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September 2020 Director's Status Report

Click on the links below to view sections of the September 2020 Director's Status Report:

Budget and Appropriations

Status of the FY 2020 Budget

FY 2020

On December 17, 2019, the House passed H.R. 1865, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, by a vote of 297-120. On December 19, 2019, the Senate passed H.R. 1865 by a vote of 71-23. The bill was signed by the President on December 20, 2019 and provides FY 2020 appropriations to multiple agencies. Of note, the bill provides $41.7 billion for medical research at the NIH, a nearly seven percent increase over FY 2019 funding. This funding for the NIH includes an extra $350 million for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD) research, bringing the NIH’s total AD/ADRD funding to $2.8 billion and NIA’s overall funding to $3.5 billion. These appropriations fund the NIH/NIA through September 30, 2020.

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Legislative Update

September 2020

Legislation of Interest:

On July 13, 2020, the FY 2021 House Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill was approved by the full House Appropriations Committee. The bill includes $47 billion for the NIH. This $5.5 billion increase over FY 2020 includes a $500 million increase in the NIH’s annual appropriation, $5 billion in emergency spending, and an additional $35 million for AD/ADRD research at NIA. On July 31, 2020, the House passed H.R. 7617, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which includes the Labor-HHS FY 2021 Appropriations Bill described above.

On July 27, 2020, Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) introduced S. 4320, the Coronavirus Response Additional Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020. The bill, if enacted, would provide $15.5 billion in supplemental appropriations to the NIH with five-year availability. Funds appropriated to the Office of the Director may be transferred to the accounts of other Institutes and Centers. The $15.5 billion is divided as follows:

  • $290 million for NHLBI
  • $200 million for NIDDK
  • $480.5 million for NIAID
    • Including $55 million for Regional Biocontainment Laboratories
  • $172.6 million for NICHD
  • $200 million for NIMH
  • $64.3 million for NIMHD
  • $1.22 billion for NCATS
  • $12.9 billion for the Office of the Director, including:
    • $10.1 billion for offsetting the costs related to reductions in lab productivity
    • $1.3 billion for additional scientific research
    • $1.24 billion to accelerate the research and development of therapeutic interventions and vaccines in partnership
    • $240 million for supplements to existing research training awards for extensions and other costs

S. 4320 was referred to the full Senate Appropriations Committee for deliberation.

Hearings, Visits, and Other Topics of Interest:

On May 8, 2020, NIA Director Richard Hodes, NIA Division of Neuroscience Director Eliezer Masliah, and NIA Division of Extramural Research Director Ken Santora provided an update on Alzheimer’s research advances to Senate Aging Committee Staff.

On August 18, 2020, NIA Director Richard Hodes along with NIA staff briefed the House and Senate Appropriations Labor, HHS, and Education Subcommittee Majority and Minority staff on non-pharmacological interventions for Alzheimer's disease.

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Announcements

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of a dear friend, colleague, and mentor. Professor James S. Jackson passed away Tuesday September 1st, in Ann Arbor after a long battle with cancer. He passed peacefully with his wife, Toni, and daughters Ariana and Kendra by his side.

James Jackson was the PI of the NIA Research Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) entitled, the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) and Founder and Leader of the Program for Research on Black Americans. We at the National Institute on Aging, the Program Officers and Extramural staff who worked with Dr. Jackson, are deeply saddened by the loss of one who has had such a profound and lasting impact on our professional and personal lives.

During his illustrious career, Dr. Jackson was the Director of the Institute for Social Research, Director of the Center for African and African American Studies, member of the National Science Board and a past president of the Association of Black Psychologists and Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. He also provided invaluable service to NIA and NIH in serving on NIA’s National Advisory Council (1996-1999) and Board of Scientific Counselors (2000-2005) and the NIH Director’s Advisory Committee (2009-2012). He also served on the National Advisory Council of the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (2017-2020).

Most importantly he was a mentor to numerous students, postdoctoral scholars, and junior faculty. His role in mentoring several generations of African American scholars cannot be overstated, both for its contribution to diversifying academia and enhancing knowledge on race and ethnicity in the U.S. James mentored students, post-docs and junior faculty in numerous fields including Psychology, Sociology, Public Health, Social Work, Political Science and Economics. His proteges have now become Deans, Associate Provosts, Department Chairs, Endowed Professors, and leaders in their fields of study.

Within NIA, the Division of Behavioral and Social Research placed high value on Dr. Jackson’s input on their programs and initiatives. He served on the 2013 advisory committee that reviewed the division and recommended priorities for Behavioral and Social Science research on aging that guided BSR’s activities through the recent 2019 NACA review. BSR staff also benefited from his years of service on the National Academy of Sciences Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, which provides independent advice to the Division on cutting edge programs for advancing aging research. Dr. Jackson was always a thoughtful and frank contributor to these scientific discussions. His perspectives on health inequalities and the psychological, biological and social mechanisms that drive them, have been tremendously influential.

Dr. Jackson’s research efforts include conducting national and international surveys of black populations focusing on racial and ethnic influences on life course development, attitude change, reciprocity, social support, physical and mental health and coping. Until recently, Dr. Jackson is was principal investigator of one of the most extensive social, political, economic, and mental and physical health studies of the African American and Caribbean populations ever conducted, “The National Survey of American Life” and the “The Family Survey across Generations and Nations,” and the “National Study of Ethnic Pluralism and Politics.” His teaching centered on social factors in health, race and racism, and social exchange and social influences. He was mentor to countless students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty who have gone on to influential careers in academia, science, and public service.

NIA extends its deepest condolences to Toni Antonucci, daughters Kendra and Ariana and the many family, friends and colleagues who knew and learned from this great and brilliant scholar.

A Conversation with James S. Jackson: November 25, 2014.

https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/a-conversation-with-james-s-jackson

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Staff Honors and Changes

Staff Honors

The Interventions Testing Program was featured in the cover story of the Summer 2020 issue of Women’s Health In Focus at NIH, the quarterly publication of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), featuring research and research programs that are examples of the sex as a biological variable (SABV) policy in practice. For more information, contact Dr. Francesca Macchiarini, Division of Aging Biology (DAB), 301-827-4013.

