The Province Lab and the Long Life Family study got a $68 million NIH grant to investigate what contributes to extreme longevity.  Michael A. Province, Ph.D., professor of genetics at Washington University School of Medicine, is the principal investigator on the study.

The goal of the Long Life Family study is to pinpoint genetic factors that contribute to exceptional longevity. To do so, researchers are studying hundreds of families with individuals who have exceptionally long lives.

“These families provide a unique opportunity for finding genetic links to long life spans,” Dr. Province said in a statement. “Remarkably, many study participants in the older generations are unusually healthy for their ages. We think we will find clues in their DNA that suggest how they might be protected from common diseases, such as diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease — or, at the very least, uncover genetic factors that might delay the onset of these health problems.”

Washington University School of Medicine is leading the study. The project has field centers in at Boston University, Columbia University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Southern Denmark. Province and Mary K. Wojczynski, Ph.D., assistant professor of genetics at Washington University School of Medicine, lead the primary site and coordinate collaborations among the field sites and the University of Minnesota, where the lab for analyzing blood samples is located.

Congratulations to all!