European project to define key stages of human ageing

Ageing Markers Research Team
28 May 2009


Aston University is involved in a EUR 12m project that is set to identify and establish biomarkers which recognise the key stages of human ageing.

The Birmingham based University is one of 27 partners in the five year MARK-AGE study, which aims to identify and establish optimal biomarkers of human ageing. The five year project is funded under the European Union’s Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7) until 2013.The consortium is led by the University of Konstanz (Germany) and brings together 26 other research groups from 14 European countries including universities, research centres, and leading worldwide businesses.

The study will recruit 5000 volunteers from different European regions, both men and women between 35 and 74 years old, making it one of the largest studies on biomarkers of ageing of its kind.

Researchers in Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences will use their expertise in proteomics – the study of proteins - to uncover novel biomarkers of ageing from blood samples.
Associate Dean of Research, Professor Helen Griffiths, said; “This large-scale project aims to identify biomarkers of ageing and any associations with changes in health. These markers can then potentially be used to predict the onset of age-related diseases and allow for early intervention before further problems occur.”

This project is directly relevant to the University's newly instigated Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA), a £3m investment in infrastructure and ageing research capacity. The Centre aims to be an internationally-regarded centre of inter-disciplinary research excellence in advancing prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of age-associated decline in vision, hearing, metabolic/vascular functions and neurodegeneration.

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For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Griffiths, please contacted Aston University Press Officer, Alex Earnshaw, on 01905 204 4549