WUSA9, the CBS affiliate in the Washington, D.C. area, aired a story on July 3, 2020 about the Dog Aging Project, a longitudinal study of aging in 10,000 companion dogs from across the United States, divided into (1) a Foundation Cohort of ~9,000 dogs (veterinary medical records, owner survey, and genotype information) and (2) a Precision Cohort of ~1,000 dogs (additional annual assessments of health status, metabolome, microbiome, and epigenome). An Intervention Cohort of 500-600 dogs, derived from the Precision Cohort, will participate in the Test of Rapamycin In Dogs (TRIAD) randomized veterinary clinical trial to assess whether rapamycin can delay aging and the onset of age-related conditions in dogs affecting cardiac function, cognition, and activity. Dr. Francesca Macchiarini of NIA’s DAB and Ms. Cindy McConnell of NIA’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) were interviewed and appeared in the story. For more information, contact Dr. Francesca Macchiarini, 301-827-4013.

The 2020 NIH Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) winners were announced and include 16 winners from NIA. The FARE awards provide recognition for the outstanding scientific research performed by intramural postdoctoral fellows.

2020 FARE Winners are as follows:

  1. Sara Bandres-Ciga, Laboratory of Neurogenetics
  2. Luis Bonet Ponce, Laboratory of Neurogenetics
  3. Eleonora Duregon, Translational Gerontology Branch
  4. Erden Eren, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation
  5. Ali Herman, Laboratory of Genetics and Genomics
  6. Roger (Jake) Mullins, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation
  7. Craig Myrum, Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience
  8. Laura Pomatto, Translational Gerontology Branch
  9. Botong Shen, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences
  10. Amanda Stock, Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology
  11. Shuaikun Su, Laboratory of Genetics and Genomics
  12. Chongkui Sun, Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology
  13. Xin Wang, Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology
  14. Caio Yokoyama, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation
  15. Jing Zhang, Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology
  16. Xuan Sharon Zhang, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences

The 2020 NIH Virtual Postbac Poster Day was held in April 2020. The NIH Office of Intramural Training and Education (OITE) recognized nine NIA postbacs who were ranked in the top 20% of all presenters by the judges.

Recognized postbacs are as follows:

  1. Sydney Modrow, Comparative Medicine Section
  2. Jackson Roberts, Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience
  3. Alyssa Rodriguez, Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience
  4. Stephanie Lazo, Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences
  5. Kyle Cochran, Laboratory of Genetics and Genomics
  6. Simon Kwon, Laboratory of Genetics and Genomics
  7. Sophie Li, Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology
  8. Abigail Corkum, Translational Gerontology Branch
  9. Yoo Jin Jung, Translational Gerontology Branch

The Women’s Scientist Advisors (WSA) Awards will be held virtually in September 2020 (exact date TBD) and will honor awardees Dr. Lori Beason-Held, Staff Scientist, Laboratory of Behavioral Neuroscience (LBN), and Dr. Marina Weiler, Postdoctoral Fellow, LBN, with the Excellence in Research Award. Also honored will be winners Dr. Mayuri Tanaka, Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow, Translational Gerontology Branch (TGB), who will receive the Promising Postdoctoral Fellow Award and Drs. Achour Achouak, Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow, Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Immunology (LMBI), and Isabel Beerman, Stadtman Investigator, TGB, who will receive Research Recognition Awards.

Staff Changes

Dr. Audie Atienza left his position as a program officer in the Individual Behavioral Processes Branch of the Division of Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) on August 17 to join the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) as a Senior Program Director in the Division of Clinical Innovation. At NCATS, Dr. Atienza will be leading digital health, telemedicine/mobile health, and data science initiatives with the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) (e.g., National Center for Data to Health, National COVID Cohort Collaborative). His NIA colleagues congratulate him on this new opportunity and look forward to working with him in his new role.

Dr. Paul Barrett joined the Division of Neuroscience (DN) as a Program Director in the Neurobiology of Aging and Neurodegeneration Branch. Dr. Barrett comes to NIA from the Office of Strategic Coordination (The Common Fund) in the NIH Office of the Director where he was a health specialist since 2016. During this time Dr. Barrett conducted in-depth program evaluations, handled scientific communications, and helped develop new funding opportunities for multiple Common Fund programs. Dr. Barrett received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Vanderbilt University, and his thesis research focused on how the structural and cholesterol binding properties of the amyloid precursor protein impact Aβ generation in Alzheimer’s disease using techniques such as NMR spectroscopy and confocal microscopy. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh where his research focused on how α-synuclein interacts with the mitochondrial protein import machinery and how these interactions can promote dopaminergic cell death in Parkinson’s disease in vitro, in the rodent brain, and in human tissue.

Dr. Mustapha Bouhrara has been selected as an Earl Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (LCI). Dr. Bouhrara will work under the direction of Dr. Josephine Egan, Senior Investigator and Chief of LCI, and will oversee the Magnetic Resonance Physics of Aging and Dementia (MRPAD) Unit. Dr. Bouhrara earned his Ph.D. in Biophysics and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in 2012 from Blaise Pascal University of Clermont-Ferrand, France where he studied magnetic resonance (MR) physics and signal processing, developing methodology for rapid and quantitative MR imaging. Dr. Bouhrara joined the LCI at NIA in Dr. Richard Spencer’s section where he completed his postdoctoral training and later became a Research Fellow. In 2018, Dr. Bouhrara was promoted to Staff Scientist in LCI. His Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator appointment was effective on May 10, 2020.

Dr. Dave Frankowski is a new Health Specialist in DN’s Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience Branch where he supports program officers across the branch areas of cognitive neuroscience, affective neuroscience, and sensory and motor disorders of aging. Prior to joining NIA, Dr. Frankowski served on the science writing and data management teams at Rose Li and Associates (RLA) where he developed advanced documents to move science forward (e.g., literature reviews, meeting reports, and public-facing documents) and delivered high-level research analysis and project management support for underlying research projects. His work included support for NIA, the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS), the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). Dr. Frankowski also developed the technical architecture that RLA used to support data management for its clients. Dr. Frankowski conducted his postdoctoral research and managed a large collection of experimental data sets at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. His research focused on mechanisms of cue-related behavior and their role in obesity and tobacco use. Dr. Frankowski received his Ph.D. in neuroscience and MS in psychology from the University of Georgia and a BS in psychology from the University of California at San Diego.

