American Federation for Aging Research
||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (August 2010)|
AFAR supports its own privately funded AFAR Research Grant program and administers seven foundation and corporate-sponsored scholarship and fellowship programs. Together, these programs serve as a springboard for promising medical students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty to begin their careers in aging research. AFAR also supports mid-career scientists new to the field.
AFAR's support is critical because cuts in federal funding for medical research are causing undue hardship on the next generation of researchers who must compete for ever-dwindling research dollars. America's health and economic well-being require a growing number of scientists and physicians who understand the processes of aging and age-related diseases and stay committed to finding ways to help Americans live longer and healthier lives.
The AFAR Research Grant provides awards to junior faculty- PhDs and MDs- who are often still considering their field of inquiry. The reasoning behind AFAR's approach is straightforward: a relatively modest grant often makes it possible for a new investigator to make a commitment to aging research that lasts a lifetime.
The AFAR approach has been successful. A recent survey of the AFAR Research Grant recipients revealed that 98% of respondents reported that they have continued work in research, including 92% who said that they are still involved in aging research. Eighty-five percent of these researchers say that they have continued the work that they started under their AFAR-sponsored grant.
Scientific review and support
In administering all of AFAR's award programs, AFAR gathers the nation's leading scientists and physicians to rigorously review the hundreds of grant applications received each year. The scientific review and selection process not only uncovers promising new topics in the field, but also provides support for new approaches to understanding the basic mechanisms of aging and the care and treatment of diseases and disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, macular degeneration and heart disease.
AFAR further influences the aging research agenda by sponsoring annual conferences and symposia with the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and the American Geriatrics Society (AGS). AFAR also hosts workshops and other scientific sessions at medical conferences around the country.
AFAR seeks to educate the public on topics related to aging by sponsoring media briefings, community health lectures, Web-based public education materials, and a consumer newsletter Lifelong. In addition, AFAR has established two Web sites for the general public:
- Infoaging.org, which provides consumers with health information and the latest news about aging research and diseases associated with aging research; and
- Healthcompass.org, designed to help seniors navigate the Internet to find the best sources of health information.
- AFAR Research Grants
- The Fannie E. Rippel/AFAR New Investigator Awards in Cardiovascular Disease
- The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation/AFAR New Investigator Awards in Alzheimer's Disease
- Julie Martin Mid-Career Awards in Aging Research
- Glenn/AFAR Breakthroughs in Gerontology Awards
- Paul Beeson Career Development Awards in Aging Research
- Ellison Medical Foundation/AFAR Senior Postdoctoral Research Program
- AFAR Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program
AFAR has established affiliate offices throughout the United States- the Southeast affiliate, the Upstate New York affiliate and the Ohio affiliate. These regional associations help us expand the organization, form partnerships with local philanthropic and community-based organizations and develop the resources to fund more local scientists.