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Join Sept. 15’s Virtual NACA Meeting for Federally Funded Aging Research Updates

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
September 9, 2021

The next convening of the National Advisory Council on Aging (NACA) is taking place with an open portion of the meeting accessible via live videocast from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, September 15. This is a convenient way to get a birds-eye view of what’s been happening, and what’s in store, at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), with which many GSA members have long-standing relationships.

I currently serve as a member of the council, which convenes three times annually. It reviews new proposed concept clearances, reviews applications for grants and cooperative agreements for research and training, and recommends approval of applications for projects that show promise, along with other duties.

There are several interesting items on the agenda. The report from NIA Director Dr. Richard Hodes is always informative. There’s also a presentation on newly proposed funding opportunity announcement concept clearances — a mechanism for learning about possible future research opportunities.

Dr. James Anderson, deputy director in the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is also slated to give a presentation on the NIH Common Fund. As described on the NIH website, the programs overseen by the fund “address emerging scientific opportunities and pressing challenges in biomedical research that no single NIH institute or center can address on its own, but are of high priority for the NIH as a whole. The Common Fund is a unique resource at NIH, functioning as a ‘venture capital’ space where high-risk, innovative endeavors with the potential for extraordinary impact can be supported.”

It’s been an honor to serve as a NACA member, as it plays many vital roles in advancing the nation’s aging research. As dictated by its charter, the council advises the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the director of the NIH, and the director of the NIA.

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