allow for 1,538 total research project grants (RPGs), including 403 new and competing awards. The estimate includes $103.196 million for research centers, $40.378 million for other research grants, and $25.150 million for research training. The R&D contract mechanism will be supported at a level of $65.311 million.

FY 2017

Preliminary work on the budget for FY 2017 has begun using the FY 2016 President’s budget request as the base. After intermediate stages of review, the President’s budget request for FY 2017 will be presented to Congress in February 2016, at which time it will become available to the public.

BUDGET MECHANISM (in thousands)
MECHANISM FY 2014 Final Allocation FY 2015 Operating Plan* FY 2016 President's Budget
Research Grants: No. Amount No. Amount No. Amount
Research Projects:            
Noncompeting 958 492,293 958 496,721 1,040 539,411
Administrative Supplements (106) 10,438 (107) 10,500 (107) 10,500
Competing 385 260,875 380 266,864 403 275,567
Subtotal 1,343 763,606 1,338 774,085 1,443 825,478
SBIR/STTR 80 32,084 86 34,650 95 38,071
Subtotal, RPG 1,423 795,690 1,424 808,735 1,538 863,549
Research Centers:            
Specialized/Comprehensive 78 90,653 84 97,098 88 102,050
Clinical Research 0 0 0 0 0 0
Biotechnology 0 0 0 0 0 0
Comparative Medicine 0 1,146 0 1,146 0 1,146
Research Centers in Minority Institutions 0 0 0 0 0 0
Subtotal, Centers 78 91,799 84 98,244 88 103,196
Other Research:            
Research Careers 199 27,355 203 27,960 203 27,960
Cancer Education 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cooperative Clinical Research 0 0 0 0 0 0
Biomedical Research Support 0 0 0 0 0 0
Minority Biomedical Research Support 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 52 12,157 53 12,418 53 12,418
Subtotal, Other Research 251 39,512 256 40,378 256 40,378
Total Research Grants 1,752 927,001 1,764 947,357 1,882 1,007,123
Training: FTTP   FTTP   FTTP  
Individual 150 6,430 150 6,924 148 6,924
Institutional 388 17,176 388 18,226 384 18,226
Total, Training 538 23,606 538 25,150 532 25,150
Research & Development Contracts 81 59,113 78 57,200 78 65,311
(SBIR/STTR) (4) (349) (4) (360) (4) (360)
Intramural Research   118,794   123,316   124,549
Research Management & Support   43,203   44,500   44,945
Total, NIA   1,171,717   1,197,523   1,267,078
             

NOTES: 1) FY 2015 includes $25 million for Alzheimer's Disease. Does not reflect the proposed reallocation. 2) FY 2016 includes $50 million for Alzheimer's Disease

Legislative Update

Proposed Legislation of Interest:

H.R. 2032 On April 27, 2015, Representative Blake Farenthold (R-TX) introduced H.R. 2032, the Government Spending Accountability (GSA) Act. The bill would amend 5 USC to require each agency to post on its website detailed information on any presentation made by employees at a conference; prohibit agencies for spending more than $500,000 on a single conference (unless granted a waiver); limit attendance at international conferences to 50 employees per agency; and require extensive reporting for conferences over $10,000. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

H.R. 2104 – On April 29, 2015, Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced H.R. 2104, the American Cures Act. This bill, previously introduced in the 113th Congress and companion to Senator Richard Durbin’s bill (S. 289), would authorize additional investment at a rate of GDP-indexed inflation plus five percent annually for NIH, CDC, Department of Defense Health Program, and Veterans Medical & Prosthetics Research Program. H.R. 2104 was referred to the House Committee on the Budget in addition to the House Committees on Energy and Commerce, Armed Services, and Veterans' Affairs.

H.R. 6 On May 19, 2015, Representative Fred Upton (R-MI) introduced H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act. Representatives Joe Pitts (R-PA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Gene Green (D-TX), and Diana DeGette (D-CO) are primary cosponsors. H.R. 6 was jointly referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means. On May 21, 2015, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce favorably reported H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, by a vote of 51-0, and as amended by the Committee. And on July 10, 2015, the House passed H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, as amended, by a vote of 344-77.

H.R. 3020 – On June 24, 2015, the House Appropriations Committee reported out its FY2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations bill. The bill provides a total $31.2 billion for the NIH, $1.1 billion above FY2015. Within this funding, the bill provides increases for several targeted research initiatives, including $886 million, a $300 million increase, for Alzheimer’s disease research.

