DEA

As the funding policy statement makes clear, the fiscal year 2016 budget is a historic first for NIA. Yes, we received a very substantial increase for research related to Alzheimer’s disease—$350 million. But, in addition to that, we received a 4.2-percent increase in our general budget. That amount is above the rate of inflation for the first time since 2003, at the end of the era of doubling the budget. But, the competition for new and renewing awards remains fierce.

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The big news of 2016 so far is the increase in the NIA budget. We’re very excited about the many opportunities in aging research that will be possible because of these extra funds. As we flesh out new funding opportunities and wait for applications in response to existing announcements, we thought we would reprise a few interesting posts from the last few months in case you missed them. If you missed a few, now is your chance to catch up.

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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:

I’m very pleased to announce that the Trans-NIH GeroScience Interest Group (GSIG) and partners will host its second summit in 2016. The “Disease Drivers of Aging: 2016 Advances in Geroscience Summit” will take place on April 13–14 at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City. Members of the Geroscience Interest Group from the NIH, with essential collaboration and support from the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Federation for Aging Research, and the Gerontological Society of America, have developed a theme and program for a second geroscience summit requested by the research community.

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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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We all know that exercise and physical activity is good for us. Regular physical activity helps just about everything. But exactly how does exercise result in so many benefits? The answers may be found at the molecular level.

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Those of you who read part 1 of this post a couple of weeks ago will remember that I raised a question at the end of that post: Could a policy affecting all investigators (the NIH policy change to allow a single amended submission) have a singular effect on a sub-group of investigators—early-stage and other inexperienced researchers? This week, we have the answer!

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NIA’s Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology has developed a research program on the translation of genetic factors associated with longevity, giving us the chance to find new therapeutic targets to promote healthy aging. Translational genomics offers opportunities to identify new targets based on knowledge of the functional pathways of the gene variants associated with longevity.

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I mentioned in an

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If you’ve been away from the lab for a while, it can be difficult to find your way back in. However, the NIH tries to make it just a bit easier by offering supplemental funding to support promising investigators as they re-ignite their scientific careers.

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