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Research Resources

Use the NIA Research Resources database to find NIA-supported scientific resources, datasets, informatics resources, and more. Search by keyword, resource type, or NIA Division or IRP. 

Biological Resources

Nonhuman Primates

NIA maintains approximately 300 nonhuman primates (Macaca mulatta) at three regional primate centers for conducting research on aging for NIA funded scientists. These animals range in age from 18 to 35 years. Please contact Dr. Manuel Moro for additional information.

The Nonhuman Primate Tissue Bank provides a source of archived tissue from aged nonhuman primates, primarily rhesus monkeys. The tissue is donated by primate centers and universities with primate colonies and is available as frozen tissue chunks, slides of fixed tissue sections, and OTC-embedded frozen tissues.

The NIA supports the Primate Aging Database (PAD), a searchable database that contains basic health and husbandry data from primates across the lifespan and from numerous research institutions. PAD, hosted by the Wisconsin National Primate Center, is a password-secured site. For information, go to http://ipad.primate.wisc.edu.


Rodent Resources

NIA maintains colonies of aged rats and mice for use by the scientific community for research directly related to aging and age-related diseases. The animals are housed behind specific pathogen-free barriers and monitored for genetic purity and health status, and a health report accompanies each shipment of animals. In addition, NIA supports a tissue bank of flash-frozen tissues from mice and rats from the aged rodent colonies and tissue arrays containing punches of multiple ages and multiple tissues per slide. Please note that there are restrictions on eligibility to use the NIA aged rodent colonies.


Clinical Research Resources

Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI)

The Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) was a multi-center, longitudinal, prospective observational study of knee osteoarthritis (OA). The overall aim of the OAI was to develop a public domain research resource to facilitate the scientific evaluation of biomarkers for osteoarthritis as potential surrogate endpoints for disease onset and progression. The OAI established and maintains a natural history database for osteoarthritis that will include clinical evaluation data, radiological (x-ray and magnetic resonance) images, and a biospecimen repository from 4796 men and women ages 45-79 enrolled between February 2004 and May 2006. Four 3.0 Tesla MRI scanners, one at each clinical center, were dedicated to imaging the knees of OAI participants annually over four years. The seven-year project recruited participants who had, and those who are at high risk for developing, symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. All data and images collected are available to researchers worldwide to help quicken the pace of biomarker identification, scientific investigation and OA drug development. Access to biospecimens will be by application to the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).


Rochester Epidemiology Project

The Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP) is a collaboration of clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin and involves community members who have agreed to share their medical records for research. Using medical record information, medical scientists can discover what causes the diseases, how patients respond to medical and surgical therapies, and what will happen to patients in the future. Research studies conducted in the local community may improve the health of people both locally and globally.


Informatics

Pancreas++

Pancreas++ is a novel algorithm that facilitates the fully-automated, non-biased, and highly reproducible investigation of islet area and alpha- and beta-cell quantity, as well as position within the islet for either single or large batches of fluorescent images. The algorithm uses active contour models to quantify images accurately and quickly, resulting in an output of an easy-to-read tabular format. Pancreas++ can distinguish between relevant pixels and noise, process multiple islets within the same image, and function without the aid of user interaction. Read more about Pancreas++


Plurigon

Plurigon is a data visualization and classification tool for the integration of high-dimensionality visualization algorithms with a user-friendly, interactive graphical interface. Plurigon processes a series of floating-point numbers into a deformable 3D object with a visible topography using spiral spacing, convex hulls, and laplacian smoothing of polygonal meshes. Plurigon contains an easy-to-use keyboard layout for axial drawing, zooming, rotating, importing, and exporting. Read more about Plurigon and download the tool.


Health Databases

Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID)

The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) is the longest running longitudinal household survey in the world. The study began in 1968 with a nationally representative sample of over 18,000 individuals living in 5,000 families in the United States. Information on these individuals and their descendants has been collected continuously, including data covering employment, income, wealth, expenditures, health, marriage, childbearing, child development, philanthropy, education, and numerous other topics. The PSID is directed by faculty at the University of Michigan, and the data are available on this website without cost to researchers and analysts.


Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS)

The Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) is an NIH-funded initiative to develop and validate patient reported outcomes (PROs) for clinical research and practice. PROMIS aims to enhance and standardize measurement of several selected PROs through both computer adaptive testing and traditional "paper and pencil" instruments.

PROMIS was established in 2004 as a cooperative network that developed and validated PROs in global health, physical function, fatigue, pain, sleep/wake function, emotional distress, and social health. Currently, the PROMIS network consists of 12 research sites and 3 administrative centers that are developing PROs in several new domains and performing validation studies of PROs in new and existing domains.

PROMIS is one of several initiatives under the NIH Common Fund. Researchers and clinicians are encouraged to consider using PROMIS tools in their studies or practices. More information about PROMIS, including item banks, PRO instrument forms, and Assessment Center™, is available at www.nihpromis.org.

Direct NIA-relevant questions about PROMIS to: Basil Eldadah, MD, PhD; 301-496-6761; eldadahb@nia.nih.gov


Project Talent

Project Talent is a national longitudinal study that first surveyed America’s high school students in 1960. At the time, it was the largest and most comprehensive study of high school students ever conducted in the United States. Over 440,000 students from 1,353 schools across the country participated in two full days or four half days of testing. The study was developed by the American Institutes for Research, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute, and several other organizations, including the University of Pittsburgh, through a Cooperative Agreement. It was funded by the United States Office of Education. Fifty years later, the American Institutes for Research is planning to follow up with participants from the original 1960 study.


Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health (REACH)

The REACH study was a multisite caregiver intervention study that compared a variety of interventions for dementia caregivers to control conditions. The study was a landmark in its large sample size, use of multiple sites, and inclusion of large numbers of White, Hispanic, and African American caregivers.