S. 1695 – On June 25, 2015, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out its FY2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations bill. It includes $32 billion for NIH activities, an increase of $2 billion above FY2015. Among other specified funding levels, the bill includes a $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research.

H.R. 3092 – On July 16, 2015, Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced H.R. 3092, which would provide for the issuance of an Alzheimer’s Disease Research Semipostal Stamp as a convenient way for members of the public to contribute to funding for medical research relating to Alzheimer's disease. Amounts available from the sale of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Semipostal Stamp would be transferred to the NIH at least twice a year. H.R. 3092 was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Hearings, Visits, and Other topics of interest:

On April 30, 2015, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held an overview hearing on NIH FY2016 budget. Francis Collins, Director, NIH, testified, along with several NIH Institute directors.

On April 30, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on 21st Century Cures. Kathy Hudson, Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy, NIH, testified along with two senior representatives of the FDA.

On June 22, 2015, Dr. Richard Hodes, Director of the NIA; Dr. Marie Bernard, Deputy Director of the NIA; and Dr. Neil Buckholtz, Director of the NIA Division of Neuroscience; participated in a Senate briefing on NIA research, at the invitation of Friends of the NIA.

At the request of Coalition for the Advancement of Health through Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, NIH staff from multiple NIH Institutes and Centers – including the NIA –participated in a congressional poster session on June 24, 2015. The focus was on promotion of Healthier Lives through NIH-Supported Behavioral & Social Sciences Research.

On May 19, 2015, Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), sponsors of a new Senate NIH Congressional Caucus, held an event to discuss the new caucus and the work of the NIH. Senators Durbin, Graham and Jerry Moran (R-KS) provided remarks for the Caucus sponsors. Francis Collins, Director, NIH, and several NIH Institute and Center directors each spoke about exciting science at NIH.

Submitted by: Melinda Kelley, Ph.D., Senior Health Policy Analyst, National Institute on Aging

Staff Changes

It is with great sorrow that the Division of Aging Biology reports that Mahadev Murthy died late Friday night, May 29, 2015. Mahadev had a heart attack May 25th and never regained consciousness. Kavita, his wife of 40 years, was at his side. Per his wishes, there will not be a funeral or memorial service, but we should remember him as he was in life, vibrant and enthusiastic.

Dr. Yih-Woei Fridell joined DAB in June, 2015 as the director for the metabolic regulation program. Yih-Woei has long been interested in aging research and had conducted her independent research programs at the University of Connecticut for a number of years. Her NIA-funded research demonstrated a positive impact on longevity and healthspan when targeting the mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 to the adult nervous system in Drosophila, an effect associated with a reduction of age-associated oxidative stress. In addition, funded by NINDS, Yih-Woei’s group identified neuroprotective effects of increased mitochondrial fusion against a neurotoxin, rotenone in a Drosophila PD model.

Dr. Maurizio Grimaldi joined the Scientific Review Branch at NIA as a Scientific Review Officer in April 2015. Dr. Grimaldi graduated from the Medical School at the Federico II University of Napoli in Italy, with residency and board accreditation in clinical pharmacology. He has also completed a Ph.D. in neuropharmacology and toxicology. In 1996, he moved to US to pursue postdoctoral training at NINDS and NICHD, NIH. Dr. Grimaldi’s work mostly focused on the physiology of brain cells and in drug discovery for the treatment of brain diseases. He is returning to NIH and joining NIA after a tenure period at the Southern Research institute, a non for profit research organization, where he was the leader of the Neuropharmacology Laboratory and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Pharmacology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Having been trained in both clinical and basic sciences he has dedicated his work to translational sciences with emphasis on possible treatments for neurologic diseases. Dr. Grimaldi was successful in securing grants from several federal and non-profit agencies including, NIA, NIMH, NIDA, Prize4Life and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He holds several international patents, some of which have been acquired by drug companies, and small biotech companies resulting in medicines to treat patient’s ailments. He also served as an adhoc member of several NIH, DOD and private research foundation review panels. He is an avid cyclist and when not at work he can be found in the Alps on his favorite bicycle.

On April 17, 2015, Ms. Shanell Butler, BSR’s Extramural Program Office Manager, left NIH for another federal position. Recruitment is well underway, and we expect to select a new EPOM by early September.

