Research and Funding

Division of Aging Biology

NIA Virtual Repository

NIA supports longitudinal and clinical studies on aging in human populations. These studies generate human biospecimens, including—but not limited to—blood, serum, cells, tissue, and urine. This virtual repository provides investigators with an introduction to NIA's biogerontology studies and links to repositories that have human biospecimens available for sharing.  Each study has its own consent limitations, which are outlined in the linked descriptions.

Biogerontology Studies

The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) Repository

The SWAN Repository is a biologic specimen bank containing serum, urine, and DNA samples from 3,302 women of different ethnic groups collected during a 7-year period, with the intent of describing the biological and psychosocial characteristics that occur during midlife and the menopausal transition.

Dynamics of Health, Aging, and Body Composition (Health ABC)

Health ABC studies and tracks age-related changes in men and women ages 70–79. The study examines the extent of change in body composition, clinical conditions that accelerate these changes, and the health impact of these changes on strength, endurance, disability, and weight-related diseases. Thirty-three percent of the male participants are African American, and forty-six percent of the female participants are African American.

Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA)

NIA supports the BLSA, which was established in 1958 and is the longest running scientific study of human aging in the United States. BLSA scientists are investigating what happens as people age and how to distinguish changes due to aging from those of disease or other causes. More than 1,200 men and women—ranging in age from their twenties to their nineties—are study volunteers.

Alzheimer's Disease Centers (ADCs): National Alzheimer's Coordinating Center (NACC)

Basic data on all patients enrolled in NIA-funded ADCs since its establishment in 1984 have been collected at NACC (established in 1999). There are more than 70,000 subjects enrolled in the ADCs; some of them have provided biological specimens (e.g., brain, CSF, blood, DNA). These specimens were collected under various protocols (depending on the research needs of scientists locally) and are stored at the individual ADCs. A tabulation of the specimens by primary neuropathological diagnosis existing collectively at the ADCs is shown on NACC's Web site. NACC will provide help to researchers locating specific classes of specimens and direct them to the individual ADCs, where they may request access to stored specimens. Contact instructions are included on NACC's Web site.

Contact Information

If you are having difficulty navigating this site or are unable to contact a representative from your desired study, please contact Tracy Cope (, NIA's Biological Resources Branch (BRB) representative.