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GSA 2022: Reimagining aging

Amy Kelley
Office of the Director (OD).

As the new NIA deputy director, I’m pleased to participate next month in one of the top aging research conferences in the country, the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) annual meeting. This year’s event, titled “Embracing Our Diversity, Enriching Our Discovery, Reimagining Aging,” will be held in Indianapolis, Nov. 2-6. It will be the first in-person GSA meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

NIA leadership and program staff look forward to joining colleagues from a diverse range of scientific fields to explore the most pressing questions in aging research, caregiving, and supports for older adults. Check out the meeting program and connect with NIA staff who can answer questions about our latest funding opportunities and resources for early-career and emerging researchers.

Mark your calendar for these key sessions!

A collaborative spirit of discovery is sure to be in the air with so many leading aging researchers in attendance. Hear from NIA staff during the sessions listed below. Dates and times are subject to change, so please be sure to check the GSA 2022 website for the latest updates.

Wednesday, Nov. 2

Securing Pilot Research Funding: Strategies for Success Through the NIA-Supported Center Programs
Half Day Pre-Conference Workshop
8 a.m.-12 p.m. ET

NIA funds a variety of center programs through which pilot grants are offered as part of the scope of work. This workshop will introduce these programs, offer opportunities to engage directly with center directors and staff in small groups, and provide tips and strategies to help you develop competitive applications. Successful applicants will share how they have leveraged pilot grants to build their research programs.

Resilience and Aging
Pre-Conference Workshop
9-11:30 a.m. ET

NIA’s Division of Aging Biology (DAB) will host this workshop focused on exploring possible stressors and responses as metrics of resilience, and whether these metrics may be predictors of later-life healthspan and even lifespan. Ronald Kohanski, Ph.D., director, DAB, and Christy Carter, Ph.D., training and workforce development program officer, DAB, will speak at the session.

Demystifying NIH Peer Review: Your Application From Submission to Score
2:30-4:30 p.m. ET

Dana Plude, Ph.D., deputy director, Division of Behavioral and Social Research, will serve on a panel along with NIH colleagues to help walk early-career investigators through the basics of grant application review.

GSA Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization and Butler-Williams Scientific Symposium: Career Development to Promote Diversity, Discovery, and Aging
4:30-6:30 p.m. ET

Butler-Williams Scholars Program alumni will lead a scientific panel highlighting important areas of aging research. Patricia Jones, Dr.PH., director, NIA Office of Special Populations, will serve as the discussant.

Thursday, Nov. 3

Lucidity in Dementia: Emerging Concepts and Data
8-9:30 a.m. ET

This session will provide an update on progress and findings across six NIA-supported studies exploring paradoxical lucidity (temporary periods of meaningful communication and connection in people with advanced Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias). Basil Eldadah, M.D., Ph.D., supervisory medical officer, NIA Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology, will be a discussant for this session on the potential significance of these events for scientists and caregivers.

Friday, Nov. 4

Diversity, Discovery, and Aging Reimagined: A Chat With NIA Senior Leadership
8-9:30 a.m. ET

I will chair this panel discussion on NIA’s current and future research priorities, efforts to address scientific workforce diversity and health equities, and the funding and budget landscape for aging research. Several NIA senior leaders will be there, including NIA Director Richard J. Hodes, M.D.; Ken Santora, Ph.D., director, Division of Extramural Activities; Molly Wagster, Ph.D., chief, Division of Neuroscience Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience Branch; Dr. Jones; Dr. Plude; Dr. Eldadah; and Dr. Kohanski.

Diversity, Discovery, and Aging Reimagined: NIA Session for Early-Career Researchers
10-11:30 a.m. ET

I will also chair this second symposium designed to provide junior faculty and emerging scholars with an overview of NIA and our supported research, along with our latest training and career development grants and resources. Dr. Hodes will open the session with an introduction to NIA, and Dr. Santora will discuss training and career development opportunities for early-stage investigators in aging research, highlighting the importance of diversity in the scientific workforce.

Connect with us at the exhibit hall

Look for NIA at exhibit booth number 125 to check out our popular print and online consumer publications and connect with our staff about the latest resources for older adults, clinicians, and researchers. We look forward to seeing you in November for scintillating scientific discussions!

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