Institute-Sponsored Meetings, Workshops, and Conferences

  1. Past Meetings

Developing Interventions to Reduce Social Isolation and/or Loneliness in Mid- to Late-Life – June 4, 2015 - Washington DC

BSR has been advised in the course of its quadrennial divisional review by the National Advisory Council on Aging to expand our interventions portfolio in this area. A small meeting sought expert input on the most promising intervention strategies, addressing the following questions:

  • What study designs will permit rigorous testing of theory; e.g., shedding light on pathways linking social contexts and individual differences to loneliness and/or social isolation, or explicitly testing theories about how to change social relationships?
  • What strategy holds greatest promise at this juncture? Should one focus on small studies with shorter term outcomes, targeting social isolation, loneliness, and networks rather than health to demonstrate ability to impact these targets? Should one conduct larger scale trials to permit identification of responders and non-responders, and the mechanisms that account for response effects?

For additional information please contact Dr. Lisa Onken at BSR (301-402-4156).

NAS Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences Meeting on Understanding Pathways to Healthy Aging – June 11-12, 2015 - Washington DC

The NACA 2013 BSR Review recommended that BSR pursue an integrative research agenda designed to illuminate the pathways by which social, psychological, economic, and behavioral factors affect health in middle-aged and older adults. Support of research designs that permit rigorous causal inference and deeper mechanistic understanding of the links between behavioral and social factors and health outcomes in mid-late life was strongly encouraged. In June, 2015 an expert meeting at the National Academy of Sciences was convened to:

  • Review what is known in three focal areas on consistent associations between social and behavioral variables and health outcomes in midlife and older age.
  • Define a set of objective criteria for delineating causal pathways and causal relationships underlying such associations.
  • Identify the strongest approaches for investigating how antecedents of healthy aging are linked to favorable outcomes and for identifying the most promising targets for interventions in these domains.

For additional information please contact Dr. Lis Nielsen at BSR (301-402-4156).

Ninth Annual Division of Aging Biology New Investigators Forum (DAB NIF) - June 18-19, 2015

The purpose of the forum is to bring together new awardees (i.e. Principal Investigators who can be identified as “new investigators”) in the spring of the year following their award, in order to allow NIA program staff to get acquainted with new PIs as well as allow the participants to network with each other. Each new PI will give a brief talk describing the planned research (or results to date) with an emphasis on how it relates to the area of aging research. The overriding goal of the meeting is to encourage continued success for the new PIs as well as attempt to maintain their focus on the area of aging research. As a result of past meetings we have found that the PIs have indeed set up new collaborations. They also are much more likely to keep us informed of their new publications and progress.

The meeting started with a keynote address by an eminent aging researcher (Dr. Steven Austad).

A workshop was held on June 18-19, 2015 in Bethesda, MD.

(Contact: Dr. Nancy Nadon, DAB, 301/496-6402).

NAS Committee on Population Spring Meeting: Future Directions in the Demography of Aging – June 25, 2015 - Washington DC

As part of its regular semi-annual meeting, the Committee on Population brought together a group of experts to discuss future directions in the demography of aging. In seven sessions, experts summarized the state of the science and participated in a moderated discussion following the presentation of the various topics. The sessions focused on understanding the connections between social and environmental factors and mortality, morbidity and life expectancy; tools for understanding aging and disability; the role of the family; the economics of aging; and biodemography. They underscored the fact that the discipline of demography brings distinctive and unique tools to the study of aging and that these tools are changing. Methodologies are increasingly focusing on the link between early events and later consequences over the life course and understanding the influence of environmental, behavioral and social contexts on populations. New insights are being obtained by contributions from the growing field of biodemography. The sessions indicated that there are a host of new challenges posed by the changing environment of an aging society. On the other hand, there are growing opportunities, afforded by maturing tools and more sophisticated approaches for the study of demography of aging issues, for coming to an understanding of and coping with those challenges. In the final session it was stressed that more work is needed to further understand the challenges and opportunities of the demography of aging. A summary will be made available on the NIA website this fall.

For additional information please contact Dr. John Haaga at BSR (301-496-3131).

Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project- Discovery Data Workshop - July 16-17, 2015

The Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP) was developed in response to a Presidential Initiative on Alzheimer's Disease (AD). The overarching goals of the ADSP are to: (1) identify new genes involved in AD, (2) identify gene alleles contributing to increased risk for or protection against the disease, (3) provide insight as to why individuals with known risk factor genes escape from developing AD, and (4) identify potential avenues for therapeutic approaches and prevention of the disease. Whole genome sequence (WGS) and whole exome sequence (WES) data were generated by three NHGRI funded Large Scale Sequencing Centers. In June of 2014, five cooperative agreements were funded by NIA to carry out the analysis of WGS and WES data in the Discovery Phase of the study. There are nine award recipients in the Discovery Phase. The group met in Philadelphia in June of 2014 at a “kick off” meeting, and in December, 2014 in Bethesda for the first Discovery Phase Data Workshop. The participants of the ADSP met in Bethesda on July 16 and 17, 2015 for the second Discovery Phase Data Workshop to discuss progress since the December 2014 Bethesda meeting. A total of 110 persons participated including NIH staff. The workshop marked the shift in the project from generation of data to analysis. A summary of the presentations and discussions follows. Dr. Francis Collins provided a written welcome message followed by comments from Drs. Hodes and Green. Dr. Miller provided an overview of the infrastructure and funding support for the ADSP. Drs. Boerwinkle and Schellenberg, co-chairs of the Analysis Coordination Group, provided an overview of Alzheimer’s genetics, and specifics on the research plan for the Discovery Phase of the study. The ADSP is comprised of eight work groups with co-chairs from participating consortia. Each of the Work Groups provided an update of recent progress and timelines for analysis over the course of the project. Briefly, Quality Control (QC) checked whole genome sequence (WGS) data was released to the public via dbGaP on July 12, 2015. The QC Work Group is fully engaged in QC of the whole exome sequence (WES) data, with an expected first release to the ADSP of August 7; final release to the public is expected in November. The Data Flow Work Group has facilitated handling of datasets through the NIA Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease Data Storage Site (NIAGADS) comprising 2.4Tb of data. Data documentation, work flow, and upcoming plans for data storage and handling were discussed. The Case Control Work group is testing pipelines and will begin data analysis after the August 7 data release. The Structural Variants Work Group is optimizing QC filters for analysis of the more complex large variations in the Alzheimer’s genome. Potential loss of function variants have been identified by the initial analysis. The Family Based Work Group has observed linkage peaks which are being pursued in both Caucasian and Caribbean Hispanic sample sets. The Phenotype work group has just launched and is charged with defining, harmonizing, and organizing phenotype data in a consistent, accurate, easily accessible, and well-curated manner. The Annotation Work Group is working with the Accelerated Medical Partnerships (AMP) investigators to identify genetic targets for functional studies as potential therapeutic targets. Some of the AMP investigators were present at the meeting and provided updates on their work. The Replication Work Group sought advice from the ADSP consultants on study design, with a group decision being made to proceed with additional whole genome sequencing in multiply affected families. NHGRI Program staff agreed to release $1M to the Large Scale Sequencing Centers to move this forward expeditiously; samples for sequencing will be assembled in this fall. ADSP Consultants provided advice on next steps in the project and requested a follow-up meeting in February 2016.

Sleep in Alzheimer’s Disease: Molecules, Networks, People; AAIC 2015 - July 18-23, 2015 - Washington, DC

The National Institute on Aging co-organized a Featured Research Session titled “Sleep in Alzheimer’s Disease: Molecules, Networks, People” during the 2015 Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC), July 18-23, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

There is evidence that sleep disturbances may contribute to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Such evidence provides support for interventions that improve sleep in older adults to reduce the risk of developing AD. Effective interventions exist to improve sleep and these could be utilized in AD prevention. The learning objectives for the AAIC Featured Research Session on “Sleep in Alzheimer’s disease” was to (1) describe the relationship between disordered sleep and cognitive decline and AD; (2) discuss mechanisms by which sleep disturbances might lead to AD-related pathologies, and (3) explore sleep interventions that could be tested in humans to augment cognitive health.

For more information please contact Miroslaw (Mack) Mackiewicz (DN) 301-496-9350, Email: mackiewiczm2@mail.nih.gov.

Renal Pathophysiology - July 20, 2015

Over the years, NIA has supported renal research (both basic science and clinical aspects) that is applicable to issues that we deal with in the elderly. Although we continue to see interests on renal pathophysiology from the research community, we have lost many senior researchers, who had support from NIA.

