February 2024: Framework for Validating Biomarkers of Aging - new article in Nature Medicine

EUTOPS’ lead Computational Biologist – Chiara Herzog, PhD – joins Mahdi Moqri and Jesse Poganik from Harvard Medical School in leading this Nature Review article on Validating Biomarkers of Aging. The article proposes a framework for the future validation of aging biomarkers with a view to their translation in to clinically actionable tools.

The review details population-based cohort studies of blood-based biomarkers of aging that incorporate highly detailed, large amounts of molecular data (‘omic’ data). With input from members and contributors to the Biomarkers of Aging Consortium, of which Dr Herzog is an Executive Committee member, and including EUTOPS’ PI Professor Martin Widschwendter, the review identifies the challenges in comparability and generalizability of the biomarkers and provides recommendations to facilitate future validation of biomarkers of aging.

The authors recommend taking a ‘multi-omic’ approach and standardizing omic data to enhance validation efforts. “By bringing together our efforts in the aging research community we can enhance the value of individual datasets. Harmonizing data, making it openly available, and providing open source tools such as Bio-learn that engage not just biologist but also data scientists will be instrumental to the validation of biomarkers of aging”, said Dr Herzog.

The framework also encourages increased collaboration between research groups on large-scale, longitudinal studies that can track long-term physiological changes and responses to health-promoting interventions or therapeutics in diverse populations.

Some of such studies are currently ongoing at EUTOPS, with first results to be expected soon. “The TirolGESUND study conducted at EUTOPS and the University of Innsbruck followed individuals for over six months over the course of health-promoting interventions. It measured detailed clinical and molecular features will result in the globally most detailed atlas of biomarkers and lifestyle changes to date.” Further work is required to understand how implementation of biomarker evaluation in clinical trials might improve patient quality of life and survival.

This new publication follows an earlier publication in Cell in 2023 in which the authors proposed a framework for aging biomarker classification.

Validation of biomarkers of aging

Moqri, Herzog, Poganik et al, Nature Medicine, 2024

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