Unique transatlantic tie-up to understand the ageing process
8 December 2008
Increased life expectancy in the developed world is forecast to lead to a dramatically older population in coming decades. For society to cope and for more people to enjoy healthy and active older age it is crucial that we understand as much as possible about how our bodies change as we age. To help scientists working in this area two leading funding bodies in the UK and US have joined forces to fund a programme of collaborative transatlantic bioscience research into the ageing process.
The UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the US National Institute on Aging (NIA) have come together in the first agreement of its kind in the biosciences to fund collaborative UK-US research projects into normal ageing. BBSRC and NIA have committed a total of almost £4M to the collaborative programme. The programme will fund genuinely collaborative proposals that bring together research groups from both countries. The call for proposals from researchers is now open.
Prof Doug Kell, Chief Executive of BBSRC, said: "As lifespan increases we need to work to ensure that health-span increases as well. This is an issue that affects every person, in Britain, America or elsewhere, and we can only hope to enjoy healthy and active older age if scientists are able to probe the processes that occur as we age naturally and normally.
"I am proud that US and UK scientists will be working together on this important area under the auspices of this BBSRC and NIA joint programme."
The aim of the programme is to develop research links between UK and US research groups so that in addition to furthering our understanding of the healthy biology of ageing the ageing research effort on both sides of the Atlantic will benefit in the long term.
Notes to editors
The call for proposals under the BBSRC-NIA Partnering Awards to Support Collaborative Research on the Biology of Ageing is now open at: www.bbsrc.ac.uk/funding/opportunities/2009/collabrative_research_on_ageing.html
There are specific instructions on the BBSRC website that UK partners planning to apply to the scheme should consider.
The closing date is 10 March 2009.
NIA, one of the 27 Institutes and Centres of the National Institutes of Health, leads a broad scientific effort to understand the nature of ageing and to extend the healthy, active years of life. In 1974, the US Congress granted authority to form NIA to provide leadership in ageing research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs relevant to ageing and older people. Subsequent amendments to this legislation designated the NIA as the primary Federal agency on Alzheimer’s disease research.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £420M in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. www.bbsrc.ac.uk
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