National Institute on Aging (NIA) director Richard Hodes acknowledged “exciting news” reflected in the FY 2016 budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and specifically for NIA in a January 6 blog post. Noting the $2 billion (6.6 percent) increase for the NIH for FY 2016, Hodes underscored that the increase provided a boost of approximately 33 percent for NIA, including the $350 million in funding allocated for research on Alzheimer’s disease (see COSSA’s omnibus analysis). Notwithstanding the resources dedicated to Alzheimer’s research, NIA’s FY 2016 budget provides a 4.2 percent increase to the institute, “the largest increase to the NIA budget since 2003,” Hodes explained.
He emphasized that the FY 2016 budget will “provide an opportunity for increased support for the broad range of NIA-supported aging research.” He particularly highlighted the recent release of ten Program Announcements with Review (PARs) across the “broad spectrum of Alzheimer’s disease research” (see Update, November 3, 2015). Hodes also stressed that “While Alzheimer’s is clearly a priority in FY 2016, increased funding in FY 2016 will allow expanded support of the full spectrum of NIA’s traditional areas of emphasis, including demographic and behavioral aspects of aging; clinical aspects of aging, including management of multiple chronic conditions; and investigations into the basis of the aging process, with an emphasis on geroscience—the intersection of the aging process and the diseases that typically occur later in life.” Hodes encouraged researchers interested in aging research, including small businesses that “turn translational research into practical benefits for those with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers,” to anticipate the release of NIA funding opportunity announcements and outreach “over the next months.”