Basic Biology of Aging at the University of Washington

Pilot Study & Junior Faculty Support

2019 - 2020  Pilot Award Applications

One year of support ($10,000 each) will be awarded for up to 10 Pilot research projects in the biology of aging. The Pilot Project application may either be designed to rapidly pursue a new research opportunity, or to obtain preliminary data that will serve as a basis for a major research grant application. The projects should utilize the services of one or more of the three Research Core Services of our Center: Proteomics, Metabolomics and Invertebrate Longevity & Healthspan (see Prior consultation with the Core Director(s) is strongly advised. Pilot project funds support the use of Research Core Analytical Services, but not supplies or salaries.  Applications from outside the University of Washington are strongly encouraged. Junior Faculty members are particularly encouraged to apply for Pilot Projects.

Postdoctoral fellows cannot serve as Principal Investigators for pilot projects. However, they may receive support via faculty sponsors.

Support for projects to study neurodegenerative diseases is infrequently granted, due to overlap with other funding sources.

Deadlines and Award Dates:

All Applications Due: April 15, 2019 by 5:00 PM
Anticipated Date of Awards: July 1, 2019. Pilot Study Funding Period: July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

Application Instructions

Detailed instructions are available here.

Applications include:

  • Cover letter which addresses the following questions:

How does this research specifically relate to the biology of aging?

How one of more of the Center Cores can make a difference in your work

Need for Funding: justify why this work cannot be completed with your existing resources

Anticipated impact of the Pilot Award on future plans and funding

  • NIH Style Biosketch
  • One page description of your research plan and its significance.
  • A  brief budget plan. Information for budgeting of your Core Services can be found here

Submit the cover letter and application electronically in PDF or Word format to:

Ellen Cravens,  For more information, please contact Ellen at 206-616-4135.

Current and Prior Awardees

Each year the University of Washington's Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging funds pilot research projects and/or Junior Faculty projects in the basic the biology of aging.

2018 - 2019 Pilot Project Awardees:


Lauren Brent, Lecturer/Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Exeter

Metabolomic changes in naturally aging free-living rhesus macaques

Jason Chan, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Juniata College

Role of sphingolipid signaling in host-bacterial interactions associated with aging

Joseph Rodgers, Assistant Professor, Department of Stem Cell Biology, Keck School of Medicine

Dissecting the metabolic mechanisms that underlie age-associated defects in muscle stem cell function

George Sutphin, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of Arizona

Evaluating the impact of kynurenine pathway interventions on NAD biosynthesis


Dena Dubal, Associate Professor/Principal Investigator, Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco

Role of the Second X Chromosome in the Aging Female Brain: A Proteomic Approach

Richard Miller & Joe Endicott, Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Michigan

How CMA influences physiology, and the mechanisms of CMA upregulation in Snell dwarf mice

Metabolomics & Proteomics:

Yousin Suh, Professor, Department of Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

An integrated approach to elucidate the role of human longevity-associated LRP130 missense variants on mitochondrial function and cellular homeostasis

Invertebrate Healthspan:

Jan Gruber, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Yale-National University of Singapore

Prolong the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans to specifically identify synergistic pharmaceutical combinations in an unbiased and systematic manner

Alaattin Kaya, Instructor, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Understanding of essential gene function in aging

Jeremy Van Raamsdonk, Assistant Professor, McGill University

Molecular mechanisms of lifespan extension: Role of kinase and phosphatase signaling

2017 - 2018 Pilot Project Awardees:


Laura Niedernhofer, Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute

Identifying the causes of age-related increased ROS

John Chaston, Assistant Professor, Plant & Wildlife Sciences, Brigham Young University

Microbiota-mediated methionine restriction in Drosophila melanogaster

Jessica Preston and Patrick Phillips, Postdoctoral Research Fellow; Professor; Department of Biology, University of Oregon

A Systems level characterization of novel tissue specific regulators of aging plasicity.

Constanza Cortes, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Duke University School of Medicine

Enhanced Skeletal muscle proteostatsis as a determinant of CNS aging


Laura Niedernhofer* - see above

Michael Garratt, Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School

Proteomic analysis of slowed cardiac aging with acarbose and 17-a-estradiol

Birgit Schilling, Staff Scientist, Buck Institute for Research on Aging

New proteomics workflows measuring protein turnover in age-dependent muscle atrophy models.

Jessica Preston and Patrick Phillips* - see above

Constanza Cortes* - see above

Invertebrate Healthspan:

Karl Rodriguez, Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Systems and Anatomy, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Celastrol as a potential therapeutic to longevity and healthspan

Je-Hyun Yoon, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical University of South Carolina

RNA granules in mitochondrial function and lifespan regulation

2016 - 2017 Alzheimer’s Disease Pilot Awardee:

Olena Korvatska,  Acting Assistant Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, UW

 R47H mutation in the microglial immune receptor TREM2 is a strong genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. We will study the effect of pathogenic TREM2 variants on premature aging of microglia.

2016 – 2017 Pilot Project Awardees:

Alexander Mendenhall, Assistant Professor, Pathology, UW

 Proposing to characterize the loss of lysosome acidification capacity in individual C. elegans cells

David Marcinek, Associate Professor, Radiology, UW

Mitochondrial oxidative stress attenuates exercise signaling in aged muscle.

Joe Chin-Sun Huang, Clinical Instructor, Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, UW

 Age-specific targets in acute myeloid leukemia DNA damage signaling/response.

2015 – 2016 Pilot Project Awardees:

Wei Wei Dang, Assistant Professor, Molecular & Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine

 Optimization and application of unbiased, high-throughput assays for yeast replicative aging.

Scott Pletcher, Associate Professor, Molecular & Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan

Neurometabolomic analysis of hunger circuits that modulate aging in Drosophila.