Coming of age: Grow your science, share your data via the NIA AgingResearchBiobank
It’s been more than two and a half years since NIA officially established the AgingResearchBiobank, a state-of-the-art scientific repository of valuable biospecimens and related data from NIA-supported longitudinal and clinical studies. As this well-received resource continues to expand, it can help to develop and accelerate your studies — plus make it easier for you to comply with forthcoming changes to NIH data management and sharing policies.
Get to know our booming bank!
The AgingResearchBiobank’s resources are like a library’s rare books collection: They are unique sources of past knowledge that can add value to contemporary research. NIA debuted its AgingResearchBiobank with the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders study and the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation.
It now also hosts additional collections from various areas of aging studies, some addressing diverse populations, which have doubled the number of available biospecimens to approximately 2.7 million. These biospecimens and data can serve as valuable resources to help both junior and senior investigators answer new research questions.
A first step in making our biobank work for you is to learn about its wide array of study specimens and related phenotypic and clinical data. These include:
- Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) is a multisite longitudinal, epidemiologic study on the health and aging of midlife women from diverse communities and racial and ethnic backgrounds.
- Comprehensive Assessment of the Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy Study (CALERIE) was designed to determine the biological effects of two years of prolonged caloric restriction in humans.
- Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS) features more than 20 years of unique data that can aid explorations of age-related changes in men’s musculoskeletal health, including bone loss, fractures, sarcopenia, falls, and physical disability. In 2001, NIA expanded MrOS internationally to collaborate with sites in Hong Kong and Sweden.
- Testosterone Trials (TTrials) spans seven trials designed to investigate how testosterone affects older men’s health, including but not limited to biomarkers and potential therapies involved in blood and bone health.
- Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) is the first large-scale epidemiologic study of knee osteoarthritis, with its original cohort being approximately 15% African Americans and 60% women. Its resources are valuable for many further explorations of related prevention, outcomes, and rehabilitation topics.
- Successful Aging After Elective Surgery (SAGES) tracks older adults scheduled to undergo major elective surgery who did not have diagnosed or recognizable dementia. SAGES provides a wealth of information on nutrition, postoperative cognitive decline, and functional changes post-orthopedic surgery.
- Enabling Reduction of Low-Grade Inflammation in Seniors (ENRGISE) is the only pilot study assessing the effects of several interventions, including omega-3 fish oil, on inflammation and physical function in older adults with mobility impairment.
And that’s not all! Other studies in the collection examined falls prevention (STRIDE), osteoporotic fractures in women (SOF), and more. We encourage interested and qualified investigators to explore these collections online, assemble their research proposals, and request access.
Get ready for a new data sharing policy
The new Final NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing will be effective Jan. 25, 2023, and replace the 2003 NIH Data Sharing Policy. It will require that all NIH-funded researchers submit a plan outlining how scientific data from their research will be managed and shared. The AgingResearchBiobank can help investigators plan for this change and assist with depositing and sharing both samples and data. But don’t wait until then: Use this repository now for your current studies. For more information, please visit our webpage on submitting new collections.
Sign up and reach out
Getting started with the AgingResearchBiobank is easy; just check out our online User’s Guide. Visit our website to learn more about our studies and how to use them, or email me with your questions. We hope you will join NIA on the next leg of this exciting journey of discovery!