Remote Biomarker Collection in the COVID-19 Era: Strategies for respondent self-collection

Oct 27, 2020 | 11am-12pm PDT via Zoom


  • Introduction & Background
  • Overview of remote blood collection strategies 
    • Dried blood spots (mailable self-draw kits; HemaSpot HF/SE/HD)
    • Microfluidic samplers (Tasso OnDemand, TAP 2nd Gen)
    • Logistics & infrastructure (mailing/transport, self-collection instructions/videos, participant support, regulatory issues, logistics services)
  • Optimizing self-collected blood samples 
    • Sample collection protocols, with tips & tricks for both DBS & microfluidics
    • Customized instruction videos, Zoom “call centers”/”office hours”
  • Analytic performance: what works, and what doesn’t 
    • Correspondence of DBS / microfluidic samples to venipuncture “gold standard”
    • Issues to manage (sample volume, humidity, temperature)
    • Interpretive caveats (SNR/power adjustment, LLD, fragile/untrustworthy analytes, venous vs capillary blood)
    • Experienced assay labs (volume, system-level QC)
  • Temperature control 
    • Cold-chain maintenance (Health & Retirement Study salivary antibody example)
    • Logistics services (e.g., UPS Healthcare)
  • Q&A 
  • Adjourn 
Watch Webinar Recording

Measuring Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 Webinar

Oct 22, 2020 | 11am-12:30pm PDT via Zoom


Mark Wener: COVID19 Serology Introduction & General Principles
Thomas McDade: Quantitative Serological Testing for SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Dried Blood Spots
Bharat Thyagarajan: SARS Co-V-2 Antibody Tests

Watch Webinar Recording

Virtual NIA-Sponsored Biomarker Network Sessions

June 16, 19 & 22, 2020


Day 1 – June 16, 2020
Virtual Biomarker Network Meeting Day 1 Recording

  • Welcome
    Teresa Seeman and Eileen Crimmins, USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health
    Lisbeth Nielsen, National Institute on Aging
  • Biomarkers and Stress | Moderator – Eileen Crimmins
    How do war and stress contribute to subjective age? An analysis of biological, psychosocial and life course stress factors in the Vietnam Health and Aging Study
    Kim Korinek, Eleanor Brindle, Jefferson Schmidt, Tran Khanh Toan, Zachary Zimmer
  • Cortisol concentrations in hair are reduced 14 years after exposure to a major natural disaster
    Ralph Lawton, Elizabeth Frankenberg, Teresa Seeman, Eileen Crimmins, Cecep Sumantri, Duncan Thomas
  • Effect of violence crime in adolescent’s activity space on perceived and biological stress
    Jodi L. Ford, Christopher R. Browning, Kammi Schmeer, Catherine Calder, Beth Boettner, & Jacob Tarrence
  • The role of early life environments in U.S. socioeconomic disparities in adult chronic inflammation
    Stephanie Koning, Thomas McDade
  • Questions – Managed by Teresa Seeman and Steve Cole

Day 2 – June 19, 2020
Virtual Biomarker Network Meeting Day 2 Recording

  • Welcome
    Eileen Crimmins and Teresa Seeman
  • Biomarkers and Health Outcomes | Moderator – Teresa Seeman
    Lifespan adversity and epigenetic age acceleration in the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)
    Cathal McCrory, Giovanni Fiorito, Paolo Vineis, Rose Anne Kenny
  • Associations between changes in vitamin D levels and health in later life: evidence from the English longitudinal study of ageing
    Giorgio Di Gessa, Paola Zaninotto, Cesar Messias de Oliveira Giorgio Di Gessa, Paola Zaninotto, Cesar Messias de Oliveira
  • The Interaction of age and mild cognitive impairment on brain morphometry: Neuroimaging analysis from the Longitudinal Aging Study in India: Diagnostic Assessment of Dementia (LASI-DAD)
    Brenton Keller, Jorge Jovicich, Arthur Toga, Jinkook Lee
  • Biomeasures in the time of COVID19: remote self-administered collection
    Martha K. McClintock, Joscelyn Hoffmann, Hannah You, Elbert Huang, Megan Huisingh-Scheetz, Jay Pinto, L. Phillip Schumm and Kristen Wroblewski
  • Questions – Steve Cole and Eileen Crimmins

Day 3 – June 22, 2020
Virtual Biomarker Network Meeting Day 3 Recording

  • Telomere Measurement and Results | Moderator – Steve Cole
  • Telomere Research Network
    Stacy Drury
  • Telomere length estimates, lab to lab comparisons, and sample handling effects:
    Progress reports from multiple labs
    Jude Carroll, Daniel Notterman Colter Mitchell, Jessica Faul 
  • Demographic and developmental patterns in telomere length across adolescence
    Lauren Gaydosh, Colter Mitchell, Daniel Notterman, Lisa Schneper, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Brandon Wagner, Kalsea Koss, and Sara McLanahan
  • Questions – Teresa Seeman and Eileen Crimmins 
  • Next Steps – for the Biomarker Network

2020 NIA Biomarker Network Meeting on Functional Genomics: RNA & Epigenetics in Population Health Research

April 21-22, 2020, 11am EDT (All times Eastern Daylight)

