BLAST network - Building Links in Ageing Science and Translation

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The ‘Building Links in Ageing Science and Translation’ (BLAST) network aims to bring people together to form consortia to develop new knowledge and interventions to improve the health of older people.

 

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BLAST aims

BLAST will:

  • break down silos between researchers in the life, environmental, medical, physical, and social sciences 
  • facilitate interaction between network members to increase knowledge of health-limiting ageing biology mechanisms and ensure effective dissemination of advances, including provision of clinical training resources
  • partner with biotechnologists, health care professionals, social scientists, economists and policy makers to identify effective interventions in ageing processes and develop routes for translation to improve health in later life
  • focus on increasing scientific understanding of the mechanistic drivers of biological ageing that diminish healthspan and lifespan, and predictive/diagnostic biomarkers of age-related poor health. 

We will do this by:

  • establishing a significant online and social media community to increase user engagement and to provide accessible platforms to spread reliable science-based information about healthy longevity
  • holding integrative workshops, summer schools and journal clubs
  • supporting new research through pump-priming funding
  • working with other interdisciplinary ageing networks under the umbrella of UKAN (UK ageing network)

BLAST is part of a UK-wide ageing network (UKAN) funded jointly by BBSRC and MRC

       

Data Protection Privacy Notice

Data Protection Privacy Notice

Building Links in Ageing Science & Translation - BLAST

You have provided information about yourself (‘personal data’). We BLAST are the ‘data controller’ for this information, which means we decide how to use it and are responsible for looking after it in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation as implemented into UK law and associated date protection legislation.

How we use your data

We will use your data for the Purposes as set out in the Registration Form. We are processing your data for these purposes only because you have given us your consent to do so, by opting in. You can withdraw your consent at any time by contacting us at the address set out below. In this event, we will stop the processing as soon as we can. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before your withdrawal of consent. We will only use your data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another related reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we need to use your data for an unrelated purpose, we will seek your consent to use it for that new purpose.

Who has access to your data?

Access to your data within the BLAST network will be provided to those who need to view it as part of their work in carrying out the purposes described above. We may share your data with companies who provide services to us, such as for printing, web hosting, asset and social media management.

These companies are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your data in line with our policies. We do not allow them to use your data for their own purposes. We permit them to process your data only for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

Where we share your data with a third party, we will seek to share the minimum amount necessary.

Retaining your data

We will only retain your data for as long as we need it to meet our purposes, including any relating to legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.

Security

Your data will be held securely in accordance with policies and procedures of the University of Oxford or University of Brighton. Further information is available at www.ox.ac.uk/privacy-policy.

Where we store and use your data

We store and use your data on University of Oxford and/or University of Brighton premises, in both a manual and electronic form. Electronic data may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”), for example, when we communicate with you using a cloud-based service provider that operates outside the EEA such as Survey Monkey, MailChimp, Eventbrite, Wufoo, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc, and/or:

Such transfers will only take place if one of the following applies:

  • the country receiving the data is considered by the EU to provide an adequate level of data protection;
  • the organisation receiving the data is covered by an arrangement recognised by the EU as providing an adequate standard of data protection e.g. transfers to companies that are certified under the EU US Privacy Shield;
  • the transfer is governed by approved contractual clauses;
  • the transfer has your consent;
  • the transfer is necessary for the performance of a contract with you or to take steps requested by you prior to entering into that contract; or
  • the transfer is necessary for the performance of a contract with another person, which is in your interests.

Your rights

You have the right to:

  • Request access to your data (commonly known as a “subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of your data and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Request correction of your data. This enables you to ask us to correct any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you.
  • Request erasure of your data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove your data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your data where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).

  • object to the processing of your data, where we are processing it to meet our public tasks or legitimate interests (or the legitimate interests of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground. You also have the right to object where we are processing your data for direct marketing purposes.
  • Request that the processing of your data is restricted. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your data, for example, if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.
  • Request the transfer of your data to another party.

Further information on these rights is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office (https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/individual-rights/).