However, there are significant scientific advances in several areas that are highly relevant to aging and the geriatric population. These areas include animal models, renal biomarkers in acute and chronic kidney disease (CKD, renal fibrosis, autophagy, proteostasis and others. Even though nephrology researchers have begun to apply these advances, they are still fully exploited by the community. In addition, technologies such as proteomics and proteomics and their utility to understand the renal pathophysiology could be part of this workshop.

An exploratory workshop was held on July 20, 2015 in Bethesda, MD.

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

GSIG Seminars - August 6, 2015

This seminar series is sponsored by the trans-NIH GeroScience Interest Group (GSIG). The GeroScience Interest Group (GSIG) was formed to enhance opportunities for discussion of the intersection between the biology of aging and the biology of disease and conditions that are of interest across ICs. It is focused on basic biology, but with a longer view towards translation. The GSIG seminars occur quarterly and on August 6, 2015, the seminar was given by Dr. Nir Barzilai, the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research, Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Genetics, and member of the Diabetes Research Center and of the Divisions of Endocrinology & Diabetes and Geriatrics at Albert Einstein School of Medicine, New York. The title of his talk will be “How to Die Young at a Very Old Age?”

(Contact(s): Drs. Felipe Sierra and Ronald Kohanski, DAB, 301/496-6402).

NAS CNSTAT Meeting - Design and Analysis of Observational Study to Enhance Their Use in Providing Causal Inference – August 26, 2015 – Washington DC

The National Research Council, through its Committee on National Statistics, will organize a planning meeting to examine ways in which NIA’s interventions and large-scale survey data collections can be better exploited to enhance behavioral interventions, either through design modifications of the interventions or, more likely, through analysis techniques that exploit linkages with data collected in (related) observational studies.
NAS is organizing this meeting through a Task Order.

For additional information please contact Dr. John Phillips at BSR (301-496-3138).

Assessment of Resilience in Clinical POPULATIONS - August 26-27, 2015

The concept of physiological resilience was originally discussed in a workshop convened by DAB in August 2014. The focus of DAB’s meeting was on the development of measures of resilience which could be used in intervention testing studies in rodent models. DGCG’s proposed meeting is intended as a follow up and will focus on the application of the physiological resilience concept in humans. DGCG is proposing a workshop (a day and a half) to discuss the conceptual basis of resilience, how to operationalize resilience, including the methodological issues/challenges of assessing resilience at different ages and in different clinical settings and research designs (e.g., observational vs. interventional studies). DAB has agreed to co-sponsor this meeting if funds are available.

We propose an exploratory workshop to be held on August 26-27, 2015 in Bethesda, MD.

(Contact(s): Dr. Felipe Sierra, DAB, 301/496-6402, Dr. Evan Hadley, DGCG, 301/496-6761).

GENETIC AND MOLECULAR PATHWAYS IN HUMAN AGING AND LONGEVITY – August 28, 2015

Many genes and pathways have now been identified to be associated with aging and longevity. For example, FOXO3A, has been shown to be associated with longevity in more than 11 studies in different ethnic human populations. There is overwhelming interest in the underlying mechanisms and translation of these discoveries. However, the functions of these genes and their genetic variants in humans still remain largely obscure. This workshop will evaluate the status of the research on these genes and pathways, and discuss the future research directions on understanding the biology and physiology of these genes and pathways in order to translate these discoveries into benefits for human health.

We have planned a workshop to be held on August 28, 2015 in Bethesda, MD.

(Contact: Dr. Max Guo, DAB, 301/496-6402; Dr. Nalini Raghavachari, DGCG, 301/496-6942).

General Information/Staff Awards

  • The 8th Annual NIA Postbac Poster Day was held on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 in the BRC Atrium. Dr. Yixian Zheng, Ph.D. from the Carnegie Institution for Science in Baltimore presented a seminar.

    Winners of “The Scientific Directors Award” at the Postbac Poster Day:
    • Irfan S. Khan (B.S. 2013)
      University of Maryland College Park ‑ College Park , MD
      “Biochemical Characterizations of the Human Mitochondrial DNA Helicase Twinkle”
      Mentor: Robert Brosh, Ph.D.
    • Yusuke Ota (B.A. 2013)
      Skidmore College- Saratoga Springs, NY
      “Targeted Differentiation of mESCs into 3 Types of Neurons”
      Mentor: David Schlessinger, Ph.D., and Minoru Ko, M.D., Ph.D.
    • Megan R. Williams (M.A. 2013)
      Middles Tennessee State University- Mufreesboro, TN
      “The Relationship between Intimate Partner Violence and Blood Pressure among a Mixed-Sex Epidemiological Sample of Urban Adults”
      Mentor: Alan Zonderman, Ph.D.
       
