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Press release


Aging research in Berlin proceeds

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German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) to support the second Berlin Aging Study with 6.3 million Euro

After the success of the first Berlin Aging Study (BASE-I), the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) has decided to support the continuation of this research project. In BASE-II, scientists will aim for a better understanding of core mechanisms of successful, normal, and pathological aging. Prof. Steinhagen-Thiessen from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin will chair the multidisciplinary Steering Committee.

The funding covers a period of three years. Within this period, 2.200 adult Berlin residents will be thoroughly examined, integrating information on their physical well-being with genetic, immunological, psychological, and socio-economic data. BASE-II grew out of the multidisciplinary team of BASE-I, and involves some of the same researchers. As Prof. Steinhagen-Thiessen noted, “The results of BASE-I already hinted at many modifiable risk factors for disease in old age. We are now in a much better position to identify, understand, and eventually manipulate these risk factors, using more sophisticated methods than those that were available for BASE-I.” Data from BASE-I, which started in 1990–2009, were used in many different fields of research and have been instrumental in changing the perception of aging and the elderly.

Compared to BASE-I, the addition of a group of younger controls in BASE-II means that the researchers will also be able to follow the development of age-associated alterations presaging disease in middle age. The inclusion of genetic and immunological data is completely novel in this respect. In this way, the researchers hope to gain a better understanding of the trajectories of aging and disease seen in different individuals. BASE-II will be coordinated by a multidisciplinary Steering Committee. Along with Elisabeth Steinhagen-Thiessen, Ulman Lindenberger of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Gert G. Wagner of the German Federal Institute for Economic Research, Lars Bertram of the Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (all Berlin), and Graham Pawelec of the Center for Medical Research, University of Tübingen, are its members.


Prof. Elisabeth Steinhagen-Thiessen
Forschungsgruppe Geriatrie
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin
t: +49 30 4594 1900

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