Training the next generation of geroscience researchers | National Institute on Aging – National Institute on Aging

Ron Kohanski

Over the last decade, geroscience has transformed the way we think about aging and aging research. Geroscience is focused on improving health and well-being by beneficially altering or reversing the cellular and molecular changes that take place as we age. These changes, uncovered by the biology of aging research, can contribute to a progressive loss of function and the onset of frailty and many diseases prevalent at older ages. The geroscience hypothesis proposes that interventions that target these important cellular and molecular aging pathways may preserve or restore function in older adults.

Recognizing the need for more geroscience training and awareness

At the most recent Geroscience Summit, led by the Trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG), participants highlighted the need for increased engagement with researchers and clinicians across multiple disciplines to translate geroscience discoveries more effectively into new medical advances. In order to build a more diverse and interdisciplinary geroscience workforce, we need to help make sure stakeholder groups, including researchers, clinicians, and members of the public, are aware of and understand the founding concepts of this exciting field.

To address that need, we released a new funding opportunity to support creative educational programs aimed at enhancing and expanding broader awareness of geroscience research. PAR-22-214 is an R25 designed to support courses for skills development, research experiences, curriculum or methods development, or outreach programs on the topic of geroscience. These educational activities can be targeted to basic, translational, or clinical researchers, or members of the public.

Topics covered by these geroscience education activities may include related concepts such as the hallmarks of aging, age-associated diseases and conditions, and interventions that may extend lifespan as well as healthspan (the period of life spent in good health, free from the chronic diseases and disabilities of aging). We’re looking to support innovative geroscience coursework, hands-on research experiences, networking with experts in the geroscience field, materials and outreach to promote awareness of geroscience among the public, the curation of important geroscience publications and clinical trials, and fostering innovative approaches to enhancing diversity within the field.

Get your applications in soon!

Letters of intent for this funding opportunity are due Sept. 21, 2022, with a final application due date of Oct. 21, 2022. We hope you and your colleagues will consider applying for this funding opportunity to help raise awareness of geroscience more broadly and train the next generation of geroscientists! If you have any questions, please contact the NIA Division of Aging Biology team, or leave a comment below.

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