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Harnessing artificial intelligence to explore exceptional longevity

Nalini Raghavachari
Health Scientist Administrator,
Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology (DGCG)
Marilyn Miller
Marilyn MILLER,
Program Director,
Division of Neuroscience (DN)

The authors thank their colleague, Leonid Tsap, for his assistance with this post.

Less than 1% of Americans live to age 100. It is believed that these centenarians, and similarly long-lived individuals, may have protective molecular factors that help reduce risk or delay the onset of age-related disabilities and diseases. NIA has a longstanding interest in studying exceptional longevity because it could lead to the development of novel drugs and therapies based on these protective factors.

A crucial role for artificial intelligence and machine learning

NIA-supported studies of exceptional longevity and related research have begun to generate “multi-omics” data sets that map the complex, multilayered interplay of genetics, metabolism, proteins, and other variables. However, integrating multi-omic with imaging and clinical data makes for a substantial challenge. Fortunately, the twin technologies of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can help human investigators sort, analyze, and navigate this data much more swiftly and efficiently.

As our colleagues have previously blogged, supporting AI/ML methods to accelerate aging research is an NIA priority. We are excited to highlight a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA), “Transformative Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Based Strategies to Identify Determinants of Exceptional Health and Life Span,” designed to find innovative AI/ML solutions to analyze factors that affect longevity. Made possible through the NIH Phased Innovation Award (R21/R33), this FOA will support multidisciplinary teams to design and develop innovative algorithms and AI/ML-based computational strategies in the first phase. In the second phase, those investigators will then apply their high-tech tools to untangle the complex multi-omic data sets. The hope is for discoveries of new therapeutic targets to enhance healthy aging.

Learn more on July 26!

NIA will host a pre-application webinar on Tuesday, July 26, 2022, 4-5 p.m. ET, to support investigators who are interested in applying to this FOA. Registration is required for the webinar, but participation in it is not necessary to apply to the FOA.

We hope you can join us to explore how this exciting frontier of computing technology can help us in our quest to expand healthy aging. If you have questions in the meantime, you can email Nalini Raghavachari, Leonid Tsap, or Marilyn Miller for more information.

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