The Nencki Institute hosted for two days (June 28-29, 2007) the members (one of each is prof Sikora’s group) of European Union (EU)-Integrated Project GEnetics of Healthy Aging (GEHA: www.geha.unibo.it) Consortium for 3rd Annual Meeting. On Thursday 28 June GEHA Boards and Committees conferred and GEHA Early Stage Researchers Training Meeting took place. On Friday 29 June Reports from Boards and Committees were presented and discussed.
GEHA is the largest project ever financed in Europe to study the genetic determinants of human longevity and coordinated by prof. Claudio Franceschi from University of Bologna, Italy. The aim of the 5-year project, constituted by 25 partners (24 from Europe plus the Beijing Genomics Institute from China), is to identify genes involved in healthy aging and longevity, which allow individuals to survive to advanced old age in good cognitive and physical function and in the absence of major age-related diseases. To achieve this aim a coherent, tightly integrated program of research that unites demographers, geriatricians, geneticists, genetic epidemiologists, molecular biologists, bioinfomaticians, and statisticians has been set up. DNA and information on the health status from an unprecedented number of long-lived 90+ sibpairs (n = 2650) and of younger ethnically matched controls (n = 2650) from 11 European countries will be collected and genome-wide linkage scanning in all the sibpairs (a total of 5300 individuals) will be performed.