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NIH Funds Einstein for Aging Genomics Studies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University will use a five-year, $11.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to lead a study of the role damage to DNA may play in aging and disease.

The university will lead a consortium that aims to understand how genome maintenance affects aging, and will expand on recent studies which found that interfering with the cellular processes related to DNA repair may lead to premature aging in mice.

Other partners include researchers from the Buck Institute for Age Research in Novato, Calif., and the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas, and in the Netherlands the National Institute of Public Health and Environment and the Erasmus University Medical Center.

The research will focus on four central areas of study including unraveling the mechanisms that lead from DNA damage to premature as well as normal aging; testing the role of DNA maintenance and repair as a pro-longevity system in humans; developing sets of blood-based biomarkers that indicate premature aging in mouse models, and validating these biomarkers in normally aging mice and in humans; and developing new, experimental interventions that neutralize symptoms of premature aging in the short-lived mice.

One study at the Einstein College of Medicine will use the tissue sample resource of Ashkenazi Jews who lived to be 100 years and beyond to search for genetic variations that are associated with longevity.

"Ultimately, our hope is that this research will lead to new strategies that can be deployed for delaying, preventing, or even curing age-related disease," Jan Vijg, chairman of genetics at Einstein College of Medicine, said in a statement.

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