Depending on the circumstances and the nature of your request, it may not be possible for us to do what you have asked, for example, where there is a statutory or contractual requirement for us to process your data and it would not be possible to fulfil our legal obligations if we were to stop.

Contact

If you wish to raise any queries or concerns about our use of your data, please contact us at:

blast@ukanet.org.uk

BLAST membership sign up

Sign up via this BLAST membership form to become a member of the new BLAST ageing research network. We'll send you information on new initiatives in ageing research including meetings, workshops, training etc

BLAST provides pump priming financial support, through funding from the BBSRC and MRC, for scientific projects and personnel exchanges that fall within the scope of the BLAST network. 

We welcome applications for laboratory-based work, empirical, clinical, theoretical and feasibility studies, analysis of secondary data sets and/or other work (eg development of teaching or other training materials) relevant to the goals of the BLAST network.
 
The maximum amount of funding available per award is £5000 (at 80% FEC) with the expectation of making a maximum of 8 such awards, or a greater number of smaller awards.

Applications will be assessed in competition through a number of 'gathered fields' following at least 4 weeks advertisement of the award scheme deadline, with all funded work to be completed on or before 31st December 2023. 

We recommend that you prepare longer answers (eg description of proposed work) offline and then paste into the relevant section of the form. Costings should be agreed with your relevant finance office prior to submission of the application.

Please click here to access the application form: https://forms.office.com/r/PXFAKyZmMj

 

New Animal Models of Ageing - 23rd September 2022

New Animal Models of Ageing 

The BLAST research network is holding a one-day workshop on New Animal Models of Ageing at the Royal Veterinary College (Hawkshead Campus).

The workshop will comprise scientific talks by experts on a variety of animal models suitable for the study of ageing biology, including worms, mice, naked mole rats, companion animals and even horses, as well as an inclusive discussion session for all attendees to identify capacity and needs in UK ageing research and help to co-develop pump priming funding relevant to the theme of the workshop. The workshop will provide opportunities to network with others in the field.

Attendance at the workshop is free of charge through the generosity of BLAST funders BBSRC and MRC (as part of the wider UK Ageing Networks www.ukanet.org.uk).

Abstract book is available here:

Programme

09:00 REGISTRATION WITH TEA/COFFEE

10:00 Professor Richard Faragher (University of Brighton) What are we modelling and why? Perspective and challenges in the comparative biology of ageing.

10:30 Professor Lynne Cox (University of Oxford) The BLAST ageing research network

11:00 TEA/COFFEE

11:20 Professor David Gems (University College London) Interventions that increase the organismal lifespan: a cross species perspective

12:00 NETWORKING LUNCH

13.15 Dr Paul Potter (Oxford Brookes University) Modelling age-related disease

13:45 Professor Julie Thornton (University of Bradford) The naked mole rat: an age-defying supermodel

14:15 Professor Eithne Comerford (University of Liverpool) Companion animal models of ageing with a musculoskeletal perspective

14:45 TEA/COFFEE

15:15 Professor Roger Smith (Royal Veterinary College) Tendon ageing in horses: a veterinary challenge with human applications

15.45 Dr Ruby Chang (Royal Veterinary College) The Turin Network and AI applications in ageing research

16.00 Dr Danielle Sagar (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) BBSRC survey on the use of models in research

16:15 Small Awards Discussion

17.15 DRINKS RECEPTION

18.00 Close

Contact:

email: blast@ukanet.org.uk

Twitter: @AgeingBlast

Travel & Accommodation:

The workshop will take place at the Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA.