  • The NIA Intramural Research Program (IRP) held its 23rd Annual NIA/NIDA Summer Student Poster Day on Tuesday, August 4th, at the Biomedical Research Center (BRC).  Dr. Demetrio Sierra, alumnus from the NIA Summer Class of 2003 and 2004, currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) School of Medicine in San Juan, Puerto Rico, presented a seminar. A team of NIA PIs, Staff Scientists, and Postdoctoral Fellows reviewed the posters and assigned scores.  The top scores were awarded the “Barbara A. Hughes Award.”

    The winners of the 2015 Barbara A. Hughes Award are:
    • High School Award:
      Bilguunzaya Battogtokh (Sophomore)
      Yorktown High School   Arlington, VA
      Using Machine Learning on Fundus Images to Diagnose Age Related Macular Degeneration
      Mentor: Ilya Goldberg, Ph.D. and Christopher Coletta, B.S.
    • Krista L. Opsahl-Ong (Freshman)
      Duke University   Durham, NC
      Estimating mitochondrial DNA copy number from whole genome sequencing data
      Mentor: Jun Ding, Ph.D.
    • Collins D. Wang (Senior)
      University of California, Los Angeles   Los Angeles, CA
      Intermittent 2 Deoxyglucose Administration Rescues Motor Function Deficits in a Parkinson's Disease Animal Model.
      Mentor: Ryan Wu, Ph.D. and Mark Mattson, Ph.D.
    • Ashley Wirth (Sophomore)
      Williams College – Williamstown, MA
      Dawn of the Dead: Understanding the Excitation of Dormant Pacemaker Cells in Response to Environmental Stimuli
      Mentor: Kenta Tsutsui, M.D., Ph.D.
       
  • The 2015 NIH Fellows’ Award for Research Excellence (FARE) winners were recently announced. The FARE awards provide recognition for the outstanding scientific research performed by intramural postdoctoral fellows.

    FARE Winners are as follows:
    • Murat Bilgel (LBN), Mentor: Susan Resnick
    • Martine El Bejjani, Ph.D., (LEPS), Mentor: Lenore Launer
    • Evandro F Fang, Ph.D., (LMG), Mentor: Vilhelm Bohr
    • Gita Kumari, Ph.D., (LMBI), Mentor: Ranjan Sen
    • Huiming Lu, Ph.D., (LMG), Mentor: Vilhelm Bohr
    • Hachi E Manzur, M.D., Ph.D., (LBN), Mentor: Shih-Chieh Lin
    • Magdelena M Misiak, Ph.D., (LMG), Mentor: Vilhelm Bohr
    • Wei Peng, Ph.D., (LG), Mentor: Weidong Wang
    • Jaya Sarkar Ph.D., (LMG), Mentor: Yie Liu
    • Jian Sima Ph.D., (LG), Mentor: David Schlessinger

OCPL Contribution to the September 2015 Director’s Status Report

EXERCISE AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY CAMPAIGN

September 2015 was designated Go4Life Month, in collaboration with the White House Conference on Aging. Go4Life, NIA’s national exercise and physical activity campaign for people 50+, is bringing together more than a hundred Federal, State, and local partners to encourage older adults to stay active for better health with advancing age. A highlight of Go4Life Month was an anticipated walk on September 18 in Washington, D.C., where NIA leadership, campaign partners, and seniors were scheduled to be joined by Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., Surgeon General of the United States. In addition, partners nationwide will mark the occasion by increasing awareness and sponsoring an array of activities to engage community members, young and old, in exercise and physical activities they enjoy.

(For more information about NIA’s Go4Life campaign, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph. 301-496-1752.) 

