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Resilience and Aging Funding Opportunity

Supporting Research on Resilience and Aging

Unraveling the keys to staying healthy—and bouncing back—as we age.

The National Institute on Aging has released two new funding opportunities related to resilience and aging. The Institute encourages small business concerns to apply to RFA-AG-19-025 and RFA-AG-19-026. For more information on NIA research on resilience, please read the background information below. We invite applicants to contact NIA program officers or the NIA Translational Research Small Business Outreach office with their concepts.

Background

Age-related declines in resiliencies can contribute to a variety of adverse health and functional outcomes in later life. Consequently, it can be more difficult for an older person to recover from acute illnesses or injuries which are otherwise efficiently resolved or overcome by younger individuals. For the purposes of this discussion, resilience is defined as a dynamic property which enables cells, organs, organisms or individuals to resist or recover from the effects of a physiological or pathological stressor (i.e., physical in nature). Examples of resiliencies to specific stressors include maintenance of cardiovascular function following major surgery, successful fracture union, appropriate healing of surgical incisions and recovery of hematopoietic function after cancer chemotherapy. The resilience of an individual may also confer protection against the development of a given condition, despite the presence of risk factors for that condition.

If we can characterize different resilient phenotypes and elucidate how increasing age changes resiliencies to specific stressors and to the underlying mechanisms (cellular resiliencies), then we can open up new translational research opportunities to develop novel, targeted interventions to preserve and/or enhance resiliency and promote healthy aging. To stimulate research on these issues, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) convened workshops and issued several initiatives on the concept of resilience.

In August 2014, the National Institute on Aging (NIA) convened a workshop on possible measures of resilience in laboratory animals and it specifically focused on tests of resilience as a global construct (i.e., resilience across multiple physiologic systems). Further details of this workshop can be found in Kirkland JL, Stout MB, Sierra F. Resilience in aging mice. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016 Nov;71(11): 1407 – 1414.

A subsequent NIA workshop held in August of 2016 considered potential approaches for studying different resilient responses in humans, as well as the contributions of and interactions between different physiologic systems to resiliencies in humans (Hadley EC et al. Report: NIA Workshop on Measures of Physiologic Resiliencies in Human Aging. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2017, Vol. 72, No. 7, 980–990.)

NIA Initiatives and Awardees

The NIA also issued Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) on the concept of resilience which included:

  1. RFA-AG-17-040: “Short-term Measurements of Physical Resilience as a Predictor of Healthspan in Mice (R01)” which focuses on the identification of mechanisms contributing to resilience (i.e., a global construct)
  2. RFA-AG-17-014: “Predictors and Determinants of Age-Related Changes in Resiliencies to Physical Stressors in Humans (UH2/UH3)” which focuses on the characterization of resiliencies in humans (i.e., resilience of individual physiologic systems and underlying mechanisms)
  3. RFA-AG-17-061: “Interdisciplinary Research to Understand the Complex Biology of Resilience to Alzheimer’s Disease Risk (R01)” which focuses on the molecular characterization of individuals who remain free of dementia despite being at high risk for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Applicants to NIA RFA AG-19-025, "Development of Personalized In Vitro Assays to Quantitatively Assess Age-related Changes in Cellular Resiliencies to Physiologic Stressors (SBIR [R43/R44] Clinical Trial Not Allowed)," and the companion RFA AG-19-026, "Development of Personalized In Vitro Assays to Quantitatively Assess Age-related Changes in Cellular Resiliencies to Physiologic Stressors (STTR [R41/R42] Clinical Trial Not Allowed)" are strongly encouraged to interact with awardees from NIA initiatives on resilience so that the development of in vitro assays of cellular resiliencies will be informed by the various phenotypes of resilience being examined and to increase the likelihood that the methodological needs of ongoing research on resilience will be addressed.

The awardees and the projects funded by each of these initiatives are as follows:

RFA-AG-17-040: “Short-term Measurements of Physical Resilience as a Predictor of Healthspan in Mice (R01)”

Project Title

Project Number

PI Name (Contact)

A SEX DIFFERENCE APPROACH TO EVALUATING RESILIENCE AS A PREDICTOR OF HEALTHSPAN IN MICE

1R01AG057434-01

AUSTAD, STEVEN N

OPTIMIZING RESILIENCE ASSAYS FOR BIOLOGY OF AGING RESEARCH IN MICE

1R01AG057429-01

HUFFMAN, DEREK MAJOR

PHYSICAL RESILIENCE IS A PREDICTOR OF HEALTHY AGING IN MICE

1R01AG057381-01

LADIGES, WARREN C

TESTING THE ABILITY OF NOVEL ASSAYS OF RESILIENCE TO PREDICT LIFESPAN

1R01AG057424-01

RICHARDSON, ARLAN G

PRIMARY FIBROBLAST RESILIENCY AS A PREDICTOR OF HEALTH AND LIFESPAN IN MICE

1R01AG057431-01

SALMON, ADAM

RFA-AG-17-014: “Predictors and Determinants of Age-Related Changes in Resiliencies to Physical Stressors in Humans (UH2/UH3)”

Project Title

Project Number

Contact PI / Project Leader

CHARACTERIZING RESILIENCIES TO PHYSICAL STRESSORS IN OLDER ADULTS: A DYNAMICAL PHYSIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS APPROACH

1 UH2 AG056933 01

Walston, Jeremy

PHYSICAL RESILIENCIES: INDICATORS AND MECHANISMS IN THE ELDERLY COLLABORATIVE

1 UH2 AG056925 01

Colon-Emeric, Cathleen

RFA-AG-17- 061: “Interdisciplinary Research to Understand the Complex Biology of Resilience to Alzheimer’s Disease Risk (R01)”

Project Title

Project Number

Contact PI / Project Leader

RESILIENCE TO ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE IN HUMANS WITH EXCEPTIONAL LONGEVITY

1R01AG057909-01

BARZILAI, NIR J

MIRIAD - MULTIPLEXED IMAGING OF RESILIENCE IN ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

1R01AG057915-01

BENDALL, SEAN CURTIS

IDENTIFYING THE MOLECULAR SYSTEMS, NETWORKS, AND KEY MOLECULES THAT UNDERLIE COGNITIVE RESILIENCE

1R01AG057911-01

GAITERI, CHRISTOPHER A.

SYSTEMS GENETICS ANALYSIS OF RESILIENCE TO ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

1R01AG057914-01

KACZOROWSKI, CATHERINE COOK

MOLECULAR NETWORKS UNDERLYING RESILIENCE TO ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE AMONG APOE E4 CARRIERS

1R01AG057912-01

LEVINE, MORGAN ELYSE

INTEGRATIVE NETWORK MODELING OF COGNITIVE RESILIENCE TO ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

1R01AG057907-01

ZHANG, BIN

Pre-Application Webinar, Part l and ll

The Pre-Application Webinar Part l was presented on Wednesday, December 19, 2018. A second webinar was presented on January 24, 2019. The webinars provide prospective applicants to RFAs AG-19-025 (SBIR) and AG-19-026 (STTR) with the opportunity to receive information from the scientific staff and members of the Office of Small Business Research, and to ask questions about the scientific scope of these announcements and the technical details for applying. In Part ll, attendees heard a recap of objectives and goals for the RFA presented by the NIA scientific team, in addition to presentations by two current grantees providing specific examples of types of resiliencies to be considered, and information on the commercial viability of these concepts.

To receive the slides from the Pre-Application Webinar Part l or Part ll, please send your request to: NIAtranslationalsb@mail.nih.gov.

Watch a recording of Pre-Application Webinar Part II.