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Awardee in the News: $9 mill NIA grant supports Jan Vijg research, also spotlighted on

Oct 19

Awardee in the News: $9 mill NIA grant supports Jan Vijg research, also spotlighted on View MoreBACK

AFAR 2012 Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction winner Jan Vijg PhD’s research on centenarian genes and life expectancy has recently made headlines.

Early this month, Albert Einstein College of Medicine announced that it will share a $9 million grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health to study the genes of centenarians to better understand longevity, led by Dr. Vijg. As shared on Eureka Alert:

Rather than study age-related diseases, says Dr. Vijg, "We're focusing on the genetic differences between healthy centenarians and people with no family history of extreme longevity, looking for rare genetic variants that account for the centenarians' longevity. Once we pinpoint the beneficial effects that these novel gene variants are causing, we'll be in a position to develop drugs that mimic those effects and, ideally, help people attain longer, healthier lifespans."

The grant from the National Institute on Aging, part of the NIH, is titled “Genetic Variant-Based Drug Discovery Targeting Conserved Pathways of Aging” (U19AG056278).

Read more here.

On October 17, Vijg’s research on genes and life expectancy also was recently spotlighted on, where he notes:

“There seems to be consensus that over time your cells degenerate. Damage accumulates (including DNA mutations) that lead to diseases, such as cancer, and loss of function. Those who are lucky and have good genes that help to protect them against wear and tear may live longer. But we still are far from sure what these genes are. Aging is the process that limits life (apart from violence, accidents, or early disease). Aging is considered normal and not a disease.”

Read the Salon article here.

Jan Vijg, PhD, is the Lola and Saul Kramer Chair in Molecular Genetics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.