On May 26, 2020, long-time NIA colleague Dr. Jonathan W. King, was appointed Senior Scientific Advisor to the Director of BSR. In this capacity, Dr. King will serve on the BSR leadership team, advising on strategic priorities for the Division and providing leadership — both within and beyond NIA — on cross-cutting and emerging new initiatives in the behavioral and social sciences, including efforts to enhance the rigor and reproducibility of research results. Dr. King received his B.A. in English literature from Yale University and his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. His post-doctoral work in cognitive neuroscience at the Department of Cognitive Science at UCSD focused on language processing and working memory in both younger and older adults. Dr. King later joined the faculty in the Department of Psychological Sciences and the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He joined the Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes (BBBP) Integrated Review Group at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) at NIH as a member of the 2006 CSR Internship class, and in 2007 he became a program director in NIA’s BSR. Dr. King manages a research portfolio on cognitive epidemiology and cognitive interventions as well as molecular and behavior genetics. He recently served as acting chief for the Individual and Behavioral Processes Branch within BSR. Dr. King was formerly the NIH Project Scientist for the ACTIVE clinical trial and is currently the project scientist for ten cooperative agreements including the Health and Retirement Study. He has represented the division and the institute on several trans-NIH programs, and he is also currently the co-Coordinator for the NIH Science of Behavior Change Common Fund effort.

Dr. Holly A. Massett has joined the Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) as the Senior Advisor on Clinical Research Recruitment and Engagement and oversees the implementation of NIA’s National Strategy for the Recruitment and Participation in Alzheimer's and Related Dementias Clinical Research. Dr. Massett has over 25 years of professional experience in program evaluation, consumer research, and social marketing. Prior to joining NIA in March 2019, she spent 15 years at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) working with the early and late phase treatment clinical trial network systems to develop and apply systematic accrual practices to support challenging trials. She also spent eight years as the Associate Director of NCI’s Office of Market Research and Evaluation. Prior to serving in the federal government, Dr. Massett was Vice President of Health Research at Porter Novelli and held senior research positions at RTI International and the Academy for Educational Development. She has overseen research for national health campaigns sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the March of Dimes, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Massett received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in health communication with a secondary emphasis in intercultural communication and anthropology.

Melanie McFarland is a recently onboarded Administrative Assistant with the DEA, where she supports NIA staff in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) production process. She converted to this position from her time as a Pathways Intern with the Administrative Management Branch (AMB). She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2020 with a B.S. in public health science. Her areas of interest during her undergraduate years included viewing mental health as an urgent public health issue as well as health policy. This inspired her senior colloquium, which included creating a grant for a school-based mental health intervention serving at-risk Latino youth in California. She hopes to further her experience with public health by serving alongside scientists and administrators at the NIH.

Alexandra Mitchell is an onsite contractor at NIA in the role of a Clinical Protocol Coordinator. Her work includes supporting NIA’s National Strategy for the Recruitment and Participation in Alzheimer's and Related Dementias Clinical Research through the development of resources to increase the inclusion of diverse cohorts. Among her current projects are literature reviews and the tracking and analysis of NIA’s clinical trials portfolio for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Alexandra graduated from the University of Virginia in 2017 with a B.A. in biology and cognitive science with a neuroscience concentration. Prior to joining NIA, her research focused on cooperative behavior, neural plasticity, and the cellular architecture of neurons in flies. Working under the mentorship of Dr. Barry Condron in the university’s Department of Biology, Alexandra advanced research into diverse areas of neurobiology, which has fueled her commitment to the study of neurodegenerative disorders.

Dr. Viviana Perez Montes has joined NIA’s Division of Aging Biology (DAB). She now has the cell biology portfolio in DAB, previously overseen by Jose Velazquez. Dr. Montes received her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences in 2004 at the Medical School of the University of Chile under Dr. Felipe Sierra’s mentorship. She then moved to San Antonio, TX to pursue her postdoctoral training under Dr. Arlan Richardson at the Barshop Institute for Aging and Longevity Studies. In 2011, she was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Oregon State University, and as a Principal Investigator at the Linus Pauling Institute. In 2017 she was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. During her research career, her research interests were focused on the study of the oxidative stress theory of aging, the role of proteostasis in long-lived organisms using a comparative biology approach including redox state in naked mole rats, and, more recently, the role of Nrf2 in mediating the anti-senescence effects of rapamycin. She has published 43 papers in peer-reviewed journals, four reviews, and three book chapters. Dr. Perez has taught courses on biochemistry, metabolism, and mechanisms of aging. She has trained 21 undergraduate students, five graduate students, and one postdoctoral fellow.

Dr. Devon Oskvig is a new Program Officer in DN’s Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience Branch. Dr. Oskvig joins NIA by way of CSR where she was the Scientific Review Officer for the Cognition and Perception study section. Dr. Oskvig received a Ph.D. in lifespan cognitive neuroscience from Georgetown University, where she studied prenatal risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders using rodent models to assess behavioral and anatomical changes in offspring born to mothers exposed to immune challenges during pregnancy. Dr. Oskvig completed her post-doctoral training in the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Intramural Research Program, where she continued preclinical research on the relationship between maternal immune system activation during various stages of fetal development and acute and long-term immunological, molecular, and behavioral outcomes. Her research aimed to identify novel cellular and molecular mechanisms by which maternal infection alters the fetal environment with consequential effects on central nervous system function and behavior in rodent offspring. Following her post-doc, Dr. Oskvig was a military medical research consultant with a large government consulting firm, providing program management and scientific expertise to several entities across the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in the psychological health, traumatic brain injury, and chronic pain space. She assessed the state of the science and conducted portfolio analyses; identified research gaps and informed research investments; and disseminated clinical best practices across the DoD and VA health care systems to improve the provision of care for Service members, Veterans, caregivers, and families.

