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NIH to Fund Studies on Role of Genes, Social Environment in Aging

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute on Aging will spend up to nearly $3.8 million over five years to fund one or two research programs studying how the interplay of genetics and social environment can affect health later in life.

The aim of the grants, which will award up to $750,000 in the first year of the program, is to "lay the foundation" for future studies of the role of genes and environment in the health of older adults, NIH said in its request for applications, adding that the award is not intended to support new data collection.

NIA is encouraging applicants to work in a number of areas, including the development of collaborations among existing twin and family studies; establishing data on the feasibility of genetic and genomic approaches of how social experiences influence middle and later life outcomes; using animal models of genetic, social, and environmental interplay; conducting analyses aimed at refining social phenotypes for genetics analyses; and harmonizing social phenotypes using twin and family studies.

The announcement is intended to support a range of genetic approaches, including secondary analysis of previously conducted genome-wide association studies, but it is not intended to fund genotyping or GWAS, NIH said.

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