RFI: Challenges and Opportunities in Understanding Cellular Senescence and Senolytics

The NIH is considering the possibility of developing a Common Fund program to address the role of senescent cells in health and disease. In spite of the burgeoning efforts already in the field attempting to test therapies based on attacking senescent cells, it has become clear that many aspects of cell senescence research are currently in need of answers before the full potential of such therapies can be safely developed in humans. As part of the initial planning process, we are requesting input from the scientific community on the challenges in this field that can best be addressed through a concerted and coordinated effort. Specifically, we welcome your responses in the following domains:

  1. Methods, tools, or community resources needed to characterize the heterogeneity vs. universality of senescence features, in different cell types, both in vivo and in vitro.
  2. Methods, tools or community resources needed to characterize cell senescence in both humans and animal models.
  3. Methods tools, or community resources that would be required to define biomarkers of cell senescence in multiple contexts.
  4. Characterizing the multiple drivers of cell senescence, both pathological and physiological (e.g., cross-talk between cell senescence and other hallmarks of aging).
  5. Characterizing the health consequences of senescent cell accumulation during aging and in response to challenges such as radiation or chemotherapy.
  6. Characterizing attributes of physiological senescence during normal development and wound healing and their similarities or differences compared to pathological senescence.
  7. Challenges in research on senolytics and senomorphs, including pharmacology and biological challenges.
  8. Best approaches to take advantage of senolytics and senomorphs, both of which represent a novel class of drugs that might play a role in combatting multiple diseases and conditions.

Please follow this link to view the entire request for information and to learn more about submitting inquiries. 

The NIH Common Fund encourages collaboration and supports a series of exceptionally high impact, trans-NIH programs. These programs are supported by the Common Fund and managed by the NIH Office of the Director in partnership with the various NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices.  

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) – “The Nation’s Medical Research Agency” – includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about the NIH and its programs, visit the NIH website.