The National Institute on Aging (NIA), the newest of the 11 National Institutes of Health, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of the old in America through biomedical, social, and behavioral research. Aging is viewed as more than just decline and deterioration; it is also a process of continued development and accumulated knowledge. The NIA will encourage innovative research but will not support the delivery of health services, as that is the domain of the other agencies. In areas of overlap, such as diseases common to the old, the NIA will collaborate with other Institutes. A good target area for collaboration is senile dementia. Other areas of interest to the NIA are: encouraging the incorporation of geriatric medicine as a subspecialty, developing retirement test patterns, and investigating drug-drug and drug–age interactions, personality and social processes, and immunocompetence.