Launched in 2005, the Glenn/AFAR Breakthroughs in Gerontology grant program provides support to a small number of basic research programs that offer significant promise of yielding transformational discoveries in the fundamental biology of aging, including potential interventions in age-related debility and disease. The five-year grant from the foundation also will fund the AFAR Research Grants program, which provides up to $100,000 to junior faculty conducting research that can serve as a basis for longer-term research efforts.
Research in biogerontology — the field of basic science that studies the mechanisms of aging — has led to the discovery that many diseases of aging can be delayed by genetic, dietary, and pharmaceutical interventions. In animal models, many of these measures have been shown to increase healthy lifespan by as much as 40 percent. According to AFAR, studying the underlying mechanisms of aging is the most direct way of enabling researchers to tackle common diseases of old age.
"For more than three decades, Paul Glenn and the Glenn Foundation have been true partners and friends of AFAR," said the organization's executive director, Stephanie Lederman. "Many of the recent strides in aging research would not have been possible without Mr. Glenn's unwavering support and keen vision. The Glenn Foundation has also recognized the importance of supporting a new generation of researchers, helping them get their start as future leaders in the science of healthier aging."