The Biomarker Network

A National Institute of Aging sponsored project dedicated to improved measurement of biological risk for late-life health outcomes in large representative samples of populations.

 
 

Virtual NIA-Sponsored 2020 Biomarker Network Meeting

Because our annual PAA Biomarker Network in-person meeting was canceled due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we organized a series of virtual sessions on June 19, 22, and 25 to present some of the material scheduled for the in-person meeting.

The Biomarker Network is a National Institute of Aging sponsored project to develop an interdisciplinary group of scientists dedicated to improved measurement of biological risk for late life health outcomes in large representative samples of populations. Activities of the network include designing and carrying out a series of focused meetings, interactive activities, workshops, and pilot projects to harmonize and develop measurement of biological risk in populations.

Biological risk represents objective measurement of major dimensions of population health.  The level of risk can indicate the health of the population, need for health care treatment in a population, and the effectiveness of that treatment in controlling risk or delaying disease progression, and death.  The measurement of biological risk in large populations often requires adoption of methods not used in laboratory settings.  This project will improve the methods of measuring health used in populations and improve comparability of results over time and across studies, which is important for monitoring population health.

The Biomarker Network is funded through the National Institute on Aging (NIA) grant R24AG037898.

Aims of the Network

The overarching goal of the network is to promote interdisciplinary research that clarifies the biological paths to health outcomes that can be measured or monitored in population surveys.  The network will address the following questions:

  • What array of biological markers can be included reliably and validly in population studies in order to better monitor health and predict health outcomes at the older ages?

  • What are the best methods of collecting biological risk information under a variety of circumstances?

  • What are the best methods for processing the biological risk information collected?

  • What methods of harmonization will allow us to compare biological risk across studies?

  • What are the best approaches to measurement of cumulative biological risk or dimensions of biological risk for a variety of health outcomes in a variety of settings?

  • What are the best approaches in including indicators of genetic risk for complex diseases and conditions into data from population-based surveys?

  • How do we best capture indicators of life-long social, psychological and economic conditions along with lifelong biological risk to explain later life health outcomes?

  • What particular ethical issues are posed by our linking of biological data to extensive social, psychological, and economic information?