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Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence

The Division of Aging Biology (DAB) of the NIA funds Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging across the U.S. There are currently six funded Centers, in Maine (The Jackson Laboratory), Texas (University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio), Washington (University of Washington), New York (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), Oklahoma (University of Oklahoma Health Science Center), and Alabama (University of Alabama at Birmingham).

What do the Nathan Shock Centers do?

The Centers provide leadership in the pursuit of basic research into the biology of aging. They do so through a Research Development Core which administers small start-up funds locally, and organizes national annual meetings to highlight specific areas of research.

In addition, each Nathan Shock Center has several specialized cores that provide services to Shock Center members, as well as for-fee services to the community at large. The cores are different in each Center, depending on the strengths of each Institution. Information about each Nathan Shock Center and their cores can be found by clicking on the links below.

Nathan Shock Centers Coordinating Center

Nathan Shock Centers Coordinating Center
c/o AFAR
55 West 39th Street, 16th Floor, NY
New York, NY 10018

AFAR Leadership Team:
Steven N. Austad, PhD, Stephanie Lederman, M.Ed., Odette van der Willik, and David Allison, PhD

To reach someone on the leadership team, please use the email address provided below.

The Coordinating Center aims to:

  • Enhance the Nathan Shock Centers' external communication with the lay public, expand information resources and serve as scientific exchange forum among each sites
  • Work with the NSC directors to develop and implement data quality control and sharing between centers and with the scientific community at large
  • Provide logistical support to the Nathan Shock Centers for interactions with NIA staff
  • Develop and implement evaluation strategies for assessing the effectiveness of the Nathan Shock Centers and the Coordinating Center, guide future directions, and report outcomes to stakeholders

The Jackson Laboratory Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging

The Jackson Laboratory
Gary A. Churchill, Ph.D., Luanne L. Peters, PhD and Ron Korstanje, PhD, Directors
600 Main St.
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Email Dr. Churchill, Email Luanne Peters, Email Ron Korstanje
Jackson Lab Shock Center Website
Email: Email Joyce Billings

Contact Services Provided
Gary Churchill, Luanne L. Peters Provides the management of the overall Center, as well as support for the External Advisory Board
Luanne L. Peters Facilitates the production and care of mouse models for research on the biology of aging; performs an unprecedented, comprehensive survey of lifespan and healthspan in the mouse
Gary Churchill Enables the tracking, statistical analysis and dissemination of aging data
Ron Korstanje Evaluates, integrates and disseminates data relating to the genetics of aging from mouse, human and other organisms
Ron Korstanje Provides support for investigators who wish to change career direction towards aging research


University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Nathan Shock Center

University of Texas Health Science Center
Randy Strong, Ph.D., Director
The Barshop Institute
UTHSCSA - Texas Research Park Campus
15355 Lambda Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78245-3207
Email Dr. Strong
University of Texas Shock Center Website
Email the Center

Services Provided
  • Seminars, meetings and conferences
  • Weekly Aging Research Seminars, Journal Club and an annual Conference on Aging
  • The RD Core runs a pilot project program to enable investigators to take advantage of the expertise of the cores at the San Antonio Shock Center. Please email for details.
  • Breed and maintain rodent colonies
  • Lifespan studies in rodents
  • Provide animal models for baseline pilot studies
  • Provide diets containing rapamycin and other drugs
  • Educate staff in animal husbandry and experimental design
Integrative Physiology of Aging Core
  • Assessments of endocrine / metabolic function and body composition / structure
  • Measurement of cardiac parameters in mice
  • Tests of locomotor behavior and cognitive health
  • End of life and cross-sectional pathology in rodents and other species maintained by the Aging Animal and Longevity Assessment Core
  • Quantitative morphometric analyses by 3D and 2D imaging
  • Develop a database and tissue archive of histopathology
  • Develop validated bioanalytical assays for drugs used in aging studies
  • Measure drug levels in powders and solutions, lab chow, whole blood, serum, plasma, and tissues such as liver, brain, kidney, intestine, skin, etc. from aging mice


