2009 New Scholar Award in Aging

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2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Loss of reproductive fitness is a hallmark of aging, conserved from yeast to humans. Not only does aging result in fewer progeny, it can also affect ìquality,î as progeny produced late in life may be inviable or otherwise less fit. Women over a certain age are at a higher risk for miscarriages or...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Some of the effects of aging are thought to originate from cell structures called mitochondria. Mitochondria are the cells' power sources; hundreds to thousands are present in every cell of the body, and each contains its own DNA that is separate from the cell nucleus, where the majority of our...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Sarcopenia, or degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass and function, is an increasing health concern in the United States, causing elderly people to sacrifice their independence and rely on institutionalized care due to immobility and loss of strength. Although reductions in both the size and...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging

Organismal aging is characterized by a decline in regenerative capacity leading to reduced physiological function. Skeletal muscle has an impaired regenerative response during aging, largely due to defects in the muscle stem cells (the satellite cells), which are almost solely responsible for...  >> MORE

2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
In humans, aging is associated with two major life-threatening diseases: neurodegeneration and cancer. A number of theories have been proposed to account for the aging process. The stress theory of aging emphasizes that stressful environments cause cellular damages, disruption of cellular functions...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
As cells age, they accumulate intracellular, misfolded protein aggregates. In contrast, young cells appear to be in a state of protein homeostasis in which the physical properties of individual proteins (e.g., their folding conformations) are properly maintained by quality control mechanisms (e.g...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
The accumulation of deleterious mutations that act late in life is thought to play a pivotal role in the process of aging. In the genome, a likely repository for such mutations is the heterochromatin, which contains many repetitive elements but few actual genes. The objective of this project is...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Cellular vitality depends upon the cellís ability to produce functional proteins that carry out important activities essential for life. The duration of a cellís life relies in great part on the cellís ability to maintain its critical cohort of proteins in their functional state. The key pathways...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Fat metabolism becomes imbalanced during aging and contributes, at least in part, to the increased adiposity and tissue dysfunction observed in the elderly. We have identified mitochondrial SIRT4, one of the least studied members of the Sir2 lifespan regulator gene family, as a new modulator of age...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Mutations in the broadly expressed nuclear envelope proteins emerin and lamin A cause a wide spectrum of both overlapping and distinct phenotypes. These diseases, collectively called laminopathies, cause progressive skeletal muscle wasting, life-threatening irregular heart rhythms, contractures of...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging

Emerging evidence suggests that excessive fat oxidation can be detrimental to whole body insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial performance. In our recent studies, diet-induced metabolic dysfunction in obese rodents was specifically linked to elevated rates of ìincompleteî...  >> MORE

2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Cells are the building units for our bodies, and proteins are the chief actors within each cell. Among the many different macromolecules inside our cells, the vast majority are proteins, which carry out virtually all the biological functions within each cell. Hence, the well-being of cells...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Mitochondria are cytoplasmic organelles that generate the majority of cellular energy and carry out numerous other critical biochemical processes. Mitochondrial dysfunction is implicated in a vast array of severe diseases, including age-associated afflictions; indeed reactive oxygen species...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
The increasing incidence of cancer in the aging population is a major cause of mortality. Other than the accumulation of mutations, there exists no evidence to associate aging with epigenetic instabilities and cancer formation. I propose to build a system to model cancer formation from embryonic...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
My lab is focused on investigating how an animal cell responds to developmental and environmental signals and how this response is manifested in changes in gene expression. The developmental, metabolic, and environmental signals a cell receives induce changes in both RNA and protein synthesis....  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Aging is a complex biological process characterized by progressive functional and structural deterioration of multiple organ systems that eventually cause death. Aging is also an important factor for most of the common diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
The human immune system deteriorates with age in a process termed Immunosenescence, significantly impacting health and overall survival. The risk of death from infection increases dramatically by age 65, the efficacy of vaccination drops, and the increased rate of cancer seen in the elderly has...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Genetic variation contributes to differences in aging among individuals, populations, and species. We aim to use this genetic variation as a tool to discover the specific genes that contribute to age-related traits in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, to infer the mechanisms by which...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Accumulation of somatic mutations during our life history contributes to the stochastic nature of aging. Mutations in protein coding genes are widely assumed to alter the genetic code and therefore the structure, regulation or function of proteins within the cell. Surprisingly, many disease-causing...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
As life spans increase through improvements in medicine and public health, the prevalence of devastating nerve degeneration diseases will inexorably increase to become one of the most severe obstacles to living longer, more fulfilling lives. We are in urgent need of new concepts and approaches to...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Consumption of food and water is a daily task that we often take for granted. Signals of hunger, satiety, thirst, and energy requirements are constantly being integrated and balanced in our bodies to maintain homeostasis. How do we regulate how much to eat? How are our actions determined by our...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Previous studies have observed greater variation in gene expression in cells from older animals. This suggests that stochasticity in expression could be a cause of aging. We hypothesize that random, stochastic fluctuations in global gene expression can contribute to aging. To test our hypothesis,...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Genomic stability is a major factor that influences aging and aging-related diseases. The integrity of the genome is influenced by histones and other chromosomal proteins that package and stabilize the genome as well as regulate gene expression. The posttranslational modifications of histones,...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Cellular DNA, RNA, and protein are under continual chemical assault from both endogenous and exogenous agents, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS), alkylating agents, and UV light. The cellular responses to both DNA and protein damage and their importance in aging, cancer, and neurodegenerative...  >> MORE
2009 New Scholar Award in Aging
Telomeric tracts shorten upon each cell division and critically short telomeres eventually trigger cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Therefore, telomere length limits how many times human somatic cells can replicate and determines the lifespan of tissues. One way to circumvent aging in tissues is...  >> MORE