2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

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2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Two potentially related modes of aging occur in many organisms, including humans: proliferative aging (aging of cells that proliferate), and post-mitotic aging (aging of cells that do not proliferate). Aging of adults in the major invertebrate model system C. elegans occurs in somatic...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

The human genome is thought to be a relatively stable entity, although its integrity is under continual threat from transposable elements (TEs). TEs, also known as “parasitic” or “junk” DNA sequences, have about doubled the size of the human genome throughout evolution. The replication of these...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Animals are tough. Their developmental processes and physiological regulatory mechanisms are astonishingly robust despite the slings and arrows of environmental contingencies, including changing temperature, food availability, and pathogen infection. The nematode C. elegans exemplifies...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Intuitively, we all know that the aging clock must reset from one generation to the next. The children of a 70 year-old man have the same life expectancy as those of a 20 year-old. But how does this happen? Are our germ cells, sperm and eggs, somehow protected from aging or is age reset from one...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Sarcopenia, the atrophy and deterioration of skeletal muscle that leads to weakness and fatigue, is a major and debilitating consequence of aging. Moreover, because sarcopenia reduces physical activity and thereby compromises health by contributing to a wide range of complications in multiple...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Stem cells reside in nearly all tissues of our body and are essential for longevity. Stem cells are long-lived cells which are responsible for replacing tissue cells that periodically die or are lost, either as a result of the normal wear and tear or aging of a tissue, or when a tissue is...  >> MORE



Dr. Gary Westbrook

Oregon Health and Science University

Adult newborn hippocampal neurons: effects of aging and exercise

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Aging is often associated with declining cognitive function. This decline could conceivably be prevented if it was possible to replace old neurons with new ones. In a region of the brain called the hippocampus, this actually occurs and newborn neurons continue to be generated into adulthood....  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

C. elegans research has made profound contributions to the fields of aging, health and disease. In particular, genetic analysis in C. elegans has identified components of major signaling pathways that underlie diseases of aging such as cancer and Alzheimer's disease, and revealed...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Mitochondrial DNA quality control and aging: promoting selective removal of mutant mitochondrial genomes Mitochondria are present in almost all cells, and contain many copies of a small, circular genome (mtDNA). The encoded gene products are all required, directly or indirectly, for oxidative...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Our lungs are beautifully designed to fulfill their function of oxygenating the blood. They consist of a tree-like system of branched tubes leading into millions of tiny, thin-walled sacs, or alveoli, surrounded by a delicate layer of stromal cells and blood vessels. Age brings with it a greater...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

This project seeks to understand the nature of a material called “aging pigment”, referred to as lipofuscin (“lipo-fusin”), that accumulates in the lysosomes of neurons of normal animals. Lysosomes are small membrane-bounded sacs that contain a high concentration of degradative enzymes that...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Lifespan varies considerably among mammals; the mechanisms of this old and fundamental observation in aging research remain somewhat mysterious. Understanding the process at the cellular and molecular level may lead to interventions that can prolong lifespan in general and thus prolong life in...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

The use of simple model organisms for aging such as yeast, worms and flies has driven the aging field forward and been instrumental for the identification of cellular pathways that modulate the aging process. From work in my lab and many others, a set of conserved aging genes have been...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

One of the most prominent hallmarks of aging is a dramatic and often devastating decline in motor skills. Typically, a decline in motor coordination leads to problems in walking, including the ability to maintain a uniform gait and balance. Falls due to a loss of balance and motor coordination...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Aging research in model organisms has revealed three major biochemical pathways that influence longevity across species. These three pathways (insulin/IGF1, AMPK, and mTOR) have the shared features that they are controlled by the nutrient status of the organism, which can likewise impact the...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

We are investigating the regeneration of normal, diseased and aged skeletal muscle with a focus on the mechanisms regulating muscle stem cell quiescence, self-renewal and terminal differentiation. The quiescent skeletal muscle stem cell resides in an asymmetric niche, sandwiched between the...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

The literature on aging includes very many papers correlating changes in chromatin structure with aging, including in yeast and mammalian cells. A limitation of these studies is that, until recently, we have had no clear picture of how chromatin architecture is related to gene regulation in...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Exposure to chemical and physical agents that damage all of the molecules in our cells and tissues occurs throughout our lifespan, and is inevitable. Such exposure includes agents that inflict damage upon our DNA, in other words our genetic material. These agents come from both natural and...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

It is well known the aged brain is prone to memory loss, but the exact reasons why remain mysterious. Improved knowledge of how and why the brain become less proficient in storing memories during aging may prove critical towards designing counteractive strategies. Many of the challenges in...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Most organisms display daily cycles of physiology and behavior. These circadian (~24h) rhythms, as they are called, range from rhythms of nitrogen fixation in some bacteria to sleep:wake cycles in humans, and are driven by one or more clocks located within organisms. In humans, a clock in the...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

While the heritable material, DNA, contains the blueprint that is necessary for the development of an organism, the execution of this blueprint (and what determines our cellular diversity) is controlled by complex machinery that determines which regions of DNA are utilized by the cell, a...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

The immortality of reproductive cells, or germ cells, underlies their ability to give rise to generation after generation of offspring. This proposal investigates how the acquisition of germ cell traits by non-reproductive cells, or somatic cells, extends organismal lifespan in C. elegans...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Our aging society is confronted with a dramatic increase in patients suffering from neurodegenerative disorders. While Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is currently the most prevalent dementia in the elderly, Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is more common in patients under 65, and both diseases present...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

The DNA damage response (DDR) has evolved to monitor the integrity of the genome. Chromosomal rearrangements and mutations are a common characteristic of cancer cells, and components of the DDR machinery are often mutated in cancer. Interestingly, several DDR proteins also target metabolic...  >> MORE

2012 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Aging is associated with increased dysfunction in our immune systems. Consistent with this, there is a persistent low-grade inflammation as indicated by the increased concentrations of circulating inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in elderly populations. How aging leads to the decline in our...  >> MORE