Centenarians (ages >100 yrs) and even more-so, semi-supercentenarians (ages 105-109 yrs) and supercentenarians (110+ yrs) are outliers not only for their exceptionally long lifespans, but also for their longer female fertility and resistance to aging-related disability and morbidities such as Alzheimer?s disease, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. Their offspring also exhibit delayed morbidity and lower mortality compared to their birth cohort. Among non-human species, rodents including the naked mole rat have also gained attention for their variation in lifespan compared to other mammals with similar body mass. Proteomic signatures associated with extreme longevity (EL) in centenarians and integrated transcriptomic and proteomic data in NMRs suggest that integrated analyses of multiple omics data generated from these human and animal models of slow aging and resistance to aging related diseases can inform us about biological mechanisms that underlie these survival and health advantages and, ultimately, about potential therapeutics to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer?s.
Two specific aims parallel the UH2 and UH3 phases of this proposal.
Aim 1 : In the UH2 phase, the New England Centenarian Study and the Einstein Centenarian and Offspring studies will establish a standardized phenotypic data and biological sample collection protocol for in-person visits of 700 subjects from each study (n=1400). Detailed cognitive function testing will determine presence or absence of probable Alzheimer?s. The phenotyping protocol will be the same as that used by the Longevity Consortium?s Centenarian Project (n=350), so that their data can be added to this effort for a total sample of 1,750. A world-class multidisciplinary team will plan the multi-omics data generation and analytic and translation efforts to be executed in Aim 2. These efforts will be paralleled by comparative transcriptomic, proteomic and microbiomic studies of non-human mammalian species of widely different life spans and by the creation of a library of EL-specific IPSCs that will be differentiated into unlimited numbers of hepatocytes and neurons.
Aim 2 : In the UH3 phase, we will generate transcriptomic, methylomics, metabolomics, proteomic and microbiomic data from centenarians and centenarian offspring (generated from two time points in about a third of the sample). Methods for multi-omic data integration compiled in Aim 1 will be used to discover molecular profiles that associate with EL and healthy aging phenotypes including delay of or escape from Alzheimer?s disease. Integration with molecular profiles from functional studies of resiliency performed with iPSC-derived neurons and hepatocytes and with molecular profiles associated with increased lifespan from multiple species will point to mechanisms and generate candidate small molecule and compound therapeutics. All generated data and unique biological resources, including the EL- iPSC derived hepatocytes and neurons, will be shared with consortia and individual investigators researching Alzheimer?s, other aging related diseases and more generally, basic mechanisms of aging.

Public Health Relevance

Aging is the number one risk factor for Alzheimer?s disease, heart disease and cancer. Both centenarians and naked mole rats are human and animal models of extreme longevity that delay or escape these aging-related diseases. In combination with recently comprehensive and affordable molecular profiling, these models provide the opportunity to discover biological mechanisms that lead to living longer lives in good health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Exploratory/Developmental Cooperative Agreement Phase I (UH2)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1)
Program Officer
Dutta, Chhanda
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Boston University
Biostatistics & Other Math Sci
Schools of Public Health
United States
Zip Code