News Release

American Federation for Aging Research awards $800,000 to junior faculty to advance biomedical research on healthy aging

Grant and Award Announcement

American Federation for Aging Research

New York, NY - The American Federation for Aging Research, AFAR--the premier not-for-profit organization supporting biomedical research to advance healthy aging and address age-related diseases--is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2017 AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty:

  • Luis Batista, PhD, Assistant Professor, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Peter Douglas, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Sergei Doulatov, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Washington
  • Michael Garratt, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
  • Vyacheslav Labunskyy, PhD, Assistant Professor, Boston University School of Medicine
  • Darcie Moore, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Vittorio Sebastiano, PhD, Assistant Professor, Stanford School of Medicine
  • Archana Unnikrishnan, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center
  • Rui Xiao, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Florida
  • Amir Zarrinpar, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego

The AFAR Research Grant for Junior Faculty provides an early career investigator with up to $100,000 for one- to two-years to support research focused on aging processes and age-related diseases. Moreover, this grant provides flexible support at a critical juncture in their career when research funding is most difficult to obtain.

An AFAR Research Grant for Junior Faculty not only supports a scientist's specific research but also advances their career in the field. "AFAR grants serve as a catalyst to help an investigator obtain subsequent funding, publication, and career advancement We expect these new researchers to be at the forefront of advancing our knowledge of the aging process and our understanding of the diseases of aging," notes Stephanie Lederman, AFAR's Executive Director.

AFAR's grant recipients are selected through a rigorous review process. This year, AFAR received 148 letters of intent for the Research Grant for Junior Faculty program, which are first reviewed by a select group of key AFAR Scientific board members and members of AFAR's National Scientific Advisory Council (NSAC). A subset of applicants are invited to submit full applications, which are reviewed by the AFAR Research Grant for Junior Faculty Selection Committee.

"The dedicated scientists who review AFAR's grant applications bring a depth of expertise and breadth of scientific knowledge that is unmatched in the field of aging research," says AFAR's Scientific Director, Steven N. Austad, PhD, Director of the NIA Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging and Distinguished Professor and Department Chair, Department of Biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

This year, AFAR is awarding ten Research Grants for Junior Faculty, totaling $800,000 dollars. To date, AFAR has awarded more than $175 million in grants to support more than 4,400 investigators and students at more than 500 leading institutions across the U.S. as well as Ireland, Israel, Italy, and the United Kingdom. AFAR will announce its entire 2017 Biology of Aging grants portfolio in the following months.

AFAR's support of solid science in the biology of aging is more critical than ever. While the world's population over 65 years old is growing an unprecedented rate, "AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty help create a career pipeline that is essential to advancing better therapies for age-related diseases and discoveries that will help us all live healthier, longer," notes Ms. Lederman.


About AFAR

The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to support and advance healthy aging through biomedical research. Founded in 1981, AFAR has championed the cause and supported the funding of science in healthier aging and age-related medicine. To address the shortage of physicians and researchers dedicated to the science of healthier aging, AFAR funds physicians and scientists probing the fundamental mechanisms of aging, as well as specific diseases associated with aging populations at critical points throughout their careers. AFAR engages the public through webinars and briefings. Learn at or follow on Twitter and Facebook.


Fred Yaeger

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