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News

The latest updates from AFAR.

Grantee in the News: Judith Campisi shares insights on senescent cells and healthspan on Smithsonian.com

May 31
2017

Grantee in the News: Judith Campisi shares insights on senescent cells and healthspan on Smithsonian.com

In the June 2017 issue of Smithsonian Magazine, 1990 AFAR Research Award recipient, Judith Campisi, PhD shared insights on the role senescent cells play in aging and cancer, and the possible evolutionary reasons senescent cells remain in our bodies. While the article, Can Human Mortality Really Be Hacked?, focuses on the nonprofit SENS—Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence, Dr. Campisi shares that senescent cells originally act as a tumor suppressant mechanism, but later develops into a risk factor for all age-related diseases, including cancer. She explains: “One thing evolution had to select for was protection from cancer, because we are…


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Grantee in the News: Jason Karlawish latest Forbes column on the importance of perceiving Alzheimer’s disease patients humanly

May 30
2017

Grantee in the News: Jason Karlawish latest Forbes column on the importance of perceiving Alzheimer’s disease patients humanly

On May 13, 2017, in the latest of his regular column on Forbes.com, 2007 Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging recipient, Jason Karlawish, MD discusses the repercussions of viewing people with Alzheimer’s disease as what he describes as “zombies” or the “living dead.” In Alzheimer's Disease Patients Aren't Zombies -- They're People, And We Need To Treat Them Like People, Dr. Karlawish advocates for the humane treatment and perception of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. He cautions that viewing these patients as less than living people causes them…


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Grantee Spotlight Interview: Yonatan Savir, PhD

May 30
2017

Grantee Spotlight Interview: Yonatan Savir, PhD

AFAR’s grant programs in the biology of aging are central to our mission to support and advance healthy aging through biomedical research. At leading institutions nationwide, our grantees hard work, ingenuity, and leadership are advancing cutting-edge research that will help us all live healthier, longer. In this Grantee Spotlight interview, 2016 New Investigator Awards in Alzheimer's Disease recipient, Yonatan Savir, PhD shares what inspired him to enter the field of aging research and what impact he hopes his research will make thanks to AFAR’s support. Read Dr. Savir’s Grantee Spotlight Interview here.


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Board Member in the News: Caroline Blaum co-authors study on the impact of statin treatment in cardiovascular prevention among older adults in JAMA

May 25
2017

Board Member in the News: Caroline Blaum co-authors study on the impact of statin treatment in cardiovascular prevention among older adults in JAMA

On May 22, 2017, JAMA Internal Medicine published a study co-authored by AFAR Deputy Medical Officer Caroline S. Blaum, MD that found statin treatments weren’t effective as a primary preventative for heart attacks or coronary heart disease deaths in adults aged 65 and older. In Effect of Statin Treatment vs Usual Care on Primary Cardiovascular Prevention Among Older Adults, Dr. Blaum and fellow researchers sorted 2,867 participants—aged 65 and older, with high blood pressure and no evidence of plaque buildup in their arteries—into two groups. One group was prescribed to take 40 milligrams of pravastatin sodium treatment every day, and…


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Grantee Spotlight Interview: Scott Leiser, PhD

May 22
2017

Grantee Spotlight Interview: Scott Leiser, PhD

AFAR’s grant programs in the biology of aging are central to our mission to support and advance healthy aging through biomedical research. At leading institutions nationwide, our grantees hard work, ingenuity, and leadership are advancing cutting-edge research that will help us all live healthier, longer. In this Grantee Spotlight interview, 2016 New Investigator Awards in Alzheimer's Disease recipient, Scott Leiser, PhD shares what inspired him to enter the field of aging research and what impact he hopes his research will make thanks to AFAR’s support. Read Dr. Leiser’s Grantee Spotlight Interview here.


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Grantee in the News: Deborah Toiber on absence of SIRT6 protein in Alzheimer’s disease patients in Cell Reports

May 15
2017

Grantee in the News: Deborah Toiber on absence of SIRT6 protein in Alzheimer’s disease patients in Cell Reports

On May 8, 2017, Cell Reports published research co-authored by 2013 Ellison Medical Foundation/AFAR Postdoctoral Fellows in Aging Research Program recipient, Deborah Toiber, PhD on discovering that SIRT6 protein is severely deficient in Alzheimer's disease patients and presumably contributes to the onset of the disease. In Neuroprotective Functions for the Histone Deacetylase SIRT6, Dr. Toiber and fellow researchers noted that SIRT6 plays an important role in the DNA repair process. They observed that high levels of SIRT6 promote DNA repair, while low levels further DNA damage accumulation. In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, the research team also observed similar deficiencies…


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Grantee Spotlight Interview: Joseph Rodgers, PhD

May 15
2017

Grantee Spotlight Interview: Joseph Rodgers, PhD

AFAR’s grant programs in the biology of aging are central to our mission to support and advance healthy aging through biomedical research. At leading institutions nationwide, our grantees hard work, ingenuity, and leadership are advancing cutting-edge research that will help us all live healthier, longer. In this Grantee Spotlight interview, 2016 AFAR Research Grant for Junior Faculty recipient, Joseph Rodgers, PhD shares what inspired him to enter the field of aging research and what impact he hopes his research will make thanks to AFAR’s support. Read Dr. Rodgers’s Grantee Spotlight Interview here.


