• September 23, 2016

    New stem cells in the dentate gyrus section of the hippocampus—the brain structure responsible for memory and learning—grow and integrate with existing cells to make memories stronger and more precise. The new cells compete for space among the intertwined connections of the older neurons; as the brain ages, fewer new cells survive. Researchers led by Amar Sahay, Ph.D., of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, showed they can manipulate two of the mechanisms involved in this process, boosting the survival of the new neurons in the brains of mice. The findings were published in Neuron on Sept. 1, 2016.

    Supported in part by NIA, the researchers engineered the increase of a protein, Klf9, in older neurons in mice. This increase cleared one-fifth of the spines found on dendrites, a neuron cell structure, and doubled the number of new neurons added to the brain circuitry. When the researchers reversed the process, the old dendritic spines reformed, restoring competition with the new cells in the dentate gyrus. Although the previously integrated neurons remained, no new neurons were added. Similar results occurred when the researchers deleted Rac1, a protein important for dendritic spine growth, in older neurons. In this case, the survival of new neurons increased.

    The findings suggest that manipulating these two proteins may enhance hippocampal cell generation in middle-aged and older mice and may result in stronger and more precise memories. More research is needed, but the Klf9 and Rac1 proteins may present promising targets for therapies to prevent cognitive impairment or age-related memory decline.

    Reference: McAvoy K.M., et al. Modulating neuronal competition dynamics in the dentate gyrus to rejuvenate aging memory circuits. Neuron. Published online Sept. 21, 2016.

    see accompanying text
    Young neurons (pink), responsible for encoding new memories, must compete with mature neurons (green) to survive and integrate into the hippocampal circuit. Photo courtesy of Kathleen McAvoy, Sahay Lab.

  • September 20, 2016

    On Sept. 16, 2016, in an effort to make information about clinical trials widely available to the public, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule specifying requirements for registering and reporting summary results information to The new rule expands the legal requirements for submitting registration and results information for certain clinical trials involving U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated drug, biological and device products to At the same time, the National Institutes of Health issued a complementary policy for registering and submitting summary results information to for all NIH-funded clinical trials, including those not subject to the final rule. These actions are important steps to honor our commitments to clinical trial participants to share the knowledge gained from their participation in order to achieve the greatest benefit to human health.

    Read the NIH news release along with related materials to learn more about these important developments.

  • September 19, 2016

    The National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH is pleased to announce two new additions to its Alzheimer’s Disease Centers Program—a network of researchers and clinicians developing and sharing new approaches and findings to speed discovery in dementia research. The Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center (ADCC) in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Wake Forest ADCC in Winston Salem, North Carolina—each to receive an estimated $9 million over the next five years—will boost the NIH-funded research network to 31 centers nationwide.

    The Michigan ADCC, led by Henry Paulson, M.D., Ph.D., links three major research universities, encompassing researchers and clinicians from the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University. The Wake Forest ADCC, led by Suzanne Craft, Ph.D., at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, will serve the southeastern U.S.

    Teams of researchers and clinicians at both centers will assess people with memory problems or complaints, as well as those without. They will also recruit volunteers for clinical trials, provide training to scientists and health care professionals, and educate local communities about dementia.

    Each center will also advance understanding of these complex disorders from different scientific perspectives. Scientists at Michigan will study non-amyloid factors contributing to Alzheimer’s and investigate links between dementia and other illnesses such as cerebrovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic disorders, and depression. Researchers at Wake Forest will focus on the role played by vascular and metabolic disorders in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s, with a particular interest in how diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, and other common disorders affect the transitions from normal aging to mild cognitive impairment and then to Alzheimer’s and related dementias. 

  • September 28, 2016

    SAVE THE DATE – Thursday, October 20, 2016

    The National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health is partnering with the Morehouse School of Medicine to convene a regional workshop. This will be an opportunity to discuss NIA’s strategic directions for research on aging, learn more about research and training opportunities, and forge collaborations with investigators in the region who are conducting research on aging.

