Office of the Director

On July 8, 2015, NIA’s Office of Special Populations released PA-15-293, “Aging Research to Address Health Disparities.“ It seeks to support aging research that addresses disparities in health, including preclinical, clinical, social, and behavioral studies. A few weeks ago, I sat down with Dr. Felipe Sierra, director of the Division of Aging Biology (DAB) to discuss some opportunities for involving basic researchers in health disparities research.

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Just last week, I had the honor of presenting, on behalf of NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, the first-ever NIH Professional Judgment Budget for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Outlined at the July 27 meeting of the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services, the proposal—commonly referred to as a Bypass Budget—lays out NIH’s plan to speed discovery into these devastating disorders, aimed at meeting the research goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease—to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.

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This year’s Butler-Williams Scholars Program will take place next week on the NIH campus. Recently, NIA Director Dr. Richard Hodes described to the Friends of the NIA why it’s so important to encourage new and early-stage investigators’ interests in aging research and explained some of the opportunities that we are providing new investigators.

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NIA director blogs about White House Conference on Aging

In a blog post on the White House Conference on Aging, NIA Director Dr. Richard Hodes wrote:

“The White House Conference on Aging happening today at the White House occurs once per decade. But at the National Institutes of Health, particularly at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), we work on research every day related to understanding the nature of aging, supporting the health and well-being of older adults, and extending healthy, active years of life for more people.”

We’re excited about participating in the upcoming annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society May 14–17 at National Harbor, just outside of Washington, DC. And, we’re hoping to see many of you at the sessions featuring NIA staff, who will be talking about research funded and conducted by NIA, as well as funding opportunities and applying for grants. Please add these sessions to your schedule in the conference app. Or, print this out to bring with to you the meeting.

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The explosion of Big Data promises to transform biomedical research, but all too often researcher

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Following every meeting of the National Advisory Council on Aging, we set about the task of fundi

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The deadline is fast approaching for the 2015 Butler-Williams Scholars Program, NIA’s premier aging research training program. Apply by March 27, 2015, and encourage your contacts and friends to do the same.

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Geroscience—a field that looks at the relationship between aging and disease—has gained lots of traction within the scientific community. I think this is a good thing. Anybody who heard me talk recently would be excused if they were to think that this is now the primary focus of NIA’s Division of Aging Biology… Well, not so! The centerpiece of work funded by the Division of Aging Biology remains basic research into the biological roots of aging. The application of this research to human health and disease is a welcome addition—“icing on the cake,” if you will.

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Blog post - supporting aging research in challenging times

Cartoon of four people in conversation.

This is an extremely difficult time in aging research. Dr. Richard J. Hodes, NIA director, describes some of the challenges that lie ahead, as well as what the next fiscal year will bring. “While the scientific and fiscal challenges are very real, it is still an exciting time to be in aging and Alzheimer’s research,” writes Dr. Hodes.

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