Aging of the Immune System

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

2009 senior Scholar Award in aging

The aging process is attributed to a complex combination of programmed changes in gene expression and genomic instability caused by accumulated DNA damage. The molecular mechanisms that underlie these age-associated changes have been the subject of intense research and recent studies have... >> MORE

2009 senior Scholar Award in aging
Many diseases are associated with chronic inflammation, an immune response that does more harm than good. We are studying two human-specific mechanisms of chronic inflammation. The first relates to the fact that compared with other primates, a larger fraction of human diet originates from red... >> MORE
2008 senior Scholar Award in aging
The aging process is a subtle one, involving small continual changes in the body that generally lead to compromised function. The structure and function of the human body is controlled by the genes resident in our inherited DNA. Aging clearly involves changes in which genes are active. Up to... >> MORE
2008 senior Scholar Award in aging
We study the way that aging and immunity interact with each other. The only way we have now of extending the lifespan of a healthy person is through diet restriction. We found it interesting that when animals get infected they often become anorexic and this reduces food intake in the same way as... >> MORE
2008 senior Scholar Award in aging
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and myeloproliferative disorders (MPD) are clonal hematopoietic (blood-forming) disorders primarily affecting patients over the age of 65. These disorders arise in hemtopoietic stem cells (HSC), are associated with an increased risk of progression to acute myeloid... >> MORE
2007 senior Scholar Award in aging
Substantial epidemiological evidence indicates that conditions in utero program the susceptibility to age-related diseases, in particular atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of most heart attacks and strokes. However, little is known about maternal factors responsible for such... >> MORE
2007 senior Scholar Award in aging
Immunosenescence is believed to be an important component of old age and may be related to tumorigenesis and to susceptibility to virus infections. Very little is known about its mechanism, particularly in molecular terms. In the past five years natural killer cell (NK) and dendritic cell (DC)... >> MORE
2006 senior Scholar Award in aging
The immune system is central to human health and its impairment or dysfunction can have severe or even fatal consequences. One of the hallmarks of aging is the progressive loss of immune function, exposing older people to increased risk from infectious diseases that would not normally be more than... >> MORE
2006 senior Scholar Award in aging
Stem cells are present in many adult tissues, where they serve to replenish the cells of that tissue as they become exhausted. The role of stem cells in aging is not completely understood - one might expect that if stem cells were able to perform ideally, they would be able to refresh the cells of... >> MORE
2006 senior Scholar Award in aging
The research in my laboratory concerns aspects of quality control in protein synthesis. The failure rate in protein synthesis is substantial, which necessitates a reliable means of disposal for these error-containing and therefore unwanted proteins. The risk associated with accumulation of... >> MORE
2013 new Scholar Award in aging

A number of genetic studies in lower organisms have identified several pathways as key regulators of lifespan, stress response, and reproductive fitness, including the Insulin-PI3K-AKT-FoxO, target of rapamycin (TOR), and LKB1-AMPK pathways. All these longevity pathways are conserved in mammals... >> MORE

2013 new Scholar Award in aging

The process of aging involves a progressive decline in physiology and function of our tissues. Current research suggests that we age, in part, due to reduced function of self-renewing stem cells that are required for tissue rejuvenation of many tissue types. Our understanding of why and how stem... >> MORE

2012 new Scholar Award in aging

A hallmark of aging is a progressive loss of immune function that significantly impacts health and survival. Elderly individuals exhibit increased susceptibility to infections, such as those with influenza virus, that are relatively well-tolerated by younger populations. Moreover, the protective... >> MORE

2011 new Scholar Award in aging

Understanding of the biology of aging humans and finding ways of prolonging good health in the elderly are important goals for modern health care and research. The immune system appears to become less effective with age, rendering the elderly more prone to severe infections, either from routine... >> MORE

2011 new Scholar Award in aging

Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death necessary for the deletion of damaged, defective or expired cells. Cells undergoing apoptosis must be removed swiftly in order to prevent leakage of potentially toxic and inflammatory contents from the expired cells into the surrounding tissue. A... >> MORE

2011 new Scholar Award in aging

The total surface of the intestinal epithelium reaches 300m2 in humans, roughly the size of a tennis court. The intestines of vertebrate organisms are exposed daily to large amounts of antigens that in the great majority are innocuous, originating from the diet and from the resident commensal... >> 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
2008 new Scholar Award in aging
The age-associated decline in immune function with advancing age, termed immunosenescence, has been well documented in humans, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Indeed, the decline in immune function itself may contribute to the aging process. We propose to identify and... >> MORE
2008 new Scholar Award in aging

Increased susceptibility to infectious diseases is one of the main problems associated with old age. Underlying this susceptibility are diverse age-related changes in the immune system, including reduced repertoire of white blood cells, impaired antibody responses and enhanced proinflammatory... >> MORE

2006 new Scholar Award in aging
Decline in immune function is a hallmark of aging, leading to increased susceptibility to infections and reduced response to vaccination in the elderly population. Paradoxically this decline in immune function is associated with low grade chronic inflammation and increased incidence of diseases... >> MORE
2006 new Scholar Award in aging
The over-65s account for a major portion of all health care costs. Aging renders this group especially susceptible to infections and current concerns about avian influenza virus and the increased severity of SARS and West Nile Virus in the elderly have highlighted this issue. Declining immune... >> MORE
2005 new Scholar Award in aging

To understand the complex processes underlying human aging, the study of cellular "senescence" may recapitulate some aspects. Senescence is a cell fate program that can be triggered by environmental stimuli and stress. We have recently discovered that the major stress-inducible transcription... >> MORE

2004 new Scholar Award in aging

Immunosenescence is the deterioration of immune function that accompanies aging and that contributes to age-dependent increases in infection, mortality, and potentially cancer. Dietary restriction is a manipulation whereby exposing experimental animals to a reduced-calorie environment extends... >> MORE

2003 new Scholar Award in aging

In Alzheimer's disease, a chronic inflammatory response to β-amyloid has been proposed to underly neuro-degenerative pathology. Central to this hypothesis is the observation that microglia are recruited to, and accumulate at, sites of β-amyloid deposition. These cells produce... >> MORE

2000 new Scholar Award in aging

The majority of patients with cancer in the United States are more than 70 years old and cancer has been regarded as a disease of aging. Aging-related decline of the immune response has also been well documented. Our long-term goals are to identify molecular targets for drug development... >> MORE