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Scientific Resources

Nonhuman Primates

NIA maintains approximately 150 nonhuman primates (Macaca mulatta) at four regional primate centers for conducting research on aging. These animals range in age from 18 to 35 years. These rhesus monkeys are currently only approved for noninvasive research. The NIA Biological Resources Branch (BRB) has developed a compendium of nonhuman primate resource availability for aging research. Contact the BRB for a copy.

The Nonhuman Primate Tissue Bank provides a source of archived tissue from aged nonhuman primates, primarily rhesus monkeys. The tissue is donated by primate centers and universities with primate colonies and is available as frozen tissue chunks, slides of fixed tissue sections, and OTC-embedded frozen tissues.

The NIA provides partial support for the Obesity, Diabetes and Aging Animal Resources (ODAAR) at the University of South Florida, which includes a data repository, a biospecimen repository, and a colony of rhesus monkeys available for collaborative studies. Contact Dr. Barbara Hansen for information (; 727-767-6993). The NIA also supports the Primate Aging Database (, developed to compile data from thousands of monkeys in a query-ready format.

Rodent Resources

NIA maintains colonies of aged rats and mice for use by the scientific community for research directly related to aging and age-related diseases. The animals are housed behind specific pathogen-free barriers and monitored for genetic purity and health status, and a health report accompanies each shipment of animals. In addition, NIA supports a tissue bank of flash frozen tissues from mice and rats from the aged rodent colonies and tissue arrays containing punches of multiple ages and multiple tissues per slide. Click here for the new restrictions on eligibility to use the NIA aged rodent colonies.

Interventions Testing Program (ITP)

NIA supports a multi-institutional study investigating diets and dietary supplements purported to extend lifespan and delay disease and dysfunction. ITP allows investigators to submit proposals for interventions to be tested for their ability to decelerate aging and extend lifespan in mice.

NIA DNA Microarray Facility

NIA's DNA Microarray Facility provides filter arrays of a 17K mouse cDNA clone set developed at the NIA Intramural Research Program Laboratory of Genetics. The majority (15K) of clones were derived from early embryonic cDNA libraries as described in Kargul, et al. (Nature Genetics 28: 17–18, 2001). Each array, two filters per clone set, also includes approximately 2,000 additional clones nonoverlapping with the original 15K clone set, or 17K clones per array.

Human Biospecimen Collections

NIA supports studies of human aging that have collections of biospecimens available for sharing. The Virtual Repository is a Web site that provides a central portal to these studies, with introductory information on participating studies and a search engine to identify studies with biospecimen collections of interest. The NIA has an active program announcement (PA-06-443) soliciting applications for pilot studies that can utilize human biospecimens in the collections highlighted in the Virtual Repository.

Caenorhabditis elegans Genetic Stock

NIA also provides partial support for the C. elegans Genetic Center, located at the University of Minnesota. This stock center contains more than 1,000 strains of C. elegans, many of which are useful in studying aging.

Cell Repository

To facilitate aging research on cells in culture, the NIA provides support for the NIA Aging Cell Repository, located at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research in Camden, NJ. Included are skin fibroblast cultures from individuals with premature aging syndromes, including Werner and Hutchinson-Guilford (progeria), cultures from clinically documented and at-risk individuals from families exhibiting familial Alzheimer's disease, differentiated cell lines, and cell lines from animals. The repository also has DNA from many of the cell lines, available individually or in panels such as the Primate DNA panel, Aging Syndrome DNA panel, Characterized Alzheimer's disease mutation DNA panel, Early and Late Onset Alzheimer's disease DNA panels, and Aged Sib Pairs DNA panel.

Database of Longitudinal Studies

A searchable database for epidemiologic research on aging changes across the lifespan.

Division of Behavioral and Social Research on Aging Publications

Materials highlighting behavioral and social research conducted and supported by the NIA. These include books on aging and health, and a link to request the NIA/BSR CD that includes books and other resources.

Division of Behavioral and Social Research Databases and Links

Links to Federal web sites that are a resource for aging research and to other resources that are supported by NIA.

Page last updated Aug 21, 2008