Organizers: Steve Cole, Colter Mitchell, Eileen Crimmins, Teresa Seeman

Tuesday, April 21: Sample Processing and Analytic methods

Virtual Meeting Agenda

  • Welcome
  • Novel Quality Control Metric Applications for RNA-Seq in Population Studies – Bharat Thyagarajan, Weihua Guan, Eileen Crimmins, Jessica Faul, David Weir, Sarah Munro.
  • Patterns of reliability: Assessing the reproducibility and integrity of DNA methylation measurement. Karen Sudgen
  • Longitudinal DNA Methylation Change in a Multi-ethnic Cohort Colter Mitchell, Erin Ware, Jonah Fisher, Kelly Bakulski, John Dou, Jessica Faul, Lisa Schneper, Daniel Notterman
  • Cell type methods in DNA methylation studies: Biological and epidemiological frameworks. Kelly M. Bakulski
  • Quantification of the pace of biological aging in humans through a blood test: a DNA methylation algorithm. Karen Sudgen
  • Brief discussion
  • Adjourn

Wednesday, April 22: Substantive Findings in Gene Expression and DNA Methylation

  • Welcome
  • Population-based RNA sequencing in Add Health: Major demographic differences in blood cell gene expression emerge by young adulthood. Steven W. Cole, Michael J. Shanahan, & Kathleen Mullan Harris on behalf of Add Health
  • Integrative analyses of DNA methylation, RNA expression, and microbiome data in Add Health. Allison Aiello and Kathie Harris
  • RNA sequencing in MIDUS: Initial findings from the Refresher Sample Steven W. Cole on behalf of the Study of Midlife in the United States.
  • Integrative analysis of Transcriptomics and DNA methylation profiles. Bharat Thyagarajan, Nan Wang, Jessica Faul, Eileen Crimmins, Weihua Guan
  • Epigenetic Clock Results from TILDA. Cathal McCrory
  • Epigenetic Clocks in the HRS: Associations with Social, Psychological, and Biological factors and Health outcomes. Eileen Crimmins, Jessica Faul, Bharat Thyagarajan
  • Brief discussion
  • Adjourn

NIA-Sponsored Biomarker Network Meeting
When: April 10, 2019 (8:30am – 4:30pm)
Where: JW Marriott, Austin, TX

  • Agenda
  • Attendees
  • Telomere Validation Study – Jessica Faul
  • Epigenetics Meeting and Network – Steve Cole
  • Dried Blood Spots
    • Axel Börsch-Supan, Martina Börsch-Supan, Luzia Weiss: Dried Blood Spot Samples and their Validation
    • Eileen Crimmins, Yuan Zhang, Jung Ki Kim, Stephen Frochen, Hyewon Kang, Hyunju Shim, Jennifer Ailshire, Alan Potter, Jake Cofferan, Jessica Faul: Dried Blood Spots: Effects of Interviewer Collection, Shipping Time, Heat, and Humidity
    • Jake Cofferen, Alan Potter: Handle with Care: The Effects of Shipping, Holding Times, Drying Times, and Spot Size on Biomarker Recovery from Dried Blood Spots
  • Genetics, Epigenetics and Flow Cytometry
    • Zuyun Liu, Diana Leung, Morgan Levine: Comparative Analysis of Epigenetic Aging Clocks from CpG Characteristics to Functional Associations
    • Lauren Schmitz, Arianna Gard, Erin Ware: Examining Sex Differences in Pleiotropic Effects for Depression and Smoking Using Polygenic and Gene-Region Aggregation Techniques
    • Bharat Thyagarajan: Role of T-cell Immunity in type 2 Diabetes: Findings from HRS
  • Updates from Studies
  • Physical Activity Measurement
    • Chantel Ramraj, Phil Schumm, Sondra Birch, Diane Lauderdale: Physical Activity Measurement among Older Adults Using Triaxial Wrist Accelerometers in the US and Israel: Reliability and Concordance with Survey Questions
    • Hyunju Shim, Arie Kapteyn, Eileen Crimmins: Comparing Two Devices for Sleep Measurement
  • Biomarkers I
    • Christopher Coe, Agus Surachman, David Almeida, Gayle Love, Carol Ryff: A Sensitive but Frequently Overlooked Biomarker of Health and Aging: Our Kidneys
    • Jennifer Ailshire: Air Pollution, Mitochodrial DNA and Cognition
    • Perry Hu, A.V. Dey, Sharmistha Dey, Pranali Khobragade, Joyita Banerjee, Sid Beaumaster, Eileen Crimmins, Jinkook Lee: Metabolic Syndrome and Cognitive Functioning Among Older Indians: LASI DAD
  • Biomarkers II
    • Audrey Renson, Allison Aiello, Claire Yang: Cohort Effects in C-reactive Protein
    • Catherine Perez, Joseph Saenz, Rebeca Wong: Biological Risk in HRS and MHAS

NIA-Sponsored International Meeting on Biological Risk in Population Surveys
When: April 9, 2019 (9:00am – 5:00pm)
Where: JW Marriott, Austin, TX

NIA-Sponsored Biomarker Network Meeting
When: April 25, 2018 (8:45am – 4:30pm)
Where: Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, CO

NIA-Sponsored Biomarker Network Meeting
When: April 26, 2017 (8:45am – 4:30pm)
Where: Hilton Chicago, Chicago, IL

International Biomarker Studies Meeting
When: April 1, 2016
Where: USC Conference Center, 701 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite #540, Washington, DC 20004

NIA-Sponsored Biomarker Network Meeting
@ The Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Conference, 2016
When: March 30, 2016
Where: Washington, DC

NIA-Sponsored Biomarker Network Meeting
@ The Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Conference, 2015
When: April 29, 2015
Where: San Diego, CA

Meeting on Harmonization of Methods & Measures in Longitudinal Studies
When: May 2-3, 2011
Where: Davidson Conference Center, University of Southern California

Demography of Aging Biomarker Network Meeting (Genomics Workshop) 
@ The Population Association of America (PAA) Annual Conference, 2010
When: April 14, 2010
Where: Dallas, TX