Announcing the Second Cohort of Hevolution/AFAR New Investigator Awards Recipients in Aging Biology and Geroscience Research

Eighteen Three-Year Grants of $375,000 Each Awarded, for a total of $6.75 Million.

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – 24 April 2024 – Hevolution Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides grants and early-stage investments to incentivize research and entrepreneurship in healthspan science, and the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) announce the second round of eighteen, three-year awards of $375,000 each, for a total of $6.75 Million, have been granted to support research projects in the basic biology of aging or geroscience, a research paradigm based on addressing the biology of aging and age-related disease to promote healthy aging.

The awards support talented early career investigators. The recipients are:

o Kevin Beier, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of California, Irvine - Do aging-related neuropathologies spread through neuronal synapses? 
o Alexander Bick, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center - Identifying clonal hematopoiesis resiliency mechanisms 
o Caitlin Davis, PhD, Assistant Professor, Yale University - Spatiotemporal Rewiring of Lipid Metabolism in Aging Tissues
o Jason DeFreitas, PhD, Professor of Exercise Science, Syracuse University - Mechanisms of Degradation across the Lifespan: The Role of Descending Tract Function on Age-Related Sensory-Motor Deficits
o Luke Evans, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder - Gene Interaction Associations with Frailty to Identify Core Genes of Aging and their Biological Context
o Bhanu Ganesh, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center Houston - Aging Together: The Role of The Gut Microbiota and Its Influence on Host Immunity 
o Jonathan Gootenberg, PhD, McGovern Fellow and Principal Investigator, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School - Discovery and manipulation of transcription factors stem cell rejuvenation in aged bone-marrow 
o Sung Min Han, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Florida - Exploring the Systemic Regulation of Organismal Longevity and Health through Individual Neuron Mitochondrial Stress
o Dan Jane-wit, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Yale School of Medicine - Complement Protein Aggregates in Age-Related Amyloidosis
o Janine Kwapis, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology and Paul Berg Early Career Chair in the Biological Sciences, Pennsylvania State University - Reversing an epigenetic mechanism that limits memory flexibility in old age
o Sreemathi Logan, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center - Delineating senescence in the context of brain-adipose axis in aging
o Payel Sen, PhD, Stadtman tenure-track investigator, National Institute on Aging,(NIH) - Targeting epigenetic mechanisms in progenitor cells for functional rejuvenation of whole organs.
o Simone Sidoli, PhD, Assistant Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine - The role of histone succinylation in exceptional longevity defined using single-cell resolution 
o Rebecca Voorhees, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Freeman Hrabowski Scholar; Assistant Professor of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology - Inhibition of MTCH2 as a novel modality for aging therapy.
o Siyuan Wang, PhD, Associate Professor, Yale University - Developing a high-content spatial transcriptomic screen method to discover novel regulators of cell-cell interaction in the native senescent microenvironment.
o Reyhan Westbrook, PhD, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University -  Leveraging Kynurenine Pathway Manipulation to Improve Metabolic Dysfunction and Extend Healthspan in Mice.
o Maxwell Wilson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Quantitative and Systems Biology, University of California Santa Barbara -  Unraveling Aging Mysteries through Optogenetic Dissection of ISR Dysregulation.
o Bokai Zhu, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh-  Rejuvenation of nuclear speckles to delay aging.

Now in its second year, Hevolution Foundation and  AFAR launched the New Investigator Awards in 2022 as a pilot initiative to support research projects in the basic biology of aging and geroscience. In its inaugural cycle, 18 awards were granted. In 2023, Hevolution expanded this program with an additional commitment of $16 million which will provide support for up to 36 investigators in North America in 2023 and 2024. 

“The Hevolution/AFAR New Investigator Awards in Aging Biology and Geroscience are a vital catalyst to support the next generation of aging researchers. Nurturing this emerging talent is crucial for the future advancement of novel gerotherapeutics to extend healthspan, and is in line with our mission to provide grants and early-stage investments to incentivize independent research in the emerging field of healthspan science," shares Felipe Sierra, PhD, Chief Science Officer of Hevolution Foundation. “Our investment is a testament to our belief in the transformative potential of these early-career scientists, whose work is essential for pioneering new pathways to extend healthspan. Through this support, we’re funding vital projects while fostering the future of healthy aging science for the benefit of all."

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About AFAR The American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) is a national non-profit organization that supports and advances pioneering biomedical research that is revolutionizing how we live healthier and longer. For more than four decades, AFAR has served as the field’s talent incubator, providing nearly $200 million to some 4,400 investigators at premier research institutions to date—and growing. Through its 2023 grant programs, AFAR provided approximately $12,500,000 to more than 60 investigators. A trusted leader and strategist, AFAR also works with public and private funders to steer high quality grant programs and interdisciplinary research networks. AFAR-funded researchers are finding that modifying basic cellular processes can delay—or even prevent—many chronic diseases, often at the same time. They are discovering that it is never too late—or too early—to improve health. This groundbreaking science is paving the way for innovative new therapies that promise to improve and extend our quality of life—at any age. Learn more at