Longevity science is increasing in popularity and success, and it’s important to not only acknowledge those who are already revolutionizing the industry, but also give the next generation the support they need to continue the work. Enter the Hevolution/AFAR New Investigator Awards in Aging Biology and Geroscience research.
The Hevolution Foundation is a Riyadh-based nonprofit that offers early investments and grants for aging science. AFAR is the American Federation for Aging Research, which has been funding biomedical research on human aging since 1981. They’ve partnered up for the launch of this new award, which aims to “help fill the void and speed the pace of scientific discovery on the processes of aging by dramatically increasing the research workforce,” to quote Hevolution’s Chief Scientific Officer, Felipe Sierra.
This isn’t just the type of award where you’re given a trophy and a pat on the back. Each win comes with a grant of $375,000 over three years. The money, which totals more than $6 million, is to be used to further develop research into aging biology and geroscience. For 18 promising investigators, it provides a route forward for exciting new and expanded projects.
Awards weren’t handed out willy-nilly. The process of selecting honorees was rigorous to say the least, with more established researchers peer-reviewing every application. They evaluated each nominee and their work to assess which had the greatest potential to contribute to the wider aging biology and geroscience field.
Winners were based in institutions in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. Research topics included “Targeting altered Ca2+ signaling in cellular senescence to extend healthy longevity”, “Loss of nuclear proteostasis in senescence and aging”, “Spatial proteogenomic profiling to determine the impact of senescent neurons on the aging brain” and “The synergistic benefits of metformin and senolytics on lifespan and healthspan.”
That’s a lot of complicated scientific talk, but the general idea is clear. These are people looking into important aspects of aging, and with the right kind of funding and support, they have the potential to dramatically increase our understanding of what happens to the human body as we grow older. That, in turn, could help us develop new ways of treating or potentially even preventing all kinds of diseases, which will hopefully mean that human longevity can continue to improve and enhance our quality of life.