Capt. Kathy Perdue, previous Animal Program Director (Staff Scientist/Facility Head) in the Comparative Medicine Section (CMS) of NIA’s Intramural Research Program (IRP), retired from the Commissioned Corps on June 1, 2020 after a 27-year career with the NIH, nearly 10 of which were spent at NIA. Dr. Perdue received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University in 1983 and became an American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) Diplomate in 2000. Dr. Perdue began her career with the NIH in 1993 as a Clinical Veterinarian at the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) where she was promoted to Chief in 1996. In 1997, Dr. Perdue joined the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) where she worked as a Facility Veterinarian for four years and was then promoted to Deputy Animal Program Director. From 2007-2010, Dr. Perdue was the Principal Deputy Animal Program Director and Chief at NIAID. Prior to joining NIA, she was the Rodent Surveillance and Import/Export Officer for the Comparative Medicine Branch at NIAID. During her career with the NIA CMS, Dr. Perdue established a phenomenal program that supported IRP research and was able to achieve and maintain Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) accreditation and move the quality of animal care to the top ranks in the country.

Dr. Nadezda Radoja joined NIA in August 2020 as a Senior Advisor for Regulatory Science in DN. She has over 20 years of experience in various research and administrative roles in academia, the NIH, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Prior to joining NIA, Dr. Radoja held a Team Leader position at the FDA in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). In this role she led a team of nine scientific reviewers, responsible for premarket applications and mandated post-market studies for in vitro diagnostic devices and implantable cardiovascular devices. During her tenure at the FDA, Dr. Radoja led over 200 regulatory submissions including face-to-face meetings with industry, academia, and professional society organizations. In addition to her regular duties, she served as an advisor to the FDA Senior Medical Advisor for Digital Health, for the development of a novel PreCert regulatory program intended to revolutionize digital health regulation, in response to the 21st Century Cures Act. Dr. Radoja has extensive research expertise in molecular and cell biology and immunology, studying mechanisms of cellular senescence, DNA repair and cellular differentiation. She completed her Ph.D. in molecular biology at the University of Belgrade and at New York University Medical Center. She received her post-doctoral training at Harvard University, NCI, and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). After completing her post-doctoral training, Dr. Radoja held technology transfer specialist positions at NCI and at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. In these roles she led, negotiated, and executed a wide range of technology transfer agreements; worked on developing patent strategies; educated scientists on the rules, regulations, and laws governing technology transfer; and interacted with outside organizations, such as Technology Development Corporation (Maryland) organization (TEDCO) and angel investors, to generate future partnerships including sponsored research, licenses and other collaborations.

Mujaahida Shakur, MPH, has recently joined the DEA as a Health Specialist in the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) program. Ms. Shakur will work on projects that support NIA’s National Strategy for the Recruitment and Participation in Alzheimer's and Related Dementias Clinical Research, including building community support to increase enrollment of minority and underserved participants. Mujaahida received her MPH in May of this year from Emory University in behavioral sciences and health education. She previously earned her BA in English and psychology from Wesleyan University. After graduating from Wesleyan, she worked for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) for two years as a post baccalaureate fellow, auditing clinical trials and executing site initiation visits. Mujaahida has several years of experience in clinical trials research, program evaluation, and policy research, as well as a decade of experience in education, working in a variety of roles to help improve educational outcomes for students.

Dr. Janine Simmons joined BSR on May 26, 2020, as Chief of the Individual Behavioral Processes Branch (IBP). In IBP, Dr. Simmons will lead a scientific team supporting basic and translational research programs on psychological, behavioral, and interpersonal processes of relevance to aging. This includes research on mechanisms of behavior change and behavioral interventions; cognitive and emotional functioning; behavior genetics and sociogenomics; technology and human factors; family and interpersonal relationships; and integrative biobehavioral research on the mechanistic pathways linking social and behavioral factors to health in mid-life and older age. Dr. Simmons attended Yale University and the UCLA School of Medicine, where she obtained her M.D. and Ph.D. in neuroscience. She completed a residency in general and adult psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship within the NIMH Intramural Program. Her graduate and post-doctoral research focused on neural circuits underlying motivation and reward processing. Most recently, Dr. Simmons served as the Chief of the Affect, Social Behavior & Social Cognition Program within the Division of Neuroscience & Basic Behavioral Science at NIMH from 2008-2020. While at NIMH, Dr. Simmons served on NIMH’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) working group, taking the lead for the “Social Processes” domain. Dr. Simmons also served as the NIMH representative to OBSSR, OppNet, and the Common Fund Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) initiative. With OBSSR, she is continuing to co-Chair the Behavioral Ontology Development Working Group. Dr. Simmons has a strong interest in precise, quantitative, unbiased measurements of behavior in real-world settings.

Sharna Tingle, MPH, joined DN as a Health Specialist in the Population and Genetics Branch. Prior to joining NIA, Ms. Tingle worked as a Program Coordinator in NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis in support of the Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs). She also worked as a Program Analyst and Cancer Research Training Award Fellow in NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences to support implementation of the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy. Sharna received a master’s degree in public health genetics from the University of Pittsburgh where she researched, as a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Minority Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow, the genetic variation in the 1q31 region and association with systemic lupus erythematosus.

NIA’s IRP welcomes Dr. Brian J. Wilgenburg as the Animal Program Director (Staff Scientist/Facility Head) in the Comparative Medicine Section (CMS). Dr. Wilgenburg received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Ohio State University and completed a Laboratory Animal Medicine Residency at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center that resulted in a master’s degree in comparative medicine. Thereafter, he passed the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine board exam to become an ACLAM Diplomate. Dr. Wilgenburg has worked for NINDS at the Porter Building Shared Animal Facility for the past 12 years. He has a passion for supporting research through veterinary medicine and has worked with a wide range of species, including primates, rabbits, zebrafish, and transgenic rodents. He has extensive experience in all aspects of the biomedical laboratory animal research field and assisting investigators with their research.

