Expanding our borders: Planning for a third geroscience summit
They say that time flies when you’re having fun. The field of geroscience has grown tremendously since our summits in 2013 and 2016, and now we find ourselves moving faster than ever and planning a third summit. This time, our goal will be to engage professional societies, stakeholder groups, and researchers interested in specific chronic diseases and conditions of older people, and exchange ideas on the role of aging biology in these health problems.
We need your help
Our current plan is to hold the third Summit in Bethesda, Maryland, in the spring of 2019. But importantly, we haven’t decided on the themes and specific topics we might be able to cover. To help with those decisions, we recently posted a Request for Information (RFI) to gauge the level of interest in geroscience and aging biology among the audiences mentioned above. We hope you’ll help us spread the word about this, because the input received will help shape the plans for the Summit—including but not limited to the diseases and conditions that we might include in the agenda. The deadline for comments is June 1, 2018.
Geroscience keeps growing
The first Geroscience Summit, “Advances in Geroscience: Impact on Healthspan and Chronic Disease,” took place in November 2013 at the NIH campus in Bethesda. Our goal was to introduce the concept of geroscience to the community and discuss what we called the major “pillars of aging.” In April 2016, we hosted a second Summit, “Advances in Geroscience: Disease Drivers of Aging,” at the New York Academy of Sciences in New York City. That meeting focused on the opposite side of the coin: While aging is certainly the major risk factor for chronic diseases, some chronic diseases are in turn a major risk factor for accelerated aging.
What about the third Summit? Though geroscience is now more established in the research field, the concept is virtually unheard-of in communities beyond those normally served by the NIA. We want to change this in the third Summit by engaging additional groups, such as professional societies, disease-specific organizations, and other key players, whose interests focus on individual age-related diseases or conditions, but who may not be aware of geroscience concepts and why this field may be of scientific interest to them.
What do we want to know?
We’re looking for your input on the following topics in the RFI:
- Recommendations for specific age-related chronic diseases or conditions that should be considered in the planning for a third NIH Geroscience Summit;
- Feedback on whether individual organizations may be interested in contributing to the planning of such a Summit, and areas of interest for participation;
- Feedback on whether individual organizations may be interested in participating in a summit session or sub-session encompassing scientific presentations by public and private stakeholders about the links between specific chronic diseases and geroscience; and
- Input on the potential impact of this type of session on future scientific needs and progress in specific diseases affected by aging.
I encourage you to publicize this RFI among your colleagues, members, or other contacts. We’d appreciate anything you can do—putting a short notice on your website, forwarding this blog post to your community, or including it in your social media messages. We want to generate interest and gain maximum participation from the professional non-research community. Again, the deadline for response is on June 1. Send your questions, comments, and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to comment below.