The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) received a $16 million grant from the Hevolution Foundation to expand the Hevolution-AFAR New Investigator Awards in Aging Biology and Geroscience Research program, which is designed to enable early-career investigators with labs in the U.S. and Canada to research healthspan-expanding therapeutics and treatments.

AFAR and the Hevolution Foundation launched the new investigator awards in 2022 as a pilot initiative to support research projects in the basic biology of aging (geroscience). In its first cycle, the program funded 18 research projects, spanning topics such as cellular senescence, compounds such as metformin and rapamycin, and translational topics such as data-guided drug discovery.

The new funding will provide support in 2023 and 2024 for up to 36 investigators in Canada and the U.S. with three-year awards of $375,000 each.

Next generation geroscience

“The Hevolution-AFAR New Investigator Awards in Aging Biology and Geroscience are vital to support the next generation of geroscience and aging biology researchers. Nurturing this young talent is crucial for the future advancement of novel gerotherapeutics to extend healthspan in line with our mission to provide grants and early-stage investments to incentivize independent research in the emerging field of healthspan science,” said Felipe Sierra, PhD, CSO, Hevolution Foundation.

Progressive shortening of telomeres with age can lead to senescence, apoptosis, or oncogenic transformation of somatic cells, all of which impact health and lifespan. Shorter telomeres also have been associated with an increased incidence of diseases and poor survival. [Wildpixel/Getty Images]
The New Investigator Awards are selected through AFAR’s review process led by a committee of scientists representing a wide range of expertise in biomedical research on aging. The New Investigator Awards selection committee is chaired by Gordon Lithgow, PhD, professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.

Stephanie Lederman, executive director of AFAR shares: “Hevolution Foundation is providing much needed resources in order to build the human capital necessary to drive and advance the field. The unique approaches of the selected awardees will influence the future of healthspan research that is working to help us all live healthier, longer.”

For more information on the Hevolution-AFAR New Investigator Awards in Aging Biology and Geroscience and all AFAR grant programs, please visit the AFAR website. You can listen to the perspectives of many of the inaugural New Investigators in AFAR’s Grantee Spotlight Interviews here.

AFAR anticipates announcing the 2023 New Investigators in early 2024.

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