Request for Information: Challenges and Opportunities in Understanding Cellular Senescence and Senolytics
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

March 26, 2021

Response Date:
April 30, 2021

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Issued by

Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)


Information Requested

The NIH has published three RFAs (RFA-RM-21-008; RFA-RM-21-009; RFA-RM-21-010) in January 2021 to develop 3D cellular senescence maps of healthy human tissues and to develop novel tools and technologies to address the role of senescent cells in human health and disease. While these human maps are the ultimate goal, much research in biomedicine is performed in mice, and extrapolation of the findings to human health requires a detailed understanding of both the similarities and the differences between these species. Ultimately, bidirectional crosstalk between findings in human and mouse, combined with the ability to test the effects of experimental perturbation in mice, will more fully inform the role of cellular senescence in health and disease and the consequences of interventions targeting this process. Therefore, as a follow up to the human RFAs, we would like to focus efforts on a similar and complementary goal in mice

As part of the initial planning process, we are requesting input from the scientific community on the challenges in this field that can best be addressed through a concerted and coordinated effort. Specifically, we welcome your comments and ideas in the following domains:

  1. The mouse strains that offer the greatest opportunity to characterize the heterogeneity vs. universality of senescence features;
  2. The mouse tissues that should be prioritized;
  3. The minimum number of mice needed at each age/sex to generate the maximum confidence level in the study;
  4. The age(s) of mice that should be suitable for:
    1. Developing methods tools, or community resources that would be required to define biomarkers of cell senescence in multiple contexts;
    2. Characterizing the multiple drivers of cell senescence, both pathological and physiological, across lifespan;
    3. Understanding the health consequences of senescent cell accumulation; and
    4. Characterizing attributes of physiological senescence during normal development and wound healing and their similarities or differences compared to pathological senescence.

How to Submit a Response

Responses to this RFI will be accepted through April 30, 2021. All comments will be anonymous and must be submitted via email to Please include the Notice number (NOT-RM-21-016) in the subject line.

In your email, please include the bullet you are addressing (or if you are proposing a novel topic), and justification for your suggestion. Please note that we are interested in addressing both the beneficial and the deleterious effects of senescent cells, and an emphasis must be placed on the creation of resources that will benefit the research community as a whole.
Responses to this RFI are voluntary. The Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information provided and respondents will not receive individualized feedback. This RFI is for planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the United States Government. NIH will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. NIH does not intend to make any type of award based on responses to this RFI or to pay for either the preparation of information submitted or the United States Government's use of such information. The information submitted will be analyzed and may be shared internally, appear in reports or be reflected in future solicitations, as appropriate and at the Government's discretion. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s) or other activities. 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.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Felipe Sierra, Ph.D.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-6402

Kevin Howcroft, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6229

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