The nearest station is Potter's Bar, with frequent trains from London King's Cross. A shuttle bus runs regularly from the station to the Hawkshead Campus - the timetable is available here

Other transport options are available here

For anyone who requires accommodation, please contact accommodation@rvc.ac.uk

Contact:

email: blast@ukanet.org.uk

Twitter: @AgeingBlast

HOLD THE DATE: 28th November 2022 at the Royal Society of Chemistry, London

Chemistry for Ageing

Identifying synergies between chemistry and biology to address unmet need in ageing research

28th November 2022 Burlington House, London

This workshop is run by the 'Building Links in Ageing Science and Translation' (BLAST) research network, funded by BBSRC and MRC, in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry. It will bring together chemists and biologists from a range of research areas to identify problems in ageing biology that may be best addressed by applying techniques from chemistry. In particular, the workshop aims to stimulate creative thinking toward developing sensors, probes, diagnostics and therapeutics to identify and treat underlying biochemical mechanisms that drive age-related disease and frailty. In addition to talks by specialists setting out the problems and highlighting successful approaches, there will be opportunities to present new research and to engage in active discussion and debate to move the field forwards.

 

New Animal Models of Ageing - 23rd September 2022

New Animal Models of Ageing 

The BLAST research network is holding a one-day workshop on New Animal Models of Ageing at the Royal Veterinary College (Hawkshead Campus).

The workshop will comprise scientific talks by experts on a variety of animal models suitable for the study of ageing biology, including worms, mice, naked mole rats, companion animals and even horses, as well as an inclusive discussion session for all attendees to identify capacity and needs in UK ageing research and help to co-develop pump priming funding relevant to the theme of the workshop. The workshop will provide opportunities to network with others in the field.

Attendance at the workshop is free of charge through the generosity of BLAST funders BBSRC and MRC (as part of the wider UK Ageing Networks www.ukanet.org.uk).

Attendance is strictly limited to 50 people – please express your interest now through this Eventbrite site

Provisional programme

09:00       REGISTRATION WITH COFFEE

10:00       Professor Richard Faragher (University of Brighton)

                 What are we modelling and why? Perspective and challenges in the comparative biology of ageing.

10:30       Professor Lynne Cox (Oxford)

                 The BLAST ageing research network 

11:00       COFFEE

11:30       Professor David Gems (UCL)

                 Interventions that increase the organismal lifespan: a cross species perspective

12:15       NETWORKING LUNCH

13.30        Dr Paul Potter (Oxford Brookes University)

                 The Harwell Ageing Screen, a large-scale phenotype-driven screen to identify genes and pathways  associated with age-related disease.

14:00       Professor Julie Thornton (University of Bradford)

                 The naked mole rat:  an age-defying supermodel

14:30       Professor Eithne Comerford (Liverpool)

                 Ageing in cats and dogs

15.00        COFFEE

15:30       Professor Roger Smith (Royal Veterinary College)

                 Tendon ageing in horses: a veterinary challenge with human applications

16.00        Dr Ruby Chang (RVC)

                 The Turing Network and AI applications in ageing research

16.15        Panel and open discussion on needs in the ageing community and BLAST small awards                     

17.15        DRINKS RECEPTION

18.00        Close

Contact:

email: blast@ukanet.org.uk

Twitter: @AgeingBlast

Travel & Accommodation:

The workshop will take place at the Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA.

The nearest station is Potter's Bar, with frequent trains from London King's Cross. A shuttle bus runs regularly from the station to the Hawkshead Campus - the timetable is available here

Other transport options are available here

For anyone who requires accommodation, please contact accommodation@rvc.ac.uk

Contact:

email: blast@ukanet.org.uk

Twitter: @AgeingBlast

HOLD THE DATE: 28th November 2022 at the Royal Society of Chemistry, London

Chemistry for Ageing

Identifying synergies between chemistry and biology to address unmet need in ageing research

28th November 2022 Burlington House, London

This workshop is run by the 'Building Links in Ageing Science and Translation' (BLAST) research network, funded by BBSRC and MRC, in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry. It will bring together chemists and biologists from a range of research areas to identify problems in ageing biology that may be best addressed by applying techniques from chemistry. In particular, the workshop aims to stimulate creative thinking toward developing sensors, probes, diagnostics and therapeutics to identify and treat underlying biochemical mechanisms that drive age-related disease and frailty. In addition to talks by specialists setting out the problems and highlighting successful approaches, there will be opportunities to present new research and to engage in active discussion and debate to move the field forwards.

