Infrastructure Awards

SAGEWEB - The Science of Aging Electronic Resource Center

Washington, University of
The Ellison Medical Foundation has awarded $304,683 over two years to support the development of SAGEWEB, a website and resource to promote the exchange of scientific information and enhance fundamental research on the biology of aging. SAGEWEB is a portal to a variety of content, including aging databases, software, educational tools, discussions and forums related to research on aging biology. The development of SAGEWEB is directed by Matt Kaeberlein (University of Washington) and Joao Pedro de Magalhaes (University of Liverpool, UK). Additional funding was also provided by the National Institute of Aging through the University of Washington Nathan Shock Center of Excellence. For further information, see:

Encyclopedia of Life: Accelerating Analysis of the Biology of Aging

Marine Biological Laboratory

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) will provide an internet portal for multi-media access to information for all known species of life on Earth. The open software environment will be constructed to extend biological information to any level of expertise from school children to research scientists providing a valuable comparative resource for education and development of biological hypotheses and discovery. The Ellison Medical Foundation has pledged $1,954,885 over 4 years to The Marine Biological Laboratory for a project headed by Gary Borisy to incorporate aging and lifespan data on the molecular biology of aging into the EOL, thus accelerating the analysis of the biology of aging and lifespan development processes across the entire spectra of life.
For further information on The Encyclopedia of Life, see:

Integrative Center for Genetic Regulation of Aging

Jackson Laboratory
The Ellison Medical Foundation has pledged up to $2,200,000 over 2 years to The Jackson Laboratory to characterize mice for age-related phenotypes and make this data available to researchers in the Mouse Phenome Database. The age-related phenotypes will include hormones of aging, immunological changes with age, neuromuscular function, changes in learning and memory with age, the accumulation of DNA damage and chromosomal abnormalities with age, expression of molecular markers of cellular aging, and the effect of these phenomena on longevity.

Mouse Aging Pathology Infrastructure Program

Jackson Laboratory
The Ellison Medical Foundation has pledged up to $1,548,094 for a 4 year period to support the systematic analysis of histopathology in aging mice at 1 year, 2 years, and near death. The studies will provide information on common features of aging across multiple strains, genetic variation of age-related changes, and models on age-related disease in mice. The work will result in a bank of tissues, slides and annotated retrievable images that will be available to other investigators on web-accessible databases.

Collaborative Cross Mouse Resource

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
The Ellison Medical Foundation has pledged up to $1,327, 284 over a 5 year period to help support the generation of the Collaborative Cross, a genetic reference panel for the systematic analysis of lifetime factors that alter lifespan and quality of life. The Collaborative Cross is to be a panel of 1,000 recombinant inbred mouse strains derived from a genetically-diverse set of eight founder strains that captures a level of genetic variation similar to that in the human population. This panel of mice, designed for the integrative analysis of complex biological systems, permits highly complex, multifactorial analyses to be performed on biological processes such as the causes and consequences of differential rates of aging.

Large Scale Fly Resource to Screen Aging Interventions

California, University of - Davis
The Ellison Medical Foundation awarded $57,200 to support the development of a large scale fly resource to screen aging interventions. Survival studies will be conducted to assess the effect of dietary supplement of selected chemicals and nature plant extracts on age-specific and sex-specific aging and longevity. Using more than 100,000 fruit flies for the most promising substances will increase the statistical power for data analysis.

A Consortium for the Determination of Public Pathways Regulating Longevity

Washington, University of
The Ellison Medical Foundation has pledged up to $2,083,261 over 5 years to provide funding for a consortium to identify, verify, and characterize genes that determine longevity across different species from yeast to worms to mouse models. The consortium will develop a systematic library of yeast strains, worm models and mouse strains that will be available to all aging researchers as well as a collaborative longevity phenotyping service available for yeast, worms, and potentially, mice.

Neurodegenerative Disease Knowledge Base

Alzheimer Research Forum
The Ellison Medical Foundation has pledged up to $450,000 over 3 years to help fund the development of the Neurodegenerative Disease Knowledge Base that will support researchers investigating the mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases to accelerate the development of biomarkers, diagnostics, and therapies. The web based system, to be accessed by a portal on the Alzheimer Research Forum website, will enable individual investigators to manage data from private and public sources in both the scientific and medical communities. A security system will allow smaller networks of colleagues to exchange ideas to test hypotheses and, later, to release the data to the public knowledge base.