    Access the full meeting agenda.

    More information about this event.

    Download and print a flyer (PDF, 480K) for the Directors Regional Meeting on Aging Research at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

  • August 10, 2016

    The Division of Neuroscience (DN) of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) is recruiting dynamic and experienced neuroscientists with expertise related to basic and clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases of aging to serve as a Health Scientist Administrators.

    Successful candidates will play a leading role in the scientific and technical implementation of research grant programs in the following areas: basic science and etiology of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, biomarkers and clinical progression of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias or assessment, treatment, and management of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

    The NIA, one of the 27 Institutes and Centers at NIH, leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of aging, and to extend the healthy, active years of life. The Division of Neuroscience fosters and supports extramural and collaborative research and training to further the understanding of neural and behavioral processes associated with the aging brain. Important components of this Division are the support of basic, translational, clinical and epidemiological studies of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias of aging; the neurobiology of aging; and behavioral and systems neuroscience of aging. To learn more about DN, please visit the Division of Neuroscience website.

    Although not required, it is desired that the ideal candidate will possess a Ph.D. and/or M.D. degree with specialized research, knowledge, and expertise in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases of older individuals.

    Candidates with strong writing, communication and interpersonal skills are sought.

    The work site is the Washington, D.C. suburb of Bethesda, Maryland. Salaries will be competitive and commensurate with experience; excellent benefits will be provided. All applicants will receive consideration without regard to ethnicity, gender, national origin, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.

    U.S. Citizenship requirement must be met by closing date.
    Position is subject to a background investigation.
    Education Requirement-Transcripts are required.
    Confidential Financial Disclosure OGE Form 450 is required.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: The formal position announcement is posted on  and applications must be submitted through that website to be considered. Please check that website regularly for updated posting, as positions are only open for 10 days.

    The Health Scientist Administrator will be advertised as follows:

    • Open to the public: NIH-NIA-DE-16-1730218
    • Open to government employees: NIH-NIA-MP-16-1727561

    For position information in the area of basic science and etiology of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias interested candidates should contact Bradley C. Wise, Ph.D., 301-496-9350 or  For position information in the area of clinical studies of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias interested candidates should contact Laurie M. Ryan, Ph.D, 301-496-9350 or For application information please contact Jessica Moreno or Pamela Anderson at

  • August 1, 2016

    A new report prepared by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH at the request of Congress—Stopping Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias: Advancing Our Nation's Research Agenda—is now available online. It outlines additional funding for NIH during fiscal year 2018 estimated to fully meet the ultimate research goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease—to effectively treat and prevent Alzheimer's and related dementias by 2025.

    The bypass budget narrative also highlights research opportunities and advancements in a broad spectrum of basic and translational research and outlines future research strategies, including:

    • understanding the biology of Alzheimer's, related dementias, and the aging brain
    • identifying genetic influences involved in risk for Alzheimer's
    • detecting the earliest brain changes in Alzheimer's and related dementias
    • understanding gender and racial differences in the impact of Alzheimer's
    • translational research enabling the design and testing of new drugs for these conditions
    • testing in clinical trials new therapies to prevent, delay, or treat Alzheimer's
    • finding better ways to support caregivers

    In addition to the NIA, the Alzheimer's disease and related dementias professional judgment budget covers possible projects from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and other components of the NIH.

    Read the report online: Stopping Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias: Advancing Our Nation's Research Agenda

  • July 14, 2016

    The National Institute on Aging, a major research component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Health and Human Services, is recruiting for an individual to develop and administer research programs in its Clinical Trials Branch (CTB) of the Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology (DGCG). DGCG is responsible for the planning, organization and direction of programs of extramural and collaborative research related to biological and clinical aspects of aging; the conceptualization of new research directions and projects in the aging field; and the management and evaluation of grant applications. The CTB supports clinical trials of interventions to prevent and treat age-related diseases, conditions, disabilities and risk factors and plans and administers larger clinical trials and interactive groups of linked smaller interventional studies.