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Institute-sponsored Meetings, Workshops, and Conferences

Past Meetings

NASEM Committee on National Statistics Spring Seminar on “Non-Traditional Sampling Methods for Population Aging Research on Small Populations” – May 6, 2020 – Virtual

NASEM organized a meeting on sampling methods for rare populations of interest for aging research. The 2019 BSR NACA review strongly recommends more and improved research on health disparities in aging, including the inclusion of diverse populations in adequate numbers for statistical power, to study within- and between-group variation, at multiple levels of analysis. BSR sought input from the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) on how to address the challenges of conducting population aging studies with small population groups that cannot be efficiently accomplished using area-based probability sampling methods. Such groups might include racial/ethnic minorities (such as Asian Americans); sexual and gender minorities; and groups identified by socioeconomic characteristics (such as low education and poverty), different U.S. geographical areas (such as rural areas, areas hard hit by the opioid epidemic, or areas where life expectancy is low); and the older contingent workforce. Invited experts presented on different methods for surveying small, hard-to-reach populations (e.g., venue-based sampling, time-location sampling, web-based sampling, and Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS)); and on the issues to be considered before choosing a sampling method when the goal is to generate probability samples. Discussion focused on: target population choice dictating the appropriate sampling techniques; combining RDS and probability sampling methods; opportunities for multiple studies to collaborate and coordinate on screening; and the applicability to older populations of different sampling techniques.

For additional information, contact Dr. Georgeanne Patmios, Georgeanne.Patmios@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

NIH "INCLUDE" Project Clinical Trials in Down Syndrome for Co-occurring Conditions across the Lifespan Virtual Workshop – May 7-8, 2020 – Virtual

As part of the trans-NIH INCLUDE (INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE) Project, NIA led the planning and management of the May 7th and 8th virtual workshop on Clinical Trials in Down Syndrome for Co-occurring Conditions across the Lifespan. The workshop, co-sponsored by NIA and the Office of the Director, addresses one of the three components of the INCLUDE Project, which aims to include individuals with Down syndrome (DS) in existing clinical trials. During the workshop, researchers, advocates, and self-advocates discussed what is known and the research and knowledge gaps around current interventions and clinical trials that will address co-occurring conditions in individuals with DS, from childhood (sleep apnea, cardiopulmonary conditions, ADHD, speech and language processing) to older adults (type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.). Recordings from the virtual workshop are available through the NIH Videocast site (https://videocast.nih.gov/).

For more information, contact Dr. Laurie Ryan, ryanl@mail.nih.gov.

NASEM Committee on Population Spring Seminar on “Persistent and Large Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities: Beyond the Role of SES” – May 18, 2020 – Virtual

NASEM organized a meeting on persistent and large racial/ethnic health disparities beyond the role of socioeconomic status (SES). The National Advisory Council on Aging Review of the NIA Division of Behavioral and Social Research notes, “the shocking extent of growing SES and regional differences in mortality and life expectancy, as well as persistent racial inequalities, have been documented, and increasing understanding of the sources and approaches to ameliorating these needs to be a major research focus going forward”. To address these disparities, the review committee encouraged research to move past documenting differences to research identifying mechanisms operating throughout the life course that create or prevent disparities. The review encouraged deeper examination of macro-social trends including growing income inequality, structural racism, and immigration. This meeting of experts reviewed the state-of-the-art science on this subject, including sessions on race/ethnicity moving beyond socioeconomic status, life-course stress and discrimination, intergenerational mobility, and immigration, intended to advance research in these areas. Four main themes of research needs emerged from the workshop: rigorous models of how social inequity is embodied in poor health outcomes to inform public policies; intersectional research to understand the multiple dimensions affecting subgroups of racial and ethnic minorities; various activities to improve data to study minority health; and appreciation that the biological expression of racism is complex, with nuanced outcomes linked to vigilance, resilience, upward mobility, and intergenerational mobility.

For additional information, contact Dr. Frank Bandiera, Frank.Bandiera@nih.gov, 301-496-3136.

NASEM Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences Spring Seminar on “Affective and Motivational Targets for Intervention in the Context of Behavior Change" – June 16, 2020 – Virtual

This meeting focused on affective and motivational targets for intervention. The goal of this meeting was to examine what work has been done or would need to be done to demonstrate how individual-level affective and motivational processes explain individual variability in the adoption and maintenance of health behaviors (including physical activity), how these processes may differ across the life course, and how knowledge of affective and motivational targets (i.e., processes we can manipulate) and mechanisms may inform translational research and the development of prevention and intervention approaches to optimize health behaviors over the life course.

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

Research Centers Collaborative Network (RCCN) on Resilience and Reserve: Biology of Aging and Translational Research – July 1, 2020 – Virtual

This webinar explored the geroscience perspective on resilience and reserve as well as the NIA-funded research in the biology of aging. Dr. Nathan LeBrasseur from the Mayo Clinic presented the latest data from his work funded under DAB’s program on Short-term Measurements of Physical Resilience as a Predictor of Healthspan in Mice.

For additional information, contact Dr. Ron Kohanski, 301-496-6402 and Dr. Francesca Macchiarini, 301-827-4013.

National Research Summit on Care, Services, and Supports for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers – July 10, July 21, and August 13, 2020 – Virtual

After the in-person event planned for March 2020 was canceled due to physical distancing guidelines, NIA hosted this virtual summit series with support from the FNIH. The goal of the summit series was to bring together stakeholders with a variety of perspectives to identify evidence-based programs, strategies, approaches, and other research that can be used to improve the care, services, and supports of persons with dementia and their care partners. This summit differs from other Alzheimer’s disease (AD) summits as it focused on research to improve the quality of care and outcomes across care settings, including the lived experience, of persons with dementia and their care partners

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

The 25th Annual NIA/IRP Scientific Retreat – July 20-21, 2020 – Virtual

The two-day, NIA-sponsored event featured two large poster sessions, brief talks from IRP scientists, and a keynote address from Dr. Sunil Kumar, Provost at the Johns Hopkins University who presented a talk titled “Scientific research in the coming decade: an economic perspective.”

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

The 2nd annual National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)/National Institute on Aging (NIA) Special Lecture Series – August 27, 2020 – Virtual

The invited speaker, Dr. Linda Fried, Dean of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, presented her concept, which explains how a third demographic dividend could be created if there is an investment in building health and opportunities for longer lives.