PUBLICATIONS AND WEB CONTENT

The following new publications, online resources, and other products were developed, updated, made available online and/or printed:

Books and Booklets:
  • Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease: Your Easy-to-Use Guide from the National Institute on Aging
  • Exercise & Physical Activity: Your Everyday Guide from the National Institute on Aging at NIH
  • Workout to Go: A Sample Exercise Routine from the National Institute on Aging at NIH
AgePages:
  • Elder Abuse
  • Exercise and Physical Activity
  • Forgetfulness: Knowing When to Ask for Help
  • Healthy Eating After 50
  • High Blood Pressure
  • HIV, AIDS, and Older People
  • Older Drivers
  • Pain: You Can Get Help
  • Shingles
  • Skin Care and Aging
  • Smell and Taste
Tip Sheets and Fact Sheets:
Other Materials:
  • Go4Life bicyclist, grandfather, and swimmer posters
  • Stay Connected general contact information postcard
Web Projects:

Prepared and posted several documents related to the FY 2017 Bypass Budget, presented to NAPA Council, including:

  • Bypass Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2017—Reaching for a Cure: Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Research at NIH
  • Reaching for a Cure: At-A-Glance
  • FY 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Bypass Budget Milestones
  • Alzheimer's Disease Research Implementation Milestones 2013-2025
  • NIHSeniorHealth added two new topics:
    • Dry Eye, in collaboration with NEI
    • Psoraisis, in collaboration with NIAMS

(For more information about NIA’s publications and web content, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph. 301-496-1752.) 

AWARDS

  •  Generations Awards
    • Publications Category, Platinum -- “Participating in Alzheimer’s Research: For Yourself and Future Generations”
    • Writing Category, Platinum -- “Researchers Seek Alzheimer’s Clues in People with Down Syndrome”
       
  • APEX Awards
    • Education and Training Category, Grand Award -- “Talking With Your Doctor Presentation Toolkit”
    • Health & Medical Writing Category, Award of Excellence -- “2013-2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Progress Report: Insights and Challenges”

(For more information about OCPL awards, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph. 301-496-1752.) 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • NIHSeniorHealth’s weekly Healthy Aging tips has over 39,000 subscribers
  • @NIAGo4Life Twitter has over 4,800 followers with an additional 4,200+ daily e-alert subscribers
  • @Alzheimers_NIH Twitter has over 4,400 followers with more than 5,000 daily e-alert subscribers
  • NIA’s YouTube channel now has two new video blogs featuring Dr. Hodes: “Supporting New and Early-Stage Investigators” and “NIA Public Private Partnerships.”

(For more information about NIA’s social media activities, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph. 301-496-1752.) 

MEDIA & OUTREACH

NIA distributed the following press releases:

(For more information about NIA’s media and outreach, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph. 301-496-1752.) 

MEETINGS & EXHIBITS 2015

Exhibits
  • American Geriatrics Society, National Harbor, MD
  • AARP, Miami Beach, FL
  • National Press Club Presentation by Dr. Hodes, Washington, DC
  • Go4Life event, Greenspring Retirement Community, Springfield, VA
  • African-Americans Against Alzheimer’s, Atlanta, GA
Professional Meetings

April, 2015

  • Drs. Richard Hodes and Marie Bernard met with representatives of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
  • Drs. Richard Hodes and Marie Bernard, along with other NIA staff members, met with representatives of the Population Association of America.
  • Dr. Marie Bernard, along with other NIA staff members, met with representatives of Mars Petcare.

May, 2015

  • Dr. Richard Hodes, along with other NIA staff members, met with representatives of FASEB. 

June, 2015

  • Drs. Richard Hodes and Marie Bernard, along with other NIA staff members, met with representatives of the American Delirium Society.
  • Dr. Marie Bernard, along with other NIA staff members, met with representatives of American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
  • Drs. Richard Hodes and Marie Bernard, along with other NIA staff members, met with representatives of the Friends of the NIA.

July, 2015

  • Dr. Marie Bernard, along with other NIA staff members and an NIDDK staff member, met with representatives of the American College of Sports Medicine.
  • OCPL staff served on the planning committee for the 2015 Healthy Aging Summit, reviewing/rating abstract submissions; planning logistics; and organizing the Health Literacy panel discussion. Staff also presented on the ‘Health-in-all-Policies’ panel.

(For more information about NIA’s conferences or exhibits, contact Vicky Cahan, Director, OCPL, Ph. 301-496-1752.  For more information about NIA’s professional meetings, contact Dr. Melinda Kelley, Legislative Officer, Ph. 301-451-8835.)

Relevant Notices and Initiatives Published in the NIH Guide

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