USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and The Buck Institute for Research on Aging Win $4.6 Million NIA Grant

Prestigious award establishes the USC-Buck Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging.

Professor Pinchas Cohen
Pinchas Cohen, USC-Buch NSC co-principal investigator and dean of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology
Photo of Sean Curran
Sean Curran, USC-Buck NSC co-director and USC Leonard Davis associate professor
Eric Verdin, President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Eric Verdin, President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging

The University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging have received a five year, $4.6 million National Institute on Aging award to jointly establish a Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging.

The USC-Buck Nathan Shock Center (USC-Buck NSC) will forge a deeper understanding of how and why aging processes cause disease in order to advance the translation of basic research on aging into effective preventions and therapies. Activities of the USC-Buck NSC will include funding innovative pilot projects, providing access to leading-edge technologies and mentoring junior investigators from across the nation to become the next leaders in the field of research on aging.

“Our combined team of scientists have a long and established track record of leadership and discovery across the spectrum of geroscience disciplines,” said principal investigator Eric Verdin, MD, president and chief executive officer of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. “I am grateful for this award and confident that the combined expertise of the USC-Buck Nathan Shock Center will positively impact the field and transform the way we approach the study of chronic disease and aging processes to extend healthspan.”

The new USC-Buck Nathan Shock Center joins a nationwide network of seven other Nathan Shock Centers, which all provide leadership in the pursuit of basic research into the biology of aging. Nathan Shock Centers administer small start-up funds locally and organize national annual meetings to highlight specific areas of research. In addition, each center has several specialized cores that provide services to all Shock Center members, as well as for-fee services to the community at large. Specialized cores at the USC-Buck Center will focus on cellular senescence, genomic translation across species and geroscience technology.

“The USC-Buck Nathan Shock Center will be far more than the sum of its already outstanding parts and will help continue the exponential growth in this critical research area in the coming years,” said co-principal investigator Pinchas Cohen, MD, dean of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. “I am excited to expand on our productive partnership, and I believe our joint Nathan Shock Center will enhance promising research in the biology of aging at both at USC and the Buck Institute and will serve to make a positive impact across California, the nation and throughout the world.”

The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and the Novato-based Buck Institute for Research on Aging have a long and productive history of collaboration, most notably with the establishment of the nation’s first PhD program in the biology of aging that they launched in 2014 and lead together. The interdisciplinary doctoral program and the USC-Buck NSC draw on the two institutions’ long-established leadership and expertise in understanding the connection between aging and chronic disease through biomedical research.

About the Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Our success will ultimately change healthcare. At the Buck, we aim to end the threat of age-related diseases for this and future generations by bringing together the most capable and passionate scientists from a broad range of disciplines to identify and impede the ways in which we age. An independent, nonprofit institution, our goal is to increase human health span, or the healthy years of life. Globally recognized as the pioneer and leader in efforts to target aging, the number one risk factor for serious diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, macular degeneration, heart disease, and diabetes, the Buck wants to help people live better longer. Learn more at https://buckinstitute.org

About the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology

The USC Leonard Davis School was founded in 1975 as the nation’s first professional school devoted to research and education in gerontology- the study of aging across the lifespan. Today we are at the forefront of a global field that has grown more essential than ever. We aim to unlock the secrets of healthy longevity in order to delay, or even prevent, debilitating diseases of aging and together, our faculty of world-renowned experts in biology, psychology, nutrition, demography, policy and more are leading the way in advancing science and scholarship to improve how long and how well we live. Learn more at gero.usc.edu