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Development of Human Aging Mechanistic Predictive Markers

Development of Valid Reliable Markers of Aging-Related Biologic Mechanisms for Human Studies 

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages applications to develop valid markers to assess the activity of fundamental aging mechanisms in humans that may influence the risk and progression of multiple aging conditions. Projects are encouraged that focus on selected mechanism(s) that may regulate aging changes, assess multiple possible markers for these mechanisms, test methods to improve their measurement properties, characterize their variability among individuals of differing ages and within the same age cohort, and assess their relationships in humans to in vivo functions influenced by the mechanism(s) under study. It is strongly encouraged that each project includes an interdisciplinary research team with expertise, as needed, in the biology of their selected mechanism(s), biomedical aging research, clinical pathology including laboratory assays, imaging methods, human cohort studies, tissue banking, biorepository resources, and statistics. Though the principal focus of the initiative is on development of markers in humans, studies in laboratory animals may also be conducted when necessary for the development of human markers, and potential development of parallel laboratory animal markers of a given mechanism.

The markers generated through this initiative will provide a valuable resource for a wide range of human observational aging and intervention studies, by enhancing the ability to identify potential targets for interventions and assess the effects of interventions aimed at engaging these targets.

Awards will be supported through Cooperative Agreements (U01). Awardees will be expected to interact and function as a network, through periodic meetings, exchange of data, and collaboration among awardees when mutually useful. NIA staff will assist in coordinating these activities.

Clinical trials testing effects of interventions on newly developed markers as surrogate markers to screen potential interventions targeting aging-related mechanisms are outside the scope of this FOA, as are projects with a principal focus on laboratory animal studies. Applications for such projects will be considered non-responsive.

Full details of this RFA are available at:  https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AG-18-018.html.