University of Washington Nathan Shock Center

University of Washington
Peter S. Rabinovitch, M.D., Ph.D., Director
1959 NE Pacific St., K-081 HSB
Seattle, WA 98195-7705
University of Washington Nathan Shock Center Website
Email the Center

Services Provided
  • Provides support for pilot projects in the biology of aging that draw upon our Center's Core Service Resources. Applications are due in February of each year and are open to scientists nationwide; however, preference is given to junior faculty applicants. Please contact Dr. Rabinovitch for further information
  • Support for seminars, courses, symposia and workshops
    • Next event:
      Nathan Shock Center Summit, June 17-18, 2020 at the American Aging Association Meeting in Madison, WI
  • Statistical consulting for experimental design and analysis
  • Community outreach and collaboration with other Nathan Shock Centers
  • Administrative support
  • Support for design and execution of aging –related projects using budding yeast, C. elegans, and Drosophila
  • Lifespan and healthspan analysis in budding yeast, including replicative lifespan, chronological lifespan, stress resistance, and growth rate
  • Lifespan and healthspan analysis in C. elegans
  • Development and application of microfluidic solutions to invertebrate aging studies, including assistance with establishing microfluidic systems for aging-related studies externally
  • Support with design and execution of experiments using metabolomic profiling to ask aging–related questions
  • Sample preparation and metabolomic profiling
  • Support with statistical analysis of metabolomic studies of aging
  • Network analysis of metabolomic profiles in aging-related studies
  • Support with design and execution of experiments using proteomics to ask aging–related questions
  • Sample preparation for proteomics
  • Targeted and discovery proteomics data collection
  • Measurements of peptide abundance and half-life by mass spectrometry
  • Software tools and support for the analysis of proteomics data


Albert Einstein College of Medicine Institute for Aging Research/Nathan Shock Center

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Nir Barzilai, M.D., Director
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Belfer Building, Room 701
Bronx, NY 10461
Email Nir Barzilai
Albert Einstein Institute for Aging Research Shock Center Website
Email Katherine Paulus

Services Provided
  • The Proteostasis of Aging Core provides state-of-the-art methodology for the study of changes in cellular protein homeostasis in aging and age-related disorders
  • The CEAC offers intellectual expertise specific to the design, implementation and interpretation of studies targeting the understanding of energetics and metabolic consequences and mechanisms specific to aging
  • The GEAC provide investigators with whole-genome association data from human centenarians and controls to assess their gene of interest in relationship to human aging and diseases. It provides sequence enrichment for next-generation re-sequencing of candidate gene regions, and genome-wide DNA methylation analysis using advanced high throughput technology

Sofiya Milman, MD
Rajat Singh, MD PhD

  • RDC provides funding for Pilot and Feasibility studies, enhances and supports E-NSC science at Einstein, identifies new faculty who have potential for "conversion" to aging research and provides continuous mentoring through grant applications, assists junior faculty and investigators new to aging research, and provides formal education in the biology of aging


Oklahoma Nathan Shock Center

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Arlan Richardson, Ph.D., Directior
ROCA/Geriatric Medicine
975 NE 10th Street/SLY-BRC 1303
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Email Dr. Richardson
Oklahoma Nathan Shock Center Website
Email: Email Laura Otalora

