• February 4, 2014

    A new online report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) highlights recent progress in NIH-supported Alzheimer’s disease research.

    Prepared annually by NIA, the latest report—2012-2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Progress Report: Seeking the Earliest Interventions—discusses the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, describes new investments and research priorities, and summarizes research in several areas:

    • biology of Alzheimer’s and the aging brain
    • biomarkers for Alzheimer’s progression
    • genes that may play a role in the disease
    • risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia
    • advances in detecting Alzheimer’s disease
    • translational research to identify and test new drugs
    • potential new therapies to treat, delay, or prevent Alzheimer’s
    • caregiving
    • gender and racial differences in the impact of Alzheimer’s

    Other features include a video introduction by NIA Director Dr. Richard Hodes, a primer on Alzheimer’s disease and the brain, tables listing NIA-funded clinical trials, and videos that further explain critical areas of study.

    Read the report online: 2012-2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Progress Report: Seeking the Earliest Interventions

  • January 22, 2014

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.Dr. David Schlessinger shares reflections on the birth of a new science, molecular biology, and his more than 50 years in genetics research. "When I first entered my mentor Jim Watson’s office as a graduate student in ancient times (i.e., 1957), I saw a slip of paper fastened by scotch tape to the fluorescent light fixture over his desk. On it he had clearly printed in ink: DNA --> RNA --> protein," writes Dr. Schlessinger, who works in NIA's Intramural, or in-house, Research Program.

    Read the full blog post: 50 years in genetics

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • January 17, 2014

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.Have you seen the new rules for investigators using NIA biological resources?

    Dr. Nancy Nadon, Program Officer of the Biological Resources Program and Chief of the Biological Resources Branch in the Division of Aging Biology explains the rules in a new blog post. "The quick summary of these changes? Biological resources are now provided at no cost to researchers, but the eligibility criteria for use of the resources have necessarily been tightened," she explains.

    Read the full blog post: Eligibility criteria change: NIA scientific resources

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • January 16, 2014

    The Winter 2014 issue of LINKS: Minority Research and Training is now available!

    In the latest issue:

    • Learn about NIA’s annual summer institute on aging research, now named the Butler-Williams Scholars Program, and watch video of four 2013 participants reflecting on their interests and experiences
    • Find out how to apply for the 2014 Butler-Williams Scholars Program
    • Meet Dr. Carl Hill, new Director of NIA’s Office of Special Populations
    • Read about the recent NIA Advances in Geroscience summit focusing the interplay between chronic diseases and aging, and watch video from the summit
    • Subscribe to the Inside NIA blog and read a recent post from Dr. Marie Bernard about supporting researchers from diverse backgrounds

    New to LINKS? The twice-yearly newsletter is part of NIA’s initiative to address health disparities and support scientists representing underserved populations. Subscribing is easy.

    Also visit NIA’s Minority Aging and Health Disparities web page, where you’ll find information about the Health Disparities Research Persons Network, training opportunities, and more.

  • January 8, 2014

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.Program officers at the National Institute on Aging, and across the NIH, ensure that we are funding the best research projects, career development, and research training in the areas of science they cover. However, some grant applicants are not quite sure when to get in touch with their program officer, or how to get the best from their program officer.

    In a new blog post, Dr. John Haaga, Deputy Director of NIA's Division of Behavioral and Social Research, explains how program officers can advise potential applicants before they even submit a grant application. "Program officers assist you throughout the funding process, after you get a grant as well as when your idea is still just… an idea," he explains.

