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Fourth Summit: Geroscience for the Next Generation

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On April 24-26, 2023, the NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG) held the fourth Geroscience Summit with in-person and virtual options. This landmark event brought together researchers and clinicians interested in geroscience and aging to explore the state of the science.

About the Fourth Summit: Geroscience for the Next Generation

The growing field of geroscience is focused on the discovery and translation of methods and interventions to prevent, minimize or reverse age-related deficits that diminish the quality of life for older individuals. For the purposes of advancing geroscience, aging can be described as the progressive decline in biological resilience mechanisms that lead to functional deficit accumulation and, eventually, a reduced ability to maintain health and independence in the face of environmental and social challenges. The presence of functional deficits may result from underlying biology and physiological vulnerability that manifests clinically as increased risk of chronic diseases. Greater susceptibility to environmental stresses, such as infections, pollutants and sudden or persistent extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, or psychological stresses including the loss of loved ones, also increase morbidities associated with aging.

Another important goal for biology of aging researchers is to elucidate the molecular origins of functional deficit accumulation. This knowledge is a necessary foundation on which to develop and test interventions that could act in advance of deficit accumulation (geroprotective) and those that could reverse deficit accumulation (gerotherapeutic). Geroscience is a field of research whose outcomes are important for geriatrics, the medical discipline specializing in the treatment of existing diseases, geriatric syndromes and disabilities in older adults. In this respect, research on biomarkers is particularly important to geroscience. Biomarkers of aging can be used as readouts in pre-clinical experiments and then used to create and validate parallel investigations and clinical trials in humans. What distinguishes geroscience from other fields of medicine and biology is its core hypothesis, “Any intervention that slows the rate of aging will impact multiple deficits and therefore delay multiple chronic diseases, reduce multimorbidity and improve function and resilience in older people.” The fundamental challenge for geroscience is to effectively advance discoveries in biology of aging into candidate interventions, and then advance translation of those interventions to clinical trials. With these challenges and opportunities in mind, the NIH will host a fourth summit on geroscience to provide a venue for critical discussions about the direction of the field.

The fourth Geroscience Summit was an opportunity to further develop and implement geroscience in an equitable manner, while considering the breadth and heterogeneity of physiology among individuals across all populations. Researchers and clinicians discussed new approaches to understanding and addressing multimorbidity and geriatric syndromes, two clinical conditions that place a significant burden on older populations.

Summit Publications and Recordings

Publications

Day 1: April 24, 2023

The first day of the Summit covered the Welcome and Introduction, Biological Determinants of Health and Disparities in Aging (Session I), Populations for Geroscience: High and Low Burdens of Functional Deficits and Morbidities (Session II), Multimorbidities and Geriatric Syndromes (Session III), and a Panel Discussion.

Day 2: April 25, 2023

The second day of the Summit covered Methods for Measuring Health (Session IV), Mathematical Modeling of Aging and Health for Geroscience (Session V), Biomarkers for Geroscience (Session VI), and a Panel Discussion.

Day 3: April 26, 2023

The third day of the Summit covered Geroscience as Medicine in the Clinic and Community (Session VII), Geroscience Clinical Trials (Session VIII), Looking Forward: Where Do We Go from Here? (Session IX), and a Panel Discussion.

Agenda and Sessions

The Summit Briefing Book (PDF, 573K) containing the meeting agenda, speaker abstracts, contact information, and additional resources is now available.

The agenda and sessions for the summit are outlined below. 

April 24, 2023 | 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

SESSION I: Biological Determinants of Health and Disparities in Aging
SESSION II: Populations for Geroscience: High and Low Burdens of Functional Deficits and Morbidities
SESSION III: Multimorbidities and Geriatric Syndromes

April 25, 2023 | 9:00 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.

SESSION IV: Methods for Measuring Health
SESSION V: Mathematical Modeling of Aging and Health for Geroscience
SESSION VI: Biomarkers for Geroscience

April 26, 2023 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

SESSION VII: Geroscience as Medicine in the Clinic and Community
SESSION VIII: Geroscience Clinical Trials
SESSION IX: Looking Forward: Where Do We Go from Here?

NIH Geroscience Interest Group

Learn about the goals and activities of the Trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG).

Media Inquiries

Media inquiries surrounding the Geroscience Summit should be directed to the NIA Office of Communications and Public Liaison or call 301-496-1752.

Contact Us

For more information about the Summit please contact Ronald Kohanski or Siobhan Addie.

nia.nih.gov

An official website of the National Institutes of Health