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Extension, enhancement and strengthening of established collaborations to create a knowledgebase for biomarker based research on aging

Final Report Summary - BIOAGE (Extension, enhancement and strengthening of established collaborations to create a knowledgebase for biomarker based research on aging)

BIOAGE was a collaborative research project between five universities/research institutes in Europe, New Zealand and Australia aiming at building, extending and strengthening sustainable international collaborations between the partners and to create a knowledge base for biomarker based research related to aging, sampling techniques in the elderly and biomonitoring studies. A strong focus thereby was given to the training of young researcher in the biomarker field.
Within this aim the general exchange objectives were to provide researchers with: -) an international platform to learn, train and apply novel biomarker as well as sampling techniques and methods, -) discuss the opportunity to formulate new joint collaborative research and funding proposals, -) the possibility to participate in human biomonitoring studies and -) international exposure and intercultural understanding of research.
The work plan consisted of four work packages, one around management, one on biomarker validation and quality, one around invasive and non-invasive sample techniques specifically in clinical trials with elderly and one around the knowledge of larger human biomonitoring studies.
Within the project we were able to exchange close to 48 training months, 38 of them with early career researcher and 10 months with experienced researcher. Most of the exchanges were performed from the European partners to overseas partners (36 months), which can also be explained by difficult cross funding situation from the Australasian partners.
Six PhD students were able to finish their PhD thesis with data generated within the BIOAGE project. Thirty ISI papers have been accepted so far and many more are planned or in revision. These papers consist of original research work, but also some special reviews on aging related questions and particularly the quality and validity of biomarkers to predict aging or which reflect the aging process. More than 50 presentations (oral or poster, keynotes and invited) were given at national and international conferences and at least two new larger projects were accepted based on the collaboration within the group. Many more smaller bilateral projects were triggered by BIOAGE.
More than three ESR, who finished their PhD with project data, are now PostDocs in an international environment.
Within the project three workshops were performed which were always associated to larger international meetings in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The project fulfilled most of its ambitious goals:
Many new research methods were learned and distributed among different participating groups/labs with a plethora of new research data from various collaborative projects. New biomarker experts were generated, who apply their knowledge meanwhile in different research areas on the international stage. The topic of ageing was intensively investigated and resulted in a new cooperative research project, where many early stage researcher from different groups worked together with experienced PIs in planning, applying and finalizing a human intervention trial with elderly subjects.
Human biomonitoring studies were planned and at the moment ongoing.
With the BIOAGE project it was not only possible to push research and international collaboration, but it was also possible to drive question which are of high relevance for the general public as well as for policy makers, particularly in the field of aging.