Services Provided
  • Provide both intellectual and organizational leadership in developing a research emphasis in geroscience in Oklahoma City as well as the State of Oklahoma
  • Sponsor the annual Oklahoma Geroscience Symposium
  • Geropathology Research Resource
  • Provides investigators at institutions throughout the United States conducting geroscience related research with pilot funding. These funds can be used to access the resources of the Oklahoma Nathan Shock Center at no cost. These NIA sponsored funds are typically reserved for junior faculty members at the early stages of their career although more senior investigators that are new to the aging field also may be eligible for funding
  • Uses LC-tandem MS with selected reaction monitoring (SRM) to measure protein abundance in tissue samples from rodents as well as invertebrates and other animals used in geroscience research
  • Panels of proteins (20 to 30) in the following pathways are available for rats and mice: antioxidant proteins, β-oxidation, glycolysis, TCA-cycle, and various mitochondrial proteins
  • Assays for proteins involved in other pathways can be designed and validated for rodents and humans
  • Panels of proteins for invertebrates (yeast, C. elegans, Drosophila) and exceptionally long-lived species (e.g., naked mole rats, bats, birds, etc.) can be developed
  • A genome-wide, base-specific analysis of 5mC levels in all gene promoters and all of the non-repeat region CpG islands, shores, and shelves of the human, mouse, or rat genome using Bisulfite Oligonucleotide Capture Sequencing assay gives investigators
  • DNA methylation in the promoter regions (a few hundred bases to a few kilobases) of a specific gene from any species
  • Whole mitochondrial genome sequencing for human, mouse, and rat (as well as other animal models, including invertebrates) to identify heteroplasmic variants
  • Absolute quantification of mitochondria DNA copy number in human, mouse, and rat samples
  • Single cell transcriptomics
  • Assays of redox status, e.g., GSH/GSSG, NADPH/NADP+, NADH/NAD+
  • Assays of oxidative damage, e.g., F2-isoprostanes, 8-oxo-deoxy guanosine, and protein carbonyls
  • Mitochondrial function in cells and tissues
  • In vivo free radical imaging
  • Provides support in statistics and bioinformatics for data analysis, including prioritization of Y2H PPI studies
  • Processing and analysis of ChIP-seq, RNA-seq and microarray experimental data
  • Text-mining analysis to identify published commonalities, how two things are connected, or infer novel connections
  • Transcriptional network analysis to predict gene or ncRNA function, even when no literature exists on the transcript


UAB Nathan Shock Center

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Nathan Shock Center
Steven Austad, PhD, Director
1720 2nd Avenue South, CH 464
Birmingham, AL 35294-1170
Email Dr. Austad
UAB Shock Center Website
Email: Email the Center

Contact Services Provided
Steven Austad
  • Promotes the quality, services and activities the Research Cores
  • Evaluates and enhances the impact of the Research Cores for the research community
  • Coordinates education, training, and outreach for the aging research community
  • Stimulates interactions and collaborations between the Center and the aging research community
  • Provides day-to-day administrative support and financial management for the Center
  • Organizes and supports seminars and symposia focused on the basic biology of aging
  • Offers research career development activities for graduate students and postdoctoral associates affiliated with the Center
  • Works with the Internal and External Advisory Committees
  • Manages the membership of the Center, in collaboration with the Internal Advisory Committee
Tim Nagy
  • Provides consultation in methods and study design, training, expertise and state-of-the-art instrumentation to facilitate research on the role of whole animal energetics and metabolism in aging
  • Learn about our full list of services and COEC fees
David Allison
  • Provides consultation in study design, research proposal development, and data analysis, including traditional, specialized, and bespoke methods for scientists performing research on the basic biology of aging. CDAC also conducts high level statistical investigations of secondary data to answer questions about the comparative biology and energetics of aging. See the complete list of CDAC services.
Jianhua Zhang
  • Offers state-of-the-art services to investigators to facilitate research and training on mitochondrial function and mitophagy as it relates to aging
  • Learn about our full list of services.
Thomas Buford
  • Advertises broadly for proposals for Pilot and/or Feasibility studies in comparative energetics of aging from faculty in all disciplines
  • Administers a review system that ensures optimal use of the Center's research cores
  • Promotes interdisciplinary activities that leverage resources from a range of fields
  • Provides mentoring and support for the Pilot/Feasibility awardees
  • Identifies proposals exploring promising areas of research or seeking to address controversial areas in the basic biology of aging
  • Evaluates the Pilot/Feasibility Program success
  • Facilitates synergy and collaboration among awardees and other aging researchers