DBSR

We’re looking forward to the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics 2017 World Congress on July 23–27 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. IAGG is the largest worldwide meeting on aging, with more than 6,000 professionals in health and aging expected to attend. I’d like to highlight a handful of sessions that you may be particularly interested in, and where you’ll be able to catch up with NIA staff.

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Advice for older adults on staying safe in hot weather

With summer here and the temperatures rising, it is important to understand the health risks that excessive heat can bring and know the signs of heat-related illnesses. Older adults and people with chronic medical conditions are particularly susceptible to hyperthermia and other heat-related illnesses. The National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, offers advice to help combat the dangers of hot weather.

National Institutes of Health staff are getting ready to attend the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2017 in London, where dementia researchers, clinicians, advocates, and health care providers from around the world will meet on July 16–20. Some 4,000 members of the Alzheimer’s community are expected to attend, and the NIH contingent hopes to connect with you there! 

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The Grant Support Index. At the moment, if you bring up these words around NIH, you are guaranteed an extended conversation, meetings that run long and late, and strong emotions bubbling throughout. I suspect much the same is happening on many campuses.

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As you may know, the National Advisory Council on Aging met here in Bethesda last week. Among the many actions it took was the review and approval of seven new concepts for NIA Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs). You can find brief summaries of the cleared concepts on our website.

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The wait was long—but the news is good! If you’ve been following events on Capitol Hill, you already know this. NIH has received a $2 billion increase in budget for this fiscal year, reflecting much-appreciated bipartisan support for biomedical research. NIA’s own budget received a monster $400 million boost for Alzheimer’s-related research, and our budget for other research areas increased at the same percentage rate as the NIH budget.

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On April 6–7, 2017, almost 300 researchers and private foundation representatives attended the Cognitive Aging Summit III in Bethesda, Maryland. The themes for this Summit were cognitive and brain resilience and reserve. Over a day and a half, investigators from around the world delivered talks and discussed some of the most important issues facing the public as we seek to find ways to preserve or even improve cognitive function and brain health as we age. 

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Did you know? NIA receives somewhere around 4,000 applications for funding in response to new and existing funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) each year. And, each application is reviewed. With that level of interest, you can imagine that we are always looking for investigators who are willing and able to serve as peer reviewers.

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As readers of this blog surely know, NIA publishes Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) in the NIH Guide to—you guessed it—announce new opportunities to apply for funding. We use FOAs to inform potential applicants of new initiatives ranging from traditional R01 research grants to large P50 center grants and national surveys. But have you stopped to think about where an FOA originates? Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at FOA development.

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In mid-January, I attended the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. This unique event—popularly referred to simply as Davos—connects international leaders in the private and public sectors—from government, business, and academia—to improve the global community. While “economics” is part of the meeting’s name, health, science, and technology were integral to the discussions.

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