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We have bumped the NIA general allocation up by one point all around. For most research grants—at least the ones under $500k a year—that pay line is now the 10th percentile. We are paying new investigator R01 applications to the 18th percentile and early-stage investigators can now breathe comfortably with the knowledge that their R01 applications are being paid to the princely 20th percentile!

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Eliezer Masliah to head NIA’s Division of Neuroscience

Eliezer MasliahThe National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced that Eliezer Masliah, M.D., a leader in Alzheimer’s disease research, has been appointed as the new director of the Institute’s Division of Neuroscience.

NIA staff are gearing up for the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2016. The annual gathering of dementia researchers, clinicians, and health care providers is in Toronto, Canada, this year on July 22–28. The annual meeting attracts some 4,000 members of the Alzheimer’s community with its mix of newly reported findings from researchers from around the globe and the latest in emerging technologies and approaches to discovery. NIA leadership and staff are participating in a number of sessions and meetings, so please be on the lookout if you want to touch base.

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California, here we come! No, we’re not participating in a gold rush, we’re going to the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) next week in Long Beach. We’re looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. We also hope that you’ll take the opportunity to connect with NIA staff at the meeting, during scientific sessions and at the Exhibit Hall.

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It’s spring! Here’s some exciting news that may help you get some spring fever! Effective with applications submitted on February, 12, 2016, and moving forward, NIH is allowing up to $100,000 plus fringe benefits toward an applicant’s salary to cover the percentage effort requested on NIH K08 and K23 awards. Current K awardees also benefit from these new guidelines.

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Thousands of gene candidates in the human genome have the potential to play a role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. But you are just one scientist. How can you even start such an enormous task? This quest—one scientist analyzing thousands of gene candidates—can seem overwhelming. I want to share with you two great NIA-funded resources that collect and store biological specimens and data—and are available to you and the wider research community.

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When I began graduate school in 1999, I knew right away that my experience would be different from that of my peers: I am a female scientist of color, and when I looked for others that looked like me, I saw only a few. Naturally, I wondered why this was the case and whether anything could be done to change the situation. While I understood the complexities of this issue, I believed that something could be done, and fortunately when I arrived at NIH, I found ready agreement among my colleagues.

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Decoding the molecular ties between vascular disease and Alzheimer's

Seeking a better understanding of vascular contributions to Alzheimer's disease, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Molecular Mechanisms of the Vascular Etiology of Alzheimer's Disease (M²OVE-AD) Consortium, a team-science venture to build a nuanced model of Alzheimer's disease that more accurately reflects its many causes and pathways.

Although Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia in older adults, an estimated 20 to 40 percent of people with dementia have some other form—such as Lewy body, vascular or frontotemporal dementia. NIH is focused on advancing our understanding of these Alzheimer’s disease-related dementias (ADRD). I hope you will join us in this effort by attending—either in person or by webcast—the 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias Summit.

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If we hope to translate what we are learning about Alzheimer’s disease into health, safety, and emotional well-being benefits for Alzheimer’s patients and their families, then small businesses have a vital role in making that happen. The NIA recently published two funding opportunity announcements for small businesses focused on Alzheimer’s disease. One targets the Small Business Innovative Research program and the other the Small Business Technology Transfer program. Both have an initial submission date approaching rapidly—April 5. And if peer reviewers smile upon your application, you can even receive funding before the end of September this year.

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