This proposal seeks supplemental support for the Biological Sciences section of The Gerontological Society of America to expand the scope of its 2011 annual meeting program. The parent grant provided support for a robust, topic-focused interdisciplinary series of Biological Sciences sessions at both the 2010, as well as the upcoming 2011 annual meetings. The supplemental is intended to not only increase the number of junior level investigators, but to truly engage them in a way that will impact their careers in aging research and retain their interest and involvement in the field of biogerontology. The setting of the GSA meeting provides a unique opportunity for the biology of aging community to """"""""break out"""""""" into the wider biomedical world. It is this translational component that is key to broadening the perspectives of junior investigators on the field of aging biology.
The basic biology of aging has made enormous progress over the past decade in understanding the genetics and some aspects of the physiology of normal aging. Aging is the major risk factor for a range of important human chronic diseases and there is great hope that discoveries in biology will lead to therapies or preventive interventions. There is currently a range of meetings focused on the biology of aging, but they tend to be isolated from geriatricians, clinical gerontologists, and social scientists working on aging, thus slowing the translation of discoveries made in basic biology. As part of our NIA funded grant, we are conducting a series of topic-based, interdisciplinary meetings on the biology of aging at the Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA). The grant is aimed at providing the biology of aging field with a podium from which to advocate for significant investment in both basic and translational aging science and to encourage thinking beyond the status quo. Our request for a supplement to our NIA grant to fund junior investigators will help attract and retain the next generation of scientists in this important area of research.