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NIA Plans Funding for Life Span and Health Span Targets

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute on Aging plans to fund translational research projects that seek to identify and study genetic variants that influence human life span and health span, the institute said in a new notice. Such factors, it added, could be used as possible therapeutic targets.

Specifically, NIA is developing a funding opportunity to support the creation of a collaborative research infrastructure and a multidisciplinary team of scientists to pursue these efforts. This team will use genetic information linked to aging and health to develop new interventions, repurpose existing ones, or identify molecules or pathways that could be modified through the use of such interventions.

The members of this multidisciplinary team will need to have expertise in genetics, bioinformatics, gerontology, physiology, cell biology, and epidemiology, among other disciplines.

NIA said this multidisciplinary team will be expected to engage in five core activities, although the amount of emphasis these themes receive will depend on the projects the team selects.

Briefly, the team is to create a central resource of data and computational tools, and identify and assess gene variants as potential therapeutic targets.

The team also will evaluate specific strategies for identifying new targets, which could involve in vivo or in vitro studies and analyses of existing databases, and develop primary target identification strategies based on one or more specific variants.

The partners also will be expected to build a curated bioinformatics resource covering the prospective targets.

NIA is not yet accepting applications for this grant, but it expects that applications for the program will be due in September.