Ageing with elegans: a research proposal to map healthspan pathways
Human longevity continues to increase world-wide, often accompanied by decreasing birth rates. As a larger fraction of the population thus gets older, the number of people suffering from disease or disability increases dramatically, presenting a major societal challenge. Healthy ageing has therefore been selected by EU policy makers as an important priority (http://www.healthyageing.eu/european-policies-and-initiatives); it benefits not only the elderly but also their direct environment and broader society, as well as the economy. The theme of healthy ageing figures prominently in the Horizon 2020 programme (https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/health-demographic-change-and-wellbeing), which has launched several research and innovation actions (RIA), like “Understanding health, ageing and disease: determinants, risk factors and pathways” in the work programme on “Personalising healthcare” (https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/693-phc-01-2014.html). Here we present our research proposal entitled “ageing with elegans” (AwE) (http://www.h2020awe.eu/), funded by this RIA, which aims for better understanding of the factors causing health and disease in ageing, and to develop evidence-based prevention, diagnostic, therapeutic and other strategies. The aim of this article, authored by the principal investigators of the 17 collaborating teams, is to describe briefly the rationale, aims, strategies and work packages of AwE for the purposes of sharing our ideas and plans with the biogerontological community in order to invite scientific feedback, suggestions, and criticism.