New Genetic Tools to Accelerate Aging Research

Jackson Laboratory
The Ellison Medical Foundation has awarded up to $1,014,000, over a period of four years, to expand genetic tools for the mouse model systems used in aging research. The award will support the characterization of lifespan and aging-related phenotypes of genetically diverse and commonly used inbred mouse strains. The data will be publicly available in the Mouse Phenome Database Researchers will be able to examine and analyze data to help choose the most appropriate strains to study; find associations among genotypes and phenotypes; determine if lifespans or aging parameters correlate with any of some 500 other phenotypes already in the database; and test new hypotheses about the mechanisms of aging without having to repeat lifespan or aging biomarker studies.

Beverly Paigen

Center on Applied Genetic and Epidemiologic Research on Aging

Kaiser Foundation Research Institute
The Ellison Medical Foundation has pledged up to $1,200,271 over 2 years to support the establishment of a Center on Applied Genetic and Epidemiologic Research on Aging. Led by the Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente of Northern California (KPNC) in collaboration with Stanford University School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine and The School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley; the Center will establish a genetic epidemiology population resource for studies to determine the interplay of genetic and non-genetic factors in the processes of aging and the development and progression of disease. Information will be collected from KPNC members over age 60 that will develop disease specific registries as well as registries of healthy older adults. A biorepository of genetic materials will also be established. This genetic epidemiology population resource will support fundamental research in the genetic and environmental basis for disease and its clinical application. Ethical, legal, and social implications of genetic epidemiologic research and genomic medicine will also be addressed.

Telemachus Knowledge Discovery in Aging Resource

Washington, University of
Just over $1,000,000 will be awarded over a period of 3 years to support the Telemachus Knowledge Discovery in Aging Resource. This is a project to develop a database and software to search across research disciplines and map research methods, animal models, data from tables and figures, and research results from published literature. This project is tightly integrated with the Science of Aging Knowledge Environment (SAGE KE) that is also being supported by the Ellison Medical Foundation.

Science of Aging Knowledge Environment. (SAGE KE)

American Association for the Advancement of Science
The Ellison Medical Foundation is funding the development of a web-based system for organizing scientific information in science of aging to aid in information sharing amongst researchers in the field. This system collects,vets, selects, organizes, aggregates and gives value to on-line information. Editors, librarians, and scientists have developed this system to delineate the intersections of disciplinary paths and processes thus opening new pathways for researchers to access information related to their research.This will, in turn, help develop a science of aging research community for knowledge and resource exchange amongst molecular and cell biologists, molecular geneticists, physiologists, field biologists, and evolutionary biologists. The SAGE KE is now operational at

Genetic Resources Building

Jackson Laboratory
Genetically defined mice have become the models of choice for an array of diseases associated with aging. The Jackson Laboratory has long been a national resource for the development, analysis, and distribution of laboratory mice that serve as models for studying human biology and disease. The Jackson Laboratory's genetic resources incorporate the largest collection of induced mutant mice in the world. Several strains of mice accepted to the Induced Mutant Resource (IMR) are important for research on aging and associated diseases. The $1,000,000 Ellison Medical Foundation award will provide the funds needed to match a $1,000,000 NIH matching grant, thus doubling the impact of the Ellison Medical Foundation funds. These funds will be used to help complete the new building being built to house and analyze these important mouse genetic resources.

About Infrastructure Awards

Infrastructure Awards support the establishment of community-wide resources that will benefit a broad segment of researchers in the areas of programmatic interest to the Foundation. Examples include the development of reagent repositories, scientific databases, new model systems, or new experimental methodologies. Although nonrenewable, these awards provide an opportunity to develop and implement a new resource; ongoing long-term support, if required, must be identified from other funding sources.

In order to maximize the number of research grants given to individual investigators, the Foundation is not currently accepting unsolicited proposals for infrastructure awards.