It was great to see so many of you at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference last month! I was thrilled to catch up with colleagues, attend the special events, and learn about many new Alzheimer’s research findings. In case you missed it, NIA and the Alzheimer’s Association hosted a pre-conference symposium: “Enabling Precision Medicine for Alzheimer’s Disease Through Open Science.”
Together we make the difference in Alzheimer's and related dementias research: NIH's FY 2020 bypass budget and progress report
On Monday, July 30, I presented, on behalf of NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, the Fiscal Year 2020 NIH Professional Judgment Budget for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias at the meeting of the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services. The estimate—commonly referred to as a Bypass Budget—is based on scientific opportunities that NIH could pursue to achieve the research goal of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease—to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025.
NIA staff are gearing up for the annual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2018, taking place this year in Chicago, July 22-26. AAIC is dedicated to advancing dementia science, and we’re looking forward to attending alongside thousands from the Alzheimer’s community.
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.
This week, we have two important news items to share with you. The first is the most recent NIA pay line and funding policy. The second is the list of approved concepts for future funding priorities.
A common criticism of a lot of aging research is that it reveals much about relatively wealthy white people and little about everyone else—because that is the group who volunteer so willingly for research. Much as we really appreciate their willingness, how do we diversify our samples? We do know now that truly inclusive recruitment requires building trust in a community, commitment from the research group, and sustained effort even well after recruitment has closed. How do we do all that?
Cells change as we age. Cell function in a 21-year-old is different from that of a 71-year-old. Understanding that aging cells would be critical to aging research, one of NIA’s first tasks as a new Institute in 1974 was to establish a repository to obtain, characterize, store, and distribute cell lines for studies on the biology of aging.
We’re looking forward to receiving the next round of applications for trials that will be supported by the recently launched Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial Consortium (ACTC).
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.
If we roll back the clock 12 months, we’ll see that, back then, NIA issued a call for administrative supplements for existing NIA grantees to add an aim on Alzheimer’s disease (and its related dementias) to a grant that was not already studying Alzheimer’s or its related dementias. This year, we decided to open the field up a little and include other NIH institutes.
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.