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

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE GENETICS GLOBAL SYMPOSIUM – September 2020 – Virtual

In response to uncertainties related to COVID-19, the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) became a virtual conference. NIA together with the Alzheimer’s Disease Sequencing Project investigators had initially planned a face-to-face pre-meeting at the AAIC in Amsterdam. Instead, NIA, in cooperation with AAIC, is hosting the event virtually through the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Global Symposium https://www.alz.org/aaic/about/overview.asp. The event targets a broad audience that encompasses basic scientists, translational medicine, and clinicians. Talks incorporate topics such as global genetic studies in AD, genetic pathways that have been identified, why they are important, and the implications of the findings for clinicians and public health. The goal of this symposium is to inform the AD community of the advances made in global genetics and molecular biology of the disease and to facilitate conversation about using these findings in clinical practice and translational research. All sessions have been pre-recorded. Beginning September 1, recordings were made available globally at no charge for anyone to listen. The webinar series (~12 hours) is available for watching, and a live Q&A discussion will be held on September 22, 2020. The recorded session will be retained at NIAGADS for an indefinite amount of time to be made available as a teaching tool.

For more information, contact Dr. Marilyn Miller, millerm@nia.nih.gov.

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Future Meetings

Joint Meeting of the ADRC and IDDRC – September 18, 2020 – Virtual

NIA will host the joint meeting of the NIA-supported Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers (ADRCs) and the NICHD-supported Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Centers (IDDRCs) on September 18, 2020. The NIA-sponsored meeting will be virtual. The overarching purpose of this workshop is to convene leaders of the ADRCs and IDDRCs to discuss assessment of cognition and other measures related to Alzheimer's disease in people with Down syndrome. Specifically, this meeting will bring together directors and administrators from those academic sites where there is an overlap between the two Centers to discuss coordination of outreach and clinical visits for individuals with Down syndrome, to improve and increase research to better understand Alzheimer's disease pathology in adults with Down syndrome.

For more information, contact Dr. Nina Silverberg, silverbergn@mail.nih.gov.

Expanding the Therapeutic Modalities for AD/ADRD – September 21-22, 2020 – Virtual

The NIA-hosted virtual workshop on Expanding the Therapeutic Modalities for AD/ADRD will be held September 21-22, 2020. The goals of the 1.5-day workshop are to: (1) synthesize what is known and not known about therapeutic modalities; (2) discuss challenges to overcome technology and delivery; and (3) consider recommendations and future directions. Organized by the Division of Neuroscience’s Translational Research Branch, the workshop will convene leaders from academia, biopharmaceutical companies, and federal Government agencies.

For more information, contact Zane Martin, zane.martin@nih.gov.

Bioinformatic Exploration Hematology Cohort Data – September 21, 2020 – Virtual

Hosted by the Stimulating Hematology Investigation: New Endeavors (SHINE) Initiative (NIDDK, NIA, and NHLBI), this workshop is aimed to develop new partnerships between data science investigators and investigators curating clinical cohorts. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss state-of-the art tools for identification of disease pathways, particularly in non-malignant hematologic diseases, and to identify the limitations inherent in existing tools. We expect the development of new tools for genotype-phenotype analyses and disease pathway prediction, especially in rare disease cohorts, will provide unique insights into a range of inherited and acquired underlying diseases including the hemoglobinopathies, porphyrias, hereditary iron disorders and bone marrow failure disorders. Registration: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/news/meetings-workshops/2020/bioinformatic-exploration-hematology-cohort-data-webinar.

For additional information, contact Dr. Rebecca Fuldner, fuldnerr@nia.nih.gov and Dr. John Williams, williamsj6@mail.nih.gov.

Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to Improve Healthcare Delivery In Older Adults – September 23-24, 2020 – Virtual

Machine learning is poised to improve the accuracy of disease identification, course of treatment, and prognoses across disparate patient populations. These improvements can result in both superior health outcomes and cost savings throughout the healthcare system. However, systemic barriers (e.g., limited or no access to electronic health records) and methodological barriers (e.g., inadequate algorithm validation) can impede this progress. Thus, the goal of the workshop is to identify research gaps and opportunities in machine learning to accelerate its successful implementation to improve healthcare delivery for older adults.

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

Breaking Data Silos and Administrative Hurdles for Big Data Access, Data Integration, and Infrastructure Needs for Data Science Research – September 29-30, 2020 – Virtual

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

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

Understanding the Impact of the Exposome on the Risk of AD/ADRD to Advance Disease Prevention – November 2020 – Virtual

The NIA Division of Neuroscience will host a virtual meeting, titled, “Understanding the Impact of the Exposome on the Risk of AD/ADRD to Advance Disease Prevention” in November 2020. The purpose of this meeting is to convene academic researchers with expertise in various aspects of AD research and environmental sciences with cross disciplinary expertise in epidemiology, data science, mechanistic and clinical research, to evaluate the current evidence on the role of the exposome (chemical, physical, lifestyle, psychosocial, and socioeconomic environments) in the mechanisms of AD risk and resilience. In addition, the aims of this NIA-sponsored meeting are to: (i) identify research opportunities for developing methods to quantify the impact of the exposome; (ii) gain deep mechanistic understanding of how genes and the environment interacts within diverse populations and lead to disparate health outcomes; and (iii) develop a life-course approach to AD prevention.

For more information, contact Dr. Suzana Petanceska, petanceskas@nia.nih.gov.

When does Aging Begin? GSA Preconference workshop – November 4, 2020 – Virtual

In research on the biology of aging, and in geroscience, we are often concerned with questions such as: When is aging detectable? Is there a point of no return in aging? Is it possible to slow the rate of aging? This workshop will address a different, but related, question: “When does aging begin?” The objectives are to air hypotheses about the start and origins of aging in the life course and to discuss how these hypotheses might be tested experimentally. There are multiple theories on the underlying causes of aging. These include (oxidative) damage accumulation, antagonistic pleiotropy, disposable soma, (neuro)endocrine control of the pace of aging, mutation accumulation, rate of living, and replicative senescence. Some of these might be advanced if we knew when aging begins. Investigators from within and outside the field of aging biology will make brief presentations on their hypotheses and then challenge each other’s proposals through a guided panel discussion. One or more theories on when aging begins, with concepts about experimental support, might emerge from these discussions. As with any theory of aging, the outcomes might suggest new areas of research.

For additional information, contact Dr. Ronald Kohanski, 301-402-0836.

The 12th Annual Baltimore Fellows Symposium (BFS) – November 5, 2020 – Virtual

Dr. Randy Schekman, 2013 Nobel Prize winner and Howard Hughes Institute Investigator and Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology will give the keynote address at the event.

