The University of Arizona has won an $11.8 million contract from the National Institutes of Health to study declining immunity among the aging.

The UA Department of Immunobiology and the Arizona Center on Aging won the five-year contract from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for its “Protective Immunity in Special Populations” study.

As people grow older, their immune systems also age, leading to a gradual decline in the body’s ability to fight infections.

UA will collaborate with other research centers, including the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida and the Washington University College of Medicine in St. Louis.

Scientists will address obesity, inflammation, osteoporosis, infectious diseases, diabetes, cancer, dementia and sarcopenia, which is muscle loss associated with aging.

Older adults interested in participating in research studies at the Arizona Center on Aging may call one of the study coordinators at 800-637-4943 or 520-626-4430.

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