    The incumbent will utilize knowledge of research in aging, geriatrics or a related field of medicine or health sciences, and statistical methods employed in clinical research, to achieve the CTB goals and objectives; participate in all phases of clinical trials planning and implementation, and assist with study design, management and data analysis; coordinate the activities of the various component groups of the trials; suggest, formulate and implement policies and procedures to ensure effective management of the trials; and participate in analysis and interpretation of clinical trials data.  Responsibilities also include dissemination of the results of the trials to the biomedical and lay communities; participation in the DGCG and CTB planning activities and in the development and implementation of new policies, mechanisms or approaches for research administration; and other duties as assigned.

    The successful candidate will possess a doctoral degree in medicine or a biomedical research field, and experience in conducting clinical research.  Experience with clinical trials is desired but not required.

    Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. For additional information about this position, contact Sergei Romashkan, M.D.

    HHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers

  • July 8, 2016

    The Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Use-Inspired Basic Research to Optimize Behavior Change Intervention and Outcomes initiative is funded through the NIH Common Fund, which supports cross-cutting programs that are expected to have exceptionally high impact. All Common Fund initiatives invite investigators to develop bold, innovative, and often risky approaches to address problems that may seem intractable or to seize new opportunities that offer the potential for rapid progress. The NIH SOBC Common Fund Program announces the availability of administrative supplements to support research that informs the foundation of an experimental medicine approach to behavior change. The SOBC Program seeks to accelerate investigations of common mechanisms of behavior change applicable across a broad range of health behaviors, including medical regimen adherence. Medical regimen adherence is defined as adherence to prescription medications, screenings, immunizations, behavioral regimens, etc., prescribed by a health professional or emanating from a health authority, such as guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The overarching goal of this FOA is to test how and why behavior change interventions produce and sustain desired outcomes when implemented in experimental, clinical, community, or population-level settings. Research supported through this FOA should aim to study putative targets/mechanisms of action that are critical to the efficacy and effectiveness of behavioral and social interventions to produce and, as feasible, sustain desired change(s) in health behavior(s), including medical regimen adherence. Research encouraged from this announcement is intended to support target validation, assay research, and development activities within three broad domains of self-regulation, stress reactivity and stress resilience, and, interpersonal and social processes. The ultimate aim of this initiative is to generate use-inspired knowledge that, when applied, will maximize the potency and/or efficiency of behavior change interventions for delivery in non-research/real world settings with representative populations. Administrative supplement applications to meet increased costs that are within scope of the approved and funded parent award and responsive to the specific research objectives of the SOBC Program may be submitted to this FOA. All applicants are encouraged to discuss potential applications with the Program Officer named in the Notice of Award of the parent award and one of the SOBC Scientific/Research representatives listed in this FOA. For additional information, please visit the NIH Guide.

  • July 8, 2016

    Issued in March 2016, this update to the Census Bureau series on global aging was commissioned by the NIA to examine the demographic, health, and economic aspects of global population aging, and includes trends identified in 2007 by the NIA and the U.S. Department of State (Why Population Aging Matters: A Global Perspective). An Aging World: 2015 contains detailed information on aging trends; the dynamics of population aging; life expectancy, health, and mortality; health care systems and population aging; work and retirement, and; pensions and old age poverty. For additional information, please visit the Census Bureau.

  • June 23, 2016

    NIA’s Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists’ Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR) program is now open to dentists and dental specialists interested in starting a research career related to aging. Details about the GEMSSTAR program are available on our website.

    “We know that older people can have particular problems with their teeth, gums and oral health,” said Susan Zieman, M.D., Ph.D., who oversees the program. “This is an excellent opportunity for early career dentists and dental specialists to investigate such issues which impact older adults including oral cancers, problems with salivation and taste, integrity of dental bone support, chronic inflammation caused by gum disease, and other topics.”

    The two-year program is designed to provide research experience and a professional development plan that will help young clinical specialists gain the skills for future research projects and a career as an independent investigator. Contact for more information. The deadline for applications is October 6, 2016.