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Welcome to the Animal Models for the Social Dimensions of Health and Aging Research Network


The Research Network supports research that integrates animal models into studies of social aging. We facilitate the exchange of ideas, concepts, and data between researchers working on animal models and on humans, provide mentorship and training for new investigators, and support new projects focused on using animal models to improve human health and well-being during aging.


Christi Gendron presents TEDxJacksonville talk

Christi Gendron, 2021 Pilot Project Awardee, presented a talk on “The Science of Lifespan — and the Impact of Your Five Senses” at TEDxJacksonville. Check out her presentation!

Jenny Tung

Jenny Tung Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

We are excited to announce that Dr. Jenny Tung has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Jenny is the Director of the Department of Primate Behavior and Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology and Biology at Duke University, and co-Director of the Animal Models for the Social Dimensions of Health and Aging Research Network. Her research focuses on the intersection between behavior, social structure, and genomics, using captive and wild primates as model systems.

Apply for a Bruce McEwen Fellowship

We are now accepting applications for the 2024 McEwen Fellowship. We expect to award 1-3 fellowships to outstanding junior scientists with budgets of $3,000-$6,000 each. Applications are due May 31st.

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Congratulations to the 2023 Pilot Program Awardees and McEwen Fellow

Congratulations to the 2023 Pilot Project recipients: Raisa Hernández Pacheco and Brian Sweis, and the 2023 McEwen Fellow: Alice Kane. Click on the links to learn more about the Raisa, Brian, and Alice.

Meet the 2022 McEwen Fellows and Pilot Program Awardees

Congratulations to the 2022 McEwen Fellows: Jacob Negrey and Megan Paulsen, and the 2022 Pilot Project recipients: Nathaniel Jenkins, Brian Sweis, and Gagan Wig. Click on the links to learn more about the newest fellows and awardees and their research.

Three primates sitting close to each other in a line

2022 Funding Applications Closed

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2022 funding cycle for both the Pilot Projects and McEwen Fellowships. Check out other sections of the site for information on past fellows & awardees. Successful applicants will be notified and funding decisions will be published soon!

NIA Highlight Network Fellow Albery's Publication

The National Institute of Aging have highlighted McEwen Fellow Greg Albery's recent publication in Nature Ecology and Evolution. Dr. Albery and colleagues showed that as they age red deer become less social and move to increasingly isolated areas.

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2022 Network Catalysis Meeting

The Animal Models for the Social Dimensions of Health and Aging Research Network will host our first in-person catalysis meeting, bringing together McEwen Fellows, Pilot Project Awardees, and network members. The meeting will take place September 22-24th at the University of Minnesota.

Two baboons in a tree, one is grooming the other

Evolution & Social Determinants of Health Symposium at 2022 ISEMPH

At the 2022 ISEMPH meeting, the Animal Models for the Social Dimensions of Health and Aging Research Network organized a session focused on the social determinants of health. Speakers included Adrian Jäggi, Rebecca Sear, Camille Testard, and Barbara Natterson-Horowitz with study systems ranging from hyenas to humans. Visit our News section for more information, including talk titles and abstracts.

McEwen Fellow Publishes Social Network & Brain Circuitry Link

Bruce McEwen Fellow Camille Testard published a research article detailing the link between social network size and the expansion of brain circuits in a free-ranging population of rhesus macaques. This supports the idea that the social determinants of health and aging work partly through social environmental influences on the brain.

A large group of mice, two in the middle are standing on their hind legs facing each other

COVID Correspondence Published

This new correspondence, co-authored by one of our network leaders Alessandro Bartolomucci, discusses the promises and limitations of animal models of COVID-19 with a recommendation for the consideration of psychosocial factors in future work.

News and Events

The Research Network is supported by funding from the National Institute on Aging and the Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research at the National Institutes of Health, under award number R24AG065172