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

Alzheimer’s Biomarkers Consortium – Down Syndrome (ABC-DS) Investigators Meeting – November 12-13, 2020 – Virtual

The NIA-sponsored Alzheimer’s Biomarkers Consortium – Down Syndrome (ABC-DS) Investigators meeting is scheduled for November 12th and 13th, 2020. This kick-off meeting for the newly funded ABC-DS U19 team, will review data collected by the Alzheimer’s Disease in Down Syndrome (ADDS) and Neurodegeneration in Aging Down Syndrome (NiAD) programs — predecessors to the U19 cooperative agreement. In addition, the investigators will discuss ongoing efforts to manage study documents and coordinate outreach and study efforts at various clinical sites.

For more information, contact Dr. Laurie Ryan, ryanl@mail.nih.gov.

mTOR Signaling Pathway, mTOR Inhibitors and Aging: Considerations for Clinical TRIALS – November 17, 2020 – Virtual

Rapamycin is currently the only known pharmacological substance to prolong lifespan in all studied model organisms, including mammals. However, the mechanism through which this occurs is still uncertain. Clinical experience with mTOR inhibitors in oncology and transplantation is extensive, but it is very limited in aging/disease associated with aging. Accordingly, it is important to systematically assess existing evidence to inform future direction for research in the topic area. The workshop will identify key issues for planning phase II clinical trials on effects of mTOR inhibitors on fundamental aging processes. Workshop discussions will briefly review and mTOR signaling pathway, but the main focus of the discussions will be on clinical experience with mTOR inhibitors in cancer and other diseases, lessons learned from previous trials on aging-related outcomes, and key considerations for future trials. This one day-workshop will discuss four broad topics in the agenda: (1) Review methods and preclinical data on mTOR signaling pathway, its role in aging, and potential effects of mTOR inhibition to conditions associated with aging; (2) Review clinical experience with marketed mTOR Inhibitors in cancer and organ transplantation; (3) Discuss clinical experience from trials with mTOR inhibitors on aging indications and their implications for future research; and (4) Address safety and outcomes selection considerations for future trials on effects and efficacy of mTOR inhibitors. The workshop participants will include NIH grantees, NIH staff, and practicing physicians with scientific expertise in geriatrics, oncology, transplantation, translational research, clinical trials methodology, and biostatistics. The agenda includes 14 presentations and panel discussions.

For more information, contact Dr. Irina Sazanova, irina.sazonova@nih.gov, 301-435-3048.

ACCELERATING MEDICINES PARTNERSHIP – ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE (AMP-AD) TARGET DISCOVERY AND PRECLINICAL VALIDATION CONSORTIUM INVESTIGATORS MEETING – December 2020 – Virtual

Investigators from the AMP-AD Target Discovery and Preclinical Validation Consortium (AMP-AD 2.0) will convene to discuss data from the five NIA-funded programs. The goal of the virtual meeting, scheduled for December 2020, is to provide a forum where the research teams can collaborate on the review and proposed analyses of study data, including but not limited to experimental validation of various animal models (mouse and Drosophila) and iPSC, single-cell profiling, and proteomic/metabolomic systems biology. The meeting will include representatives from the research teams as well as stakeholders from the FNIH-managed AMP-AD partnership.

For more information, contact Dr. Suzana Petanceska, petanceskas@nia.nih.gov.

JOINT MEETING OF THE TREAT-AD CENTERS AND THE MODEL-AD, RESILIENCE-AD AND PSYCH-AD INITIATIVES – December 2020 – Virtual

The NIA Division of Neuroscience will host a virtual meeting in December 2020, where program will review and highlight several NIA-funded translational research programs. Specifically, the meeting will include investigators from the TaRget Enablement to Accelerate Therapy Development for Alzheimer’s Disease (TREAT-AD) Centers, the Model Organism Development & Evaluation for Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease (MODEL-AD) consortium, and a few other AD translational programs (e.g., Resilience-AD and Psych-AD).

For more information, contact Dr. Larry Refolo, refolol@nih.gov.

Meeting on Harmonization of Small Cohorts for Lifecourse Research – January 19, 2021 – Virtual

This workshop will serve to promote greater coordination across small to mid-sized longitudinal cohort studies supported by NIA’s BSR. BSR supports many deeply phenotyped longitudinal cohort studies which, collectively, span the full lifecourse. These studies collect rich data on behavioral and psychological processes, often incorporate qualitative experience sampling or daily diary protocols, and frequently include biomarker and neuroimaging assessments. Because multi-cohort projects inherently address the replication question, often allow findings to be extended to new contexts (different age group, different geographic location, etc.), and have greater potential to identify interesting moderators, this workshop will promote greater coordination among these existing longitudinal cohort projects and encourage collaboration toward multi-cohort data integration, construct harmonization, and collaborative publications.

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

Meeting on Non-pharmacological approaches to the Primary Prevention of AD/ADRD – February 2021 – Virtual

Non-pharmacological interventions to prevent age-related AD/ADRD are of great interest to scientists, policy makers, and the public, but long-term prevention trials that would identify these interventions are prohibitively difficult to conduct. Candidate interventions may take place up to four decades before the likely onset of AD/ADRD symptoms; study participants cannot practically be enrolled for that duration of time and identification of individuals who will subsequently develop AD/ADRD is problematic. NIA’s BSR is convening a two-day workshop to address this core methodological challenge in order to support the development of trials that lead to more definitive AD/ADRD prevention messages for policy makers and the general public.

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

NIH Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Capstone Research Conference – February 22-23, 2021 – Virtual

The NIA BSR staff and trans-NIH partners from multiple Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs) are leading development of the SOBC Common Fund Program’s final research conference. We will celebrate 10 years of SOBC Program science advances and accomplishments, highlight innovative examples of mechanisms-focused behavior change science as implemented across a range of fields of interest to multiple ICOs, and bridge the SOBC Program to other initiatives and ICO missions as part of the program goal to sustain the approach after the Common Fund Program ends in fiscal year 2020. To ensure the broadest reach possible, the meeting will be open to the public, recorded, and archived, and will result in a meeting summary. The agenda, speaker information, and a link to registration will be available in the coming months at https://commonfund.nih.gov/behaviorchange.

