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Glenn Foundation for Medical Research commits $5 million to study aging

NEW YORK, July 7, 2008 The Glenn Foundation for Medical Research, founded by philanthropist Paul F. Glenn, has announced a $5 million commitment to the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) to provide grants to scientists studying the biology of aging and age-related diseases. This grant provides timely support as current cutbacks in federal funding jeopardize the careers of hundreds of promising investigators who are working to understand how aging influences disease.

The Glenn Foundation funds will go toward the AFAR Research Grant Program and the Glenn/AFAR Breakthroughs in Gerontology (BIG) Awards. AFAR Research Grants provide start-up funding to scientists in the early phases of their careers, enabling them to study the basic mechanisms of aging, age-related diseases and processes underlying common geriatric functional disorders. The Glenn/AFAR Breakthroughs in Gerontology Awards support innovative higher-risk research that may offer significant promise of yielding transforming discoveries in the fundamental biology of aging that could lead to major new insights into the factors that regulate aging.

"As the number of older adults in the United States continues to grow, there is a greater need not only to provide high-quality medical care but also to develop new scientific knowledge about aging processes and age-related diseases and disorders that will allow more people to live healthier longer, free of disability. Aging research is about studying the young, before the body breaks down. Scientists search for clues about why we develop diseases later in life," said Stephanie Lederman, executive director, AFAR. "The forward-thinking vision of Paul Glenn and the Glenn Foundation will allow greater distribution of resources to novel research that will benefit all of us as we age," she added.

"We are proud to support the work of AFAR," said Mark R. Collins, president of the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research. "Longer life brings with it vulnerability to diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, osteoporosis, diabetes and others. Funding of aging research is an important path to the alleviation of suffering and reduced healthcare costs. This research forms the backbone of scientific advances in our understanding of aging. AFAR is a key organization in assuring that the best research remains supported."

Nearly 2,500 researchers have been recipients of AFAR-supported grant awards, many of whom have gone on to distinguish themselves as leaders in the field of aging research, chairing departments and running laboratories at major academic institutions. Many of the nation's leaders in biogerontology have been beneficiaries of AFAR grant programs.


Contact: Stacey Harris
American Federation for Aging Research

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