    Read the full blog post: What can your NIA program officer do for you? Part 1—before submitting your application

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • January 7, 2014

    Subject: Dr. Rita Effros February 5 at the GeroScience Interest Group (GSIG) winter seminar
    When: Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Where: Lipsett Amphitheater, Building 10, NIH
    Title: "Human T Cell Aging: Telomere Loss, Inflammation and Links to Disease"

    The Trans-NIH GeroScience Interest Group (GSIG) cordially invites you to its winter seminar, featuring Dr. Rita Effros. Dr. Effros is a Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine in the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles. She directs research programs in the areas of aging and HIV disease, with emphasis on immunity to infection. Both aging and HIV disease are characterized by the loss of immune control over viral infections and by increased cancer incidence. In turn, these are affected by T cell dysfunction. Dr. Effros and colleagues have been at the forefront of studies on replicative senescence, telomeres and telomerase underlying this dysfunction. They have documented the existence of populations of T cells that increase with age and with HIV disease progression and which have overlapping molecular characteristics. They also examine the functional aspects of senescent T cells that may contribute to multiple pathologies of aging and AIDS, and are attempting to reverse or retard the process of replicative senescence in human T cells through manipulation of telomerase activity.

    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. If you are interested in learning more, please visit the GSIG web site (

    The seminar will be videocast at and archived in the GSIG web site.

    Sign Language Interpreters will be provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact Dr. Alison Deckhut at or at 301/496-7551 or Dr. Ron Kohanski at or at 301/496-6402.

  • December 23, 2013

    The Fall 2013 issue of Connections, the e-newsletter from NIA’s Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center, is now available!

    In the latest issue:

    • Read about two major clinical trials coming up, an Alzheimer’s prevention study and an insulin therapy trial
    • Get the latest National Alzheimer’s Project Act news from the NAPA Advisory Council’s December meeting
    • Watch a video of the recent Geroscience Summit
    • Check out the latest NIA-funded research results and other research news

    Read the current issue of Connections. Want to get future issues of Connections and other Alzheimer’s and aging research news by e-mail? Sign up today! Or follow us on Twitter @Alzheimers_NIH.

  • December 18, 2013

    Cartoon of four people in conversation.The NIA recently released a set of new funding opportunities for palliative care research. These opportunities "highlight to the scientific community our interest in promoting research at the intersection of two disciplines—geriatrics and palliative care—that share many of the same approaches to clinical care," explains Dr. Basil Eldadah, Acting Chief of the Geriatrics Branch in the NIA Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology.

    Read the full blog post: Apply for palliative care research funding

    The NIA blog publishes weekly with information on grants and funding policy, research priorities, scientific meetings, and topics of interest to researchers and others in the scientific community. Subscribe to get it weekly in your email inbox, or grab the RSS feed.

  • December 16, 2013

    Increased physical activity has been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular and respiratory health, insulin sensitivity, bone and muscle strength, and cognitive function. In addition, physical activity is associated with reductions in coronary heart disease, stroke, some cancers, type 2 diabetes, and depression. For most health outcomes, benefits increase as the amount of physical activity increases through higher intensity, greater frequency or longer duration, although the magnitude of these benefits diminishes with advancing age. The NIH Common Fund is exploring strategies to help the research community develop a more integrative perspective on the molecular and cellular mechanisms through which physical activity improves multiple health outcomes.

    The NIH is committed to understanding the needs of the research community and supporting high-impact research. To that end, we encourage visionary ideas that will advance the field’s understanding of the mechanisms by which physical activity contributes to health. Please go to this Request for Information to submit comments on this topic. Comments are being accepted through December 31, 2013.

  • December 13, 2013

    What does the science say about dietary supplements and complementary and alternative health approaches for Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and cognitive health? While some dietary supplements have been marketed with claims that they enhance memory or improve brain function and health, research is ongoing to determine whether they may have any effect on the progression of cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s disease.

    NIA is co-hosting a Twitter chat with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) on Wednesday, December 18 at 4:00pm Eastern Time to talk about what we know and answer questions about ongoing research in this area. In addition, we'll discuss some of the research that’s looking at exercise and other mind and body practices, which have shown promise in treating some symptoms related to dementia, as well as for alleviating stress among caregivers.

    Participating in the chat from @Alzheimers_NIH will be NIA experts Drs. Laurie Ryan and Nina Silverberg and from @NCCAM experts Drs. D. Lee AlekelPartap Khalsa, and Richard Nahin.

    Follow the conversation at #nccamchat.