Notice Number: NOT-AG-18-011
Release Date: April 23, 2018
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Aging is the major risk factor for frailty and many chronic diseases in people over the age of 55. If the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for aging could be better understood and slowed, then multiple diseases and conditions might be impacted, leading to a healthier population. This is the focus of a cross-cutting field called geroscience. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) hopes that this field will encourage researchers to consider adding the hallmarks of aging to the available suite of possible therapeutic targets. This novel research direction should enhance our understanding of chronic disease and accelerate the development of both prevention and intervention strategies.
This Request for Information (RFI) asks non-governmental groups (e.g., researchers, disease and aging patient advocacy organizations, professional societies, and others), to provide input into the planning for a future Geroscience Summit, designed to explore the contributions that geroscience can make to relieving the burden of chronic diseases and their impact (e.g., loss of resilience and frailty). Responses to this RFI will help the National Institutes of Health (NIH) GeroScience Special Interest Group (GSIG) to better understand the goals of diverse non-governmental organizations, and how discussions and collaborations around the topic of geroscience (facilitated by the Summit) can help all interested parties accelerate their research-related activities.
The GSIG is a collaboration across components of the NIH (21 of the 27 NIH Institutes and Centers) with interests in the many and diverse chronic diseases of the elderly. The GSIG’s goal is to promote further discoveries on the common risks and mechanisms behind such diseases. By coordinating resources and expertise, the GSIG identifies major cross-cutting areas of research and proposes mutually supportive approaches to identify hurdles and envision solutions. To assist translation of these findings into improved health of our older adult population, the GSIG encourages the development of new tools, models and paradigms that address the basic biological underpinnings of multiple diseases within the context of aging. See https://www.nia.nih.gov/gsig for more information, including the list of participating NIH Institutes and Centers.
In the fall of 2013, the NIH (with the collaboration and support of the GSIG and several external organizations) held the first ever Geroscience Summit, entitled “Advances in Geroscience: Impact on Healthspan and Chronic Disease.” The goal of this initial summit was twofold: 1) to generate a new vision of collaborative interactions that will advance understanding of how the molecular, cellular and systemic processes of aging affect the etiology of chronic diseases; and 2) to identify strategic scientific areas of overlap among divergent chronic diseases and suggest new research interactions or directions to address those areas that will promote health.
Based on discussions during the first summit, in the spring of 2016 the NIH again organized (with support from the New York Academy of Sciences and other groups) a second meeting entitled “Disease Drivers of Aging: 2016 Advances in Geroscience.” The goal of the second summit was to explore the impact of chronic diseases on the rate of aging. The meeting brought together a wide spectrum of researchers, representatives from pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, who work in the fields of selected aging-related diseases (i.e., HIV/AIDS, cancer and diabetes) and in aging research, to understand the impact of these conditions and/or their treatment on aging.
The GSIG is in the early stages of planning for a third Geroscience Summit, to potentially take place in the Spring of 2019. At present, the GSIG envisions that this future Geroscience Summit might include an overview of NIH interests in relevant chronic diseases and their impact; representation from non-governmental organizations regarding their efforts to help their patient populations; and perspectives from basic and clinical investigators on promising avenues of research. Linked to these presentations, breakout groups could seek to identify hallmarks of aging that might contribute and impact individual diseases, and begin envisioning ways that slowing the rate of aging could benefit those susceptible to or currently affected by these conditions.
Previous Summits have had a significant impact on research collaborations, etc., but many non-governmental organizations with strong interests in specific chronic diseases have not been extensively involved in Summit-related activities. In order to move the field forward, the GSIG hopes to learn more about the research-related goals of these organizations, to see how a third Summit might help to foster collaboration and coordination around chronic disease.
This RFI seeks input from non-governmental stakeholder organizations (e.g., researchers, disease and aging patient advocacy organizations, professional societies, and others) throughout the scientific research community and the general public regarding:
1) Recommendations for specific age-related chronic diseases/conditions that should be considered in the planning for a third NIH Geroscience Summit;
2) Feedback on whether individual organizations may be interested in contributing input to the planning of such a Summit, and areas of interest for participation;
3) Feedback on whether individual organizations may be interested in participating in a summit session that would encompass scientific presentations by public and private stakeholders about the links between specific chronic diseases and geroscience, as well as suggested subtopics for such a session; and
4) Input on the potential impact of this type of session on future scientific needs and progress in regard to specific diseases affected by aging.
All comments must be submitted electronically by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Responses must be received by 11:59:59 pm (ET) on June 1, 2018.
Responses to this RFI are voluntary. Do not include any proprietary, classified, confidential, trade secret, or sensitive information in your response. The responses will be reviewed by NIH staff, and individual feedback will not be provided to any responder. The Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. The Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on public NIH websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements.
This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and shall not be construed as a solicitation, grant, or cooperative agreement, or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the NIH, or individual NIH Institutes and Centers to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. The Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government’s use of such information. No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government’s use of such information.
We look forward to your input and hope that you will share this RFI document with your colleagues.
Please direct all inquiries to:
Melinda Kelley, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)