UNE researchers invited to National Institute on Aging strategic session

November 19, 2019

UNE researchers and students recently attended the 2019 National Institute on Aging (NIA) Director’s Regional Meeting at the University of Southern Maine. The event was hosted by the Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network (NNECTR), a group working to enhance the health of northern New Englanders by fostering and coordinating clinical, translational, and educational research. 

NIA Director Richard Hodes and his leadership team met with executive scientific leadership from Maine Medical Center, the University of Vermont, the University of Southern Maine, and UNE to discuss NIA’s funding strategies around building research infrastructure across the spectrum of aging research.

Faculty and students from each institution learned about current opportunities for funding, especially in the area of Alzheimer’s and related dementia. They were also given advice on grant writing strategies and growing research opportunities for new investigators—both early career investigators and those new to the field of aging studies.

The gathering provided critical networking opportunities for researchers in all stages of their careers. Attendees gave each other quality feedback and had the opportunity to explore future collaborations.

“I am very pleased that UNE was invited by the NNECTR to participate in this regional meeting,” said Karen Houseknecht, Ph.D., associate provost for Research and Scholarship. “The NIA team openly commented that they recognize and applaud the strong and growing collaborations among research institutions in Maine and the region around the topic of aging and rural health.”

UNE had a strong showing at the meeting. Fourteen researchers and eight students were represented on 10 research posters.

“I felt the poster session was quite good, with lots of interesting research topics from diverse backgrounds,” stated Dana Villmore, Ph.D., PA-C, an assistant clinical professor in UNE’s Physician Assistant program. “I was able to network with other scientists and clinicians at UNE. Those interactions should prove fruitful in the future.”

UNE was represented at the meeting by members of the Center of Excellence in Aging and Health, Center of Excellence in Public Health, Center of Excellence in Neuroscience, the Interprofessional Education Collaborative, the Physician Assistant program, the Physical Therapy program, and the Department of Geriatrics from the College of Osteopathic Medicine.