DBSR

2016 Butler-Williams Scholars Program now accepting applications

Emerging researchers, including those with limited involvement in research on aging, are invited to apply for the next Butler-Williams Scholars Program, to be held July 25-29, 2016, at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, MD.

Sponsored by NIA, the 5-day program will explore research design relative to aging, including issues relevant to racial/ethnic minorities and health disparities. The agenda will include:

As we begin the new calendar year, I am happy to discuss exciting news about the NIH and NIA budgets for fiscal year 2016. As many of you probably know by now, on December 18, President Obama signed into law the FY2016 Omnibus Bill, which gave NIH an overall increase of $2 billion, or about 6.6 percent, above the FY2015 appropriation level. Importantly for NIA, this included an increase of approximately 33 percent over our FY2015 budget, which in large measure reflects some $350 million specifically directed to research into Alzheimer’s disease.

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Death rate, poor health rise for middle-aged whites, reversing trend

The death rate among middle-aged, white Americans rose significantly between 1999 and 2013, reversing a decades-long trend of improvement, new research shows. This group also reported worse physical and mental health than other age groups, according to the NIA-funded study, published online Nov. 2, 2015, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Health care costs for dementia found greater than for any other disease

In the last five years of life, total health care spending for people with dementia was more than a quarter-million dollars per person, some 57 percent greater than costs associated with death from other diseases, including cancer and heart disease. The new analysis, appearing in the Oct. 27, 2015, online issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, estimates that total health care spending was $287,000 for those with probable dementia and $183,000 for other Medicare beneficiaries in the study.

NIA grantee Angus Deaton wins 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics

Dr. Angus Deaton

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences has been awarded to National Institute on Aging grantee Angus Deaton, Ph.D., of Princeton University, N.J.

Recruiting for new Director of NIA’s Division of Behavioral and Social Research

The National Institute on Aging (NIA), a major research component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), is seeking exceptional candidates for the position of Director, Division of Behavioral and Social Research (DBSR). For the full job posting, please visit http://www.jobs.nih.gov/vacancies/executive/nia_director.htm.

Study shows that individuals age at different rates

Much of the research on human aging has been conducted in animal models and in older people. The Dunedin Study in New Zealand, funded in part by NIA, has taken a different approach, studying a group of 1,037 people born in 1972-73 from birth to age 38. Study investigators recently reported that they have identified, differences in the “biological age” of participants, indicating that young adults are aging at different rates.

NIA is supporting a unique new website—the Gateway to Global Aging Data—that enables cross-national comparisons of the health, social, and economic status of older people. If you haven’t looked at what’s available, or you haven’t looked recently, I encourage you to check it out. Do you need to know if people in Estonia smoke more than people in Germany? What might be behind why people in Japan live longer than people in other developed countries? The Gateway makes it easy to create interactive graphs and tables to immediately examine population estimates of various countries over time. You can generate graphs and tables to compare the same measures between sub-populations within a country or quickly identify cross-country differences, as well as changes over time.

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I am a Scientific Review Officer (SRO) and currently lead the NIA-N Review committee. I’m constantly recruiting grant application reviewers: I mean, All The Time! During the course of each year, I also run a multitude of meetings to review grants responding to Requests for Applications, Program Project Grants (PPG), and Institutional/Individual Training Grant opportunities. It’s a good thing that I don’t take rejection personally, because more than half of the reviewers I try to recruit say, “NO,” and about a quarter of them just don’t answer my emails. One time I asked 89 people to review a PPG and only 14 of them said yes.

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For scientists writing NIH grant applications, the aims are THE THING.

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