BLAST summer school Oxford 22-25 August 2022 - thank you to all attendees

Thank you to all who attended our inaugural BLAST ageing network summer school on "From ageing hallmarks to drugs for age-related diseases: steps in the discovery pipeline" at Oriel College Oxford 22nd-25th August 2022. Especial thanks go to all our brilliant speakers:

 

Professor Nir Barzilai (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA)

Professor Lynne S. Cox (University of Oxford, UK)

Professor Evandro F. Fang (University of Oslo, Norway)

Professor Richard Faragher (University of Brighton, UK)

Professor Lorna Harries (University of Exeter, UK)

Professor Janet Lord (University of Birmingham, UK)

Dr Joan Mannick (Tornado Therapeutics, USA)

Dr Colin McClure (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)

Dr Karen Melham (University of Oxford, UK)

Dr Isar Nassiri (University of Oxford, UK)

Dr Eleanor Platt (Medicines Discovery Catapult, UK)

Dr Simona Reed (AltruBio, USA)

Professor Katja Simon  (University of Oxford, UK)

Dr Kirsty Winn  (Medicines Discovery Catapult, UK)

 

Check out the programme:

 

 

See the rave reviews on Twitter @AgeingBlast and @OxAgeN_oxford. Don't miss our upcoming events - sign up to become a member of the BLAST network (below) 

The BLAST team - who we are

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Richard Faragher is Professor of Biogerontology at the University of Brighton, leading a lab that researchers cell senescence. He brings to the network management team a range of skills and experience including:

  • Director of the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR).
  • Previously chair of the British Society for Research on Ageing
  • Help the Aged Living Legend awardee from for his championship of older people and the use of research for their benefit
  • Awardee of the Lord Cohen Medal of the British Society for Research on Ageing
  • Former trustee of Age Concern (Brighton & Hove)
  • Co-director of SPARC, a £1.8million joint BBSRC and EPSRC capacity building and integrated networking activity that provided cross-disciplinary and early career support for emerging ageing researchers (e.g. through competitive pump-priming grants and networking events) and strengthened the relationship between the research community and end-users

Lynne Cox is head of the lab of Ageing and Cell Senescence at the University of Oxford, researching core biological drivers and biomarkers of ageing with expertise in cell senescence, premature ageing, model organisms and -omics biology. She has extensive experience of setting up networks, and organising and running workshops and conferences.

  • Recipient of the US Glenn Foundation (USA) Award for research into biological mechanisms of ageing
  • Co-founder of the Oxford Ageing network OxAgeN
  • Trustee of the British Society for Research on Ageing
  • Strategy board member of the Oxford Ageing Research Collaborative Hub,
  • Clinical and Translational Science panel member of the Biochemical Society
  • Strategic Advisory Board and the Science, Technology and Genomics Board member of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Longevity,
  • Co-chair of the Biology of Ageing SIG for the European Geriatric Medicine Society, which is working to establish new training courses and accredited clinical/biomedical research training across Europe
  • Primary International member NO-Age, Norwegian Healthy Ageing Institute
  • Quinquennial review panel member of the US National Institute of Aging Division of Aging Biology

Colin McClure is a newly appointed Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences, Queens University, Belfast. His research interests focus on the genetics which underpin life history dimorphism and ageing between the sexes, through the application of new methods of cell-selective chromatin-binding protein profiling. He also has a keen interest in the promotion of cross disciplinary training for early career staff and students.

Richard Hartley is Professor of Chemical Biology at the University of Glasgow. He applies chemical approaches to the elucidation and manipulation of biological processes at the cellular and whole organism levels.

As the developer of the anti-stroke compound ProxisonTM (spun-out through the company Antoxis), he has wide research experience in oxidative stress as the chemical hub of multi-centre, cross-disciplinary teams. Richard also brings extensive experience of industrial collaborations, having designed molecular probes now marketed world-wide by Cayman Chemical, Abcam and Sigma.