New project to transform ageing and frailty across the globe

A close up of elderly hands with fingers interwined.

Loughborough University has secured a contract with Wellcome Leap to address the challenges posed by an ageing population.

Under Wellcome Leap’s Dynamic Resilience programme, jointly funded by Temasek Trust, Loughborough will embark on an innovative research project to revolutionise our understanding of ageing, frailty progression, and resilience.

As the global population ages, the prevalence of clinical frailty, which reduces an individual's ability to respond to and cope with stress events, is expected to surge. This presents a critical concern as it often results in more severe health declines when individuals become ill or injured. The Dynamic Resilience programme seeks to turn this trend around by decreasing clinical frailty progression by 25%.

The core of this initiative lies in developing advanced methodologies for assessing an individual's capacity to recover after stress events. To achieve this, substantial funding has been allocated to support 14 innovative projects, each contributing to extending health spans and enhancing the quality of life for older people.

The Loughborough project encompasses three significant areas of development:

Identification of Breath-Based Markers: Researchers aim to identify breath-based markers that can predict physiological resilience in human populations, offering insights into age-related changes and responses to recent stress events.

Understanding Biological Mechanisms: The team will investigate the causal biological mechanisms underpinning the loss of human physiological resilience at multiple scales, using cutting-edge in vitro organ models on a chip.

Data Analysis Automation: The project will leverage deep neuronal networks to automate the analysis of metabolomic data, enabling rapid and accurate assessment of the collected data.

Professor Alexandra Stolzing, the project lead from the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering at Loughborough University, said: “We are delighted to be a part of this groundbreaking program. We hope this project will make a significant difference to the lives of older people everywhere in the world.”

Dr Stolzing forms part of the research team at Loughborough University, which includes Dr Matthew Turner from the Department of Chemistry, Dr Andrea Soltoggio from the Department of Computer Science, and Dr Katherine Brooke-Wavell from the School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences.

For further information or media inquiries, please contact Professor Alexandra Stolzing.