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Funding Opportunies

2022-2023 URAI Pilot Projects in Aging Research

The goal of URAI’s 2022 Pilot Program is to fund new collaborative research studies that will support future application for team science funding from NCI, NIA or other extramural sources. Awards will be based on scientific merit, innovation and responsiveness to this RFA.  Any type of aging-related research is eligible for support (basic, translational or clinical).  Wilmot Cancer Institute is co-sponsoring one pilot grant specifically focused on cancer and aging.  Funded projects are expected to begin on July 1, 2022.

The application is a two-step process. Step 1 consists of a one-page letter of intent summarizing the proposed project and NIH format biosketches of the PIs involved.  The letter of intent should be submitted in a single PDF document using at least a font size of 11 point, ½ inch margin, single-spaced type. Proposals will be scored by a panel of URAI experts and meritorious applications will be invited for a full submission.

Letters of intent are due March 21st and should be submitted to the URAI at

Instructions for those invited to submit full applications will be sent directly to the PIs and posted here soon. Please contact URAI Administration at with any questions.

Previous URAI Pilot Funding


Wilmot Team Receives Inaugural Grant from University of Rochester Aging Institute

A Wilmot Cancer Institute team studying the relationship between aging and the functional, cognitive, and psychological status of older adults with blood cancers is the inaugural recipient of a pilot grant awarded by Wilmot and the University of Rochester Aging Institute (URAI)

The $50,000 grant went to Melissa Loh, M.B.B.Ch.Michelle Janelsins, Ph.D., and Paula Vertino, Ph.D. They come from a variety of disciplines with expertise in cancer and aging: Loh for patient-reported outcomes, Janelsins for cognitive sciences, and Vertino for epigenetics. All are active translational scientists.

Blood cancers are more prevalent in older adults, and chemotherapy can accelerate declines in mental and physical functioning. The team is looking at DNAm age, a promising biomarker, and its association with physical and mental decline as a way to identify older patients at more risk during cancer treatment. They plan to use their pilot data to submit an R03 to the National Institute of Aging.

The inaugural pilot grant showcases and formalizes the collaborative partnership between Wilmot and the URAI. Loh is an assistant professor of Medicine/Hematology Oncology; Janelsins is an associate professor of Surgery, Neuroscience and Radiation Oncology; both work with the Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) research program at Wilmot; Vertino is the Wilmot Distinguished Professor in Cancer Genomics and a professor of Biomedical Genetics and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. She is also co-leader of Wilmot’s Genetics, Epigenetics and Metabolism (GEM) research program.