A standing-room-only crowd of extramural and intramural scientists filled a room at the NIH main campus in Bethesda on April 30, when researchers from NIA joined colleagues from the National Cancer Institute for a collaborative scientific workshop on cancer in aging. We were excited and gratified by the turnout and by the high level of interest among the participants to tackle the multiple intersections of aging and cancer.
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’re looking forward to attending the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society, May 3–5, in Orlando, Florida. NIA and the AGS Research Committee are offering two symposia—one for junior researchers new to aging and one for senior researchers. We hope to see you in Orlando.
On March 25–27, the NIA welcomed current and former grantees from more than 26 medical and surgical specialties, along with mentors who are leaders in aging research within their specialties, to the third biennial meeting of GEMSSTAR (Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists' Transition to Aging Research) Scholars. The meeting featured a combination of aging-themed presentations, Scholars’ posters, career development training, and networking opportunities.
Among the initiatives launched under the 21st Century Cures Act, which brought us the Cancer Moonshot, the BRAIN initiative, and the All of Us precision medicine program, is the Regenerative Medicine Innovation Project (RMIP). NIH, in coordination with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is taking the lead on this exciting new venture, which seeks to accelerate clinical research on adult stem cells.
It’s one of those things that no one really wants to talk about. People are often uncomfortable and embarrassed to mention it to their physician or other primary care provider. It’s also one of the most common medical conditions among older people, affecting more than half of women and more than a quarter of men age 65 and older, according to the CDC. Yes, we’re talking about urinary incontinence.
On November 8, I will be traveling to Denver, along with several NIA senior staff, for the NIA Director’s Regional Meeting on Aging Research, this time taking place at the University of Colorado, Denver. The meeting is part of our continuing effort to meet communities around the country who have a commitment to the problems of aging and the potential of aging research to address them.
Today, it’s estimated that more than 5.3 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease. This number is expected to climb to nearly 14 million by 2050, unless we find ways to stop the disease. The National Research Summit on Care, Services, and Supports for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers on October 16 and 17 will focus on the research needed to develop, evaluate, implement, and disseminate comprehensive care, services, and support for people with dementia, their families, and other caregivers.
Now that we’re all back to work or back to school with the end of summer, I’d like to update you on some of the recent activities of NIA’s Office of Special Populations. We’re looking forward to a fall of funding opportunities and continued connections with you all to promote and support health disparities research related to aging.
We’re looking forward to the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics 2017 World Congress on July 23–27 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. IAGG is the largest worldwide meeting on aging, with more than 6,000 professionals in health and aging expected to attend. I’d like to highlight a handful of sessions that you may be particularly interested in, and where you’ll be able to catch up with NIA staff.