Chronic diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and the major driver of health costs in the US. Aging is the leading risk factor for nearly all majr chronic diseases. Recent insights support the possibility that aging may be a modifiable risk factor. We hypothesize that by targeting fundamental mechanisms of aging, clinical interventions can be envisaged that could delay or prevent age-related diseases and disabilities as a group, rather than one at a time. We propose the following Specific Aims.
Aim 1. Establish a national interdisciplinary network of aging centers as the basis for a Geroscience Network to understand and exploit links between aging and genesis of chronic disease. Initial partners will include geriatricians and basic scientists from Mayo Clinic, Buck Institute, Barshop Institute, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Stanford, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Wake Forest Universities, and the Universities of Washington, Arkansas, Minnesota, and Michigan. By planning and working in a coordinated way through the Geroscience Network, we intend to accelerate development and translation of effective treatments to delay or prevent age-related disabilities and diseases.
Aim 2. Use retreats to initiate planning for strategies, translational paradigms, curricula, and other resources needed to test our hypothesis. To begin developing the strategies, personnel, and infrastructure necessary, we will delineate the strengths of each center, identify gaps and areas of overlap, and develop consensus about areas of focus.
Aim 3. Use faculty exchanges to bring together working groups to complete white papers, publications, and grants based on strategies and translational paradigms initiated during the retreats, continue planning for clinical trials networks, and develop curricula for developing personnel needed for translation of interventions arising from the basic biology of aging into clinical applications. These innovative approaches will allow us to translate findings from bench to bedside more rapidly than possible by individual centers, laboratories, and groups of geriatricians.

Public Health Relevance

Chronic diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and the major driver of health costs in the United States. Aging is the leading risk factor for nearly all major chronic diseases, including atherosclerosis, cancers, dementias, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, kidney disease, blindness, and frailty. Recent insights support the possibility that aging may be a modifiable risk factor.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Neuroscience of Aging Review Committee (NIA)
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Kohanski, Ronald A
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Mayo Clinic, Rochester
United States
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Niedernhofer, L J; Kirkland, J L; Ladiges, W (2017) Molecular pathology endpoints useful for aging studies. Ageing Res Rev 35:241-249
Kirkland, James L; Tchkonia, Tamara; Zhu, Yi et al. (2017) The Clinical Potential of Senolytic Drugs. J Am Geriatr Soc 65:2297-2301
Xu, Ming; Tchkonia, Tamar; Kirkland, James L (2016) Perspective: Targeting the JAK/STAT pathway to fight age-related dysfunction. Pharmacol Res 111:152-154
Kirkland, James L (2016) Translating the Science of Aging into Therapeutic Interventions. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 6:a025908
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Justice, Jamie; Miller, Jordan D; Newman, John C et al. (2016) Frameworks for Proof-of-Concept Clinical Trials of Interventions That Target Fundamental Aging Processes. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 71:1415-1423
Palmer, Allyson K; Kirkland, James L (2016) Aging and adipose tissue: potential interventions for diabetes and regenerative medicine. Exp Gerontol 86:97-105
Burd, Christin E; Gill, Matthew S; Niedernhofer, Laura J et al. (2016) Barriers to the Preclinical Development of Therapeutics that Target Aging Mechanisms. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 71:1388-1394
Barzilai, Nir; Crandall, Jill P; Kritchevsky, Stephen B et al. (2016) Metformin as a Tool to Target Aging. Cell Metab 23:1060-1065
Huffman, Derek M; Justice, Jamie N; Stout, Michael B et al. (2016) Evaluating Health Span in Preclinical Models of Aging and Disease: Guidelines, Challenges, and Opportunities for Geroscience. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 71:1395-1406

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