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AFAR helps launch new tools to ReFrame Aging

May 12
2017

AFAR helps launch new tools to ReFrame Aging

On April 11, 2017, AFAR supported the release of a new report, research brief, and communications toolkit to help reframe the conversation on aging and address ageism. The materials were created in collaboration with seven of the nation’s leading aging-focused organizations—AARP, the American Geriatrics Society, the American Society on Aging, The Gerontological Society of America, Grantmakers in Aging, the National Council on Aging, and the National Hispanic Council on Aging—and created with the award-winning social research firm, FrameWorks Institute. As Leaders of Aging Organizations, the group offers 4 valuable resources for critical reflection and proactive messaging to…


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Grantee in the News: Cynthia Carlsson, Dena Dubal, and Ozioma Okonkwo co-author Alzheimer’s disease study in Neurology

May 11
2017

Grantee in the News: Cynthia Carlsson, Dena Dubal, and Ozioma Okonkwo co-author Alzheimer’s disease study in Neurology

On May 3, 2017, Neurology published research co-authored by three AFAR grantees: 2002 Merck/AFAR Junior Investigators and 2005 Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging recipient, Cynthia M. Carlsson, MD, MS; 2015 AFAR Research Grant for Junior Faculty, 2009 Paul Beeson Career Development Award, and 1998 AFAR/Glenn Scholarships for Research in the Biology of Aging recipient, Dena B. Dubal, MD, PhD; and 2013 Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging scholar, Ozioma Okonkwo, PhD. The aim of the study was to identify an early marker for Alzheimer's disease, focusing on the gene mutation called the BDNF Val66Met…


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Nir Barzilai on Milken Institute Expert Panel: Will You Live to a Healthy 100?

May 09
2017

Nir Barzilai on Milken Institute Expert Panel: Will You Live to a Healthy 100?

On May 1, 2017, the Milken Institute 2017 Global Conference held a panel discussion, Will You Live to a Healthy 100?, that featured AFAR Deputy Scientific Director, Nir Barzilai, MD. The panel explored the discoveries that are bringing us closer to understanding the aging process. The panelists discussed: what can geroscience teach us about increasing both life span and health span, what game-changing and life-changing research is in the pipeline, and how can investors and philanthropists get involved in research that will change life as we know it. The panel was moderated by the Director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, MD,…


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Grantee in the News: Rajendra Apte on predicting glaucoma damage in JCI Insight

May 09
2017

Grantee in the News: Rajendra Apte on predicting glaucoma damage in JCI Insight

On May 4, 2017, JCI Insight published research co-author by 2005 AFAR Research Grant Program and 2012 Julie Martin Mid-Career Awards in Aging Research recipient, Rajendra S. Apte, MD, PhD on discovering a biomarker linked to damaged cells in the retina of the eye. In GDF15 is elevated in mice following retinal ganglion cell death and in glaucoma patients, Dr. Apte and fellow researchers have identified GDF15, a biomarker of damage to cells in the eye that can measure the progression of glaucoma in a more reliable way. The researchers found that testing levels of GDF15 in patient’s eye fluid is a…


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Grantee Spotlight Interview: Bess Frost, PhD

May 08
2017

Grantee Spotlight Interview: Bess Frost, PhD

AFAR’s grant programs in the biology of aging are central to our mission to support and advance healthy aging through biomedical research. At leading institutions nationwide, our grantees hard work, ingenuity, and leadership are advancing cutting-edge research that will help us all live healthier, longer. In this Grantee Spotlight interview, 2016 New Investigator Awards in Alzheimer's Disease recipient, Bess Frost, PhD, shares what inspired her to enter the field of aging research and what impact she hopes her research will make thanks to AFAR’s support. Read Dr. Frost's Grantee Spotlight Interview here.


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AFAR in the News: Scientific Director Steven Austad on Study on Older Adults and Managing Medications and Finances in HealthDay

May 02
2017

AFAR in the News: Scientific Director Steven Austad on Study on Older Adults and Managing Medications and Finances in HealthDay

On April 28, 2017, HealthDay featured insights from AFAR Scientific Director Steven Austad, PhD on a study observing the rates of older adults that develop difficulty in managing medications and finances. The article, Seniors May Have Trouble Managing Money, Medicines, details a study that monitored almost 9,500 participants, aged 65 or older, for ten years. None of the participants needed help managing their medications or money at the start of the study. The results showed 10% of participants between ages 65 and 69, needed help managing medications and 23% needed assistance managing finances. When the participants aged over 85 years old, these rates rose to 38% and 69%, respectively. Dr. Austad…


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Grantee in the News: Sharon K. Inouye on the consequences of limiting mobility in JAMA

May 01
2017

Grantee in the News: Sharon K. Inouye on the consequences of limiting mobility in JAMA

On April 24, 2017, the Journal of the American Medical Association published research co-authored by 1989 AFAR Research Grant recipient, Sharon K. Inouye, MD, MPH on the impact of hospital policies limiting patient mobility. In The Tension Between Promoting Mobility and Preventing Falls in the Hospital, Dr. Inouye and fellow researchers found that healthcare providers falsely assume limiting the mobility of their older patients reduces the risk of falling. The study found no evidence that widely used hospital fall prevention programs avert injurious falls. The team also found that restricting movement is associated with an “increased risk of functional decline, medical adverse…


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Grantee Spotlight Interview: Brian Zid, PhD

May 01
2017

Grantee Spotlight Interview: Brian Zid, PhD

AFAR’s grant programs in the biology of aging are central to our mission to support and advance healthy aging through biomedical research. At leading institutions nationwide, our grantees hard work, ingenuity, and leadership are advancing cutting-edge research that will help us all live healthier, longer. In this Grantee Spotlight interview, 2016 AFAR Research Grant for Junior Faculty recipient, Brian Zid, PhD shares what inspired him to enter the field of aging research and what impact he hopes his research will make thanks to AFAR’s support. Read Dr. Zid’s Grantee Spotlight Interview here.


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