Additionally, Nearly 140 Global Innovators Awarded for Projects aimed at improving Healthy Longevity
The National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Healthy Longevity Global Competition is pleased to announce the extension of its international Catalyst Awards through 2025, adding three annual cycles to seed innovative ideas. Focusing on helping accelerate research and entrepreneurism to foster potential breakthroughs in healthy longevity, the Global Competition is a multiyear, multi-phase international competition designed with the aim to help advance bold, novel ideas with the potential to dramatically improve health as people age. The Global Competition consists of three progressive phases during which innovators have the opportunity to compete for increasingly larger awards at the Catalyst, Accelerator, and Grand Prize levels—the latter up to $5 million.
The Global Competition, along with its sister program the Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity, are part of a larger initiative to fuel a worldwide movement to help improve physical, mental, and social well-being for people as they age, known as the Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge. Unique to the Global Competition component in particular is the emphasis on bold, new ideas with the potential for big impact—in disease prevention, mobility, functionality, social connectedness, the biology of aging, and more.
“We’ve been pleased to see the momentum, excitement, and innovative research that the Grand Challenge has generated in the field of healthy longevity since its inception,” said NAM President Victor J. Dzau. This award competition program has attracted widespread interest from global innovators to explore novel ideas that may ultimately improve health throughout the lifespan, fostering opportunities for meaningful engagement at all stages of life. We are so pleased that our global collaborators enthusiastically support the extension of the Catalyst Awards competition through 2025 which would sustain the momentum and trajectory of this important movement.”
Since its launch in October 2019, the Global Competition has brought together eleven global collaborators representing over 50 countries and territories. The NAM founded the competition and coordinates among a network of global collaborators, each sponsoring a Catalyst Award competition, while also administering a U.S.-based competition. Catalyst Awards are worth $50,000 USD. To date, the NAM and its global collaborators have issued more than $23.5 million in award funding to nearly 430 Catalyst and 13 Accelerator Awardees worldwide.
In addition to announcing the extension of the Catalyst Awards today, the NAM and its global collaborators announced the winners of the 2022 Healthy Longevity Catalyst and Accelerator Awards at the annual Global Innovator Summit. This year, innovators around the world submitted more than 1,100 applications, with over 470 of those from U.S.-based applicants. Ultimately, the NAM selected 25 Catalyst Awardees in 2022. They include:
- Effects of maternal obesity on oocyte aging in female offspring of the BPH/5 preeclamptic-like mouse
Jenny Sones, Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine
- Defining the phenotype-axis of frailty and resilience at single-cell resolution
Jude Phillip, Johns Hopkins University
- A Nanoscale Theranostic tool for Senescence and Aging
Aditi Gurkar, Aging Institute, University of Pittsburgh
- Eliminating mutated mitochondrial DNA with modified nucleic acids
Joseph Baur, University of Pennsylvania
- Machine Learning-Driven Multimodal Wearable Biosensor for Stress Monitoring
Wei Gao, California Institute of Technology
- Lifestyle Empowerment Approach for Diabetes Remission (LEADR): A systems-change intervention to achieve diabetes remission for patients and sustainable reimbursement for physicians
Micaela Karlsen, American College of Lifestyle Medicine
- Imaging oxidant production to improve aging and longevity
John Chen, Massachusetts General Hospital
- Systems-Aligned Precision Health for Longevity and Healthy Aging with Type 1 Diabetes
Anna Kahkoska, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health
- Tailoring Tissue Engineering Approaches to the Aging Population
Rosalyn Abbott, Carnegie Mellon University
- Intergenerational Mentoring to Promote Health Across the Lifespan
Corey Nichols-Hadeed, University of Rochester
- AR Captions Increase Comprehension, Social Connection & Mental Well-Being
Alex Westner, Spark23 Corp.
- Monitoring of Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology Through Slow Wave Activity During Sleep in Older Adults
Makoto Kawai, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University
- Developing a smartphone app to enhance older drivers’ longevity and safety
Johnathon Ehsani, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Multi-modal Microwave Radar & Electroencephalography-based Brain-Computer Interfaces for Non-Invasive Functional Imaging of the Brain
Emily Porter, The University of Texas at Austin
- Exercise and Brain Health: Pre-clinical Study of the Energy Transfer Hypothesis of Aging using PET/MRI imaging
Lauren Koch, College of Medicine and Life Sciences
- The Social-Medical Network: Using a Network-Approach to Examine the Integration of Informal and Formal Care for an Older Adult
Catherine Clair, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor: A Novel Agent for Reproductive Longevity and Equality
Leslie Appiah, The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Academic Specialists in Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Financial Decision Making: Identification of Financial Vulnerability and Early detection of Cognitive Impairment
Eric Chess, Knoebel Institute of Healthy Aging
- Development of a next-generation pharmaceutical to target oxidized cholesterol and reverse cardiovascular disease
Matthew O’Connor, Cyclarity Therapeutics Inc.