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

Biology underlying moving and thinking – Summer 2021 – Baltimore, MD

NIA will host a one-day symposium at the Biomedical Research Center (BRC). Several speakers will present their research on the tipping point of cognitive and physical decline, address the issues with tools, and provide and share information. The workshop will create a connection between the IRP and ERP and will bring collaborators together to generate research papers and enhance collaborative efforts.

For additional information, contact Dr. Theresa Tian, qu.tian@nih.gov, 410-558-8232 or Sarah Lewis, sarah.lewis@nih.gov, 667-205-2604.

The 31st Annual Nathan W. Shock Award Lecture – Fall 2021 – Virtual

The Award was created in 1991 to honor Dr. Nathan Shock, the Father of American Gerontology, and was organized in an effort to increase collaborations within the aging research field. The 2020 honorees will be Dr. Steve Horvath, Professor of Biostatistics and Human Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Dr. Morgan Levine, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Epidemiology at Yale University School of Medicine.

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

Towards interventions for healthy aging: Closing the translational gap – 2021 – Baltimore, MD

This workshop was postponed due to COVID-19 and will be rescheduled for 2021. Hosted by NIA, several speakers will present their research on the latest advances in translational medicine relevant to human aging in an effort to help identify knowledge gaps and challenges in developing interventions for extending healthspan during aging.

For additional information, contact Dr. Madhav Thambisetty, thambisettym@mail.nih.gov, 410-558-8572 or Sarah Lewis, sarah.lewis@nih.gov, 667-205-2604.

Symposium on “Targeting Cancer in the Aging” at NCI’s Cancer-Aging Interest Group (CAIG) – 2021 – Format TBD

NCI’s Cancer-Aging Interest Group (CAIG) will organize a symposium on Cancer and Senescence in the Elderly. NIA has been involved in the activities of the CAIG. DAB will participate and organize a session in the symposium. The purpose of this symposium is to increase the awareness of this understudied area and identify gaps in knowledge and future directions of research as it relates to geriatric oncology. The objectives are to (1) identify the molecular mechanisms of aging as a major risk factor in cancer biology; (2) discuss cancer prevention in the elderly, presenting potential trade-offs between cancer and other diseases; and (3) evaluate treatment criteria and tolerability in the elderly.

For additional information, contact Dr. Max Guo, 301-402-7747.

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Content, Media, Outreach, and Meetings

Publications

NIH Professional Judgment Budget for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias for Fiscal Year 2022

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

Web Content

Articles

Announcements

Webinars:

Blog Posts:

MEDIA & OUTREACH

Press Releases and Research Highlights

NIA posted and distributed the following press releases

NIA posted the following featured research

Social Media

E-Mail / E-Alerts

  • Sent 110 emails from 5/1/2020–7/31/2020 to the following email lists:
    • NIA Exercise and Physical Activity Tips: 30,013 subscribers
    • Healthy Aging Highlights: 33,484 subscribers
    • Alzheimer’s News & Announcements: 23,946 subscribers
    • Alzheimer’s Recruitment Resources: 2,190 subscribers
    • Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials: 16,617 subscribers
    • NIA for Caregivers: 14,140 subscribers
    • Inside NIA Blog: 18,352 subscribers
    • NIA Funding Opportunities: 11,089 subscribers

Meetings and Exhibits

Meetings with Professional Organizations

  • Trans-NIH Meeting with Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GDSF), April 2020 – Dr. Richard Hodes and Dr. Marie Bernard, along with NIA staff and representatives from several NIH ICs, met with GDSF leadership to discuss trends in Down syndrome research, the NIH INCLUDE (INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE) Project, and potential areas of collaboration.
  • AARP/Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Webinar, May 2020 – Dr. Marie Bernard presented information on the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia for women, specifically addressing relevant science from NIA. Dr. Bernard also participated in a follow-up panel discussion with other leaders.
  • NIA-VA Partnership Meeting, June 2020 – Dr. Richard Hodes and Dr. Marie Bernard, along with NIA staff, convened with VA leaders to discuss both new and ongoing collaborations between NIA and VA, as well as programmatic updates from the two agencies.
  • American Urological Association (AUA), June 2020 – Dr. Richard Hodes and Dr. Marie Bernard, along with NIA staff, met with the AUA to discuss NIA administrative updates and relevant NIA-funded science advances, as well as research priorities and recommendations put forth by AUA.
  • NINDS Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (ADRD) NGO Roundtable, June 2020 – Dr. Richard Hodes, Dr. Marie Bernard, and NIA staff participated in a large stakeholder meeting hosted by NINDS. Various groups from the ADRD field, along with NINDS and NIA staff, shared programmatic updates and discussed areas for increased collaboration.
  • Butler-Williams Scholars Program, July 2020 – The Butler-Williams Scholars Program offered early-career investigators a comprehensive introduction to aging research facilitated by NIA leaders and staff. The program featured seminars on core NIA research areas, informational sessions on grants and funding opportunities, and topical discussions.
  • National Research Summit on Care, Services, and Supports for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers, July-August 2020 – The 2020 Summit was held across three virtual meetings in July and August. These meetings brought together a variety of constituents from the dementia care space, including researchers, health care professionals, caregivers, service providers, and persons living with dementia. A variety of topics were discussed, with the common aim of identifying research gaps and opportunities to improve care, services, and support for persons living with dementia and their caregivers.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease Bypass Budget Stakeholder Webinar, August 2020 – Dr. Melinda Kelley, Director of NIA’s Office of Legislation, Policy, and International Activities, and Ms. Melissa McGowan, Chief of the Outreach and Education Branch of NIA’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison, held a webinar to discuss the Alzheimer’s Disease Professional Judgment Budget, or “Bypass Budget,” in greater depth and to answer stakeholder questions.

Exhibits and Conferences

For more information about NIA’s conferences or exhibits, contact the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Ph. 301-496-1752. For more information about NIA’s professional meetings, contact Dr. Melinda Kelley, Director, Office of Legislation, Policy, and International Activities, Ph. 301-451-8835.

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New Notices and Initiatives Relevant to the National Institute on Aging

For "Notices" and "Research Initiatives" with NIA’s participation or interest, please visit these two websites: http://www.nia.nih.gov/research/funding and http://www.nia.nih.gov/research/dea/nih-funding-policies (please look for "Recent Changes in NIH Policy" on this web link).

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