- CARS Silver: Mental Health Screening and Targeted Resources for Older Adults
Sarah Nelson, Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance
- AI-Based Conversational Agent for Monitoring Cognitive Health of Older Adults
Mohammad Mahoor, DreamFace Technologies, LLC
- Bridging the Gap between Postpartum and Primary Care: Novel Approaches to Care Continuity for Women at High Risk for Chronic Disease
Jessica Cohen, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
- Rebuilding the Health Workforce in Africa to Care for an Aging Population
Vanessa Kerry, Seed Global Health
- Uncovering molecular mechanisms of aging clocks with interpretable deep
Hong Qin, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
- Expanding a Multimodality VR Fitness Platform to Remotely Assess, Monitor, and Report Cognitive and Physical Function for Seniors
Jennifer Stamps, Rendever, Inc
The U.S.-based awards are sponsored by Johnson and Johnson Innovation, Bia Echo & Yun Family Foundations, and the NextFifty Initiative, which support of the Healthy Longevity Global Competition in the quest to find “bold and transformative innovations to extend human health and function later in life.
Other organizations issuing Catalyst Awards in 2022 include the Academia Sinica of Taiwan; Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences; EIT Health of the European Union; Agency for Medical Research and Development of Japan; Ministry of Health and National Research Foundation of Singapore; National Agency for Research and Development of Chile; Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China; and UK Research and Innovation.
As Catalyst Awardees and Finalist’s projects progress, they become eligible to apply for support in the second phase of the competition, the Accelerator Phase. The three global Accelerator sponsors—Johnson and Johnson Innovation, Eisai, and the European Investment Bank (in partnership with kENUP Foundation)—each administer awards.
This year, Johnson and Johnson Innovation announced the second cohort of awardees from its NAM Healthy Longevity QuickFire Challenge (Accelerator Awards). Each awarded project team will have the opportunity to receive funding and mentorship from experts across The Johnson and Johnson Family of Companies with the aim to help advance their Catalyst Award-winning work further. Awarded projects are listed below.
From the 2021 International Catalyst Award Winners:
- Dartmouth College
The Dartmouth College team is developing music-based interventions with a focus on reducing chronic pain, minimizing cognitive decline and generally promoting healthy aging.
flowbone is engineering a highly injectable bone-seeding biomaterial that restores natural hip strength.
- Human Vaccines Project
The Human Vaccines Project is identifying potential biomarkers of effective immunity for experimental Parkinson’s Disease vaccine development.
- Solarea Bio
Solarea Bio is harnessing the untapped microbial diversity of fresh fruits and vegetables with the aim of managing inflammatory diseases.
- Tokyo Institute of Technology
The Tokyo Institute of Technology team is decoding age-dependent trajectory of exosomal protein in healthy aging and Alzheimer’s pathology.
From the 2020 International Catalyst Award Winners:
Grapheal is exploiting the properties of graphene with the aim of collecting high-quality molecular data anywhere via a connected digital solution.
- MiWEndo Solutions
MiWEndo Solutions is developing and validating a disposable medical device that hopes to use microwave imaging as the basis for early colorectal cancer detection.
- Massachusetts General Hospital
The team at Massachusetts General Hospital aims to predict the risk of incident lung cancer from a routine chest x-ray image via their deep learning tool (CXR-LC) to promote early diagnosis.
- Ohio State University
The Ohio State University team is working to develop WheelTrak – a wheelchair condition monitoring technology that aims to reduce the risk of wheelchair failures and injury to users.
As part of the Global Competition’s commitment to share knowledge and stimulate an entire field by not only rewarding innovative ideas but also sharing those ideas with the world, project summaries are available at www.healthylongevitychallenge.org.
The final phase of the global competition, the Grand Prize, is anticipated in 2025 and will award one or more prizes of $5 million each for the achievement of a potentially transformative innovation that extends healthspan. Learn more about the NAM’s Global Grand Challenge Competition and sign up for updates.
The Healthy Longevity Global Competition is sponsored by Anthony J. Yun and Kimberly A. Bazar, the Bia-Echo Foundation, the John A. Hartford Foundation, John and Valerie Rowe, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, NextFifty Initiative, United Therapeutics Corp, and the Yun Family Foundation, in addition to commitments from the global collaborators of the Catalyst Phase and organizations sponsoring the Accelerator Phase.
The National Academy of Medicine, established in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine, is an independent organization of eminent professionals from diverse fields including health and medicine; the natural, social, and behavioral sciences; and beyond. It serves alongside the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as an adviser to the nation and the international community. Through its domestic and global initiatives, the NAM works to address critical issues in health, medicine, and related policy and inspire positive action across sectors. The NAM collaborates closely with its peer academies and other divisions within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.