Derrick Rossi
Derrick Rossi - PhD
The Julie Martin Mid-Career Award in Aging Research - 2015
Derrick Rossi

Derrick Rossi - PhD

Associate Professor - Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University
Massachusetts, United States


The Julie Martin Mid-Career Award in Aging Research - 2015

Resetting the epigenome and function of aged hematopoietic stem cells via transcription factor reprogramming

The physiological process of aging is invariably accompanied by a diminished capacity to maintain proper tissue function and to regenerate tissues after injury. The fact that these processes are mediated by tissue-specific stem cells has implicated age-dependent stem cell decline in the physiology of aging. Experimental evidence from a number of stem cell systems from Dr. Rossi and other scientists has shown this to be true, and it is now widely recognized that aging of tissue-specific stem cells plays a central role in the pathophysiology of aging for many tissues.

Dr. Rossi and his group recently discovered that differentiated blood cells can be reprogrammed to blood-forming stem cells. This novel strategy – termed cellular reprogramming -- involves resetting the transcriptional and epigenetic (modifications that influence gene expression without altering the DNA sequence) properties of aged blood-forming cells. The group plans to apply this powerful strategy to test if it can restore functional potential to aged blood forming stem cells, by restoring the epigenetic and transcriptional properties of old stem cells back to a youthful state.

Dr. Rossi’s team also seeks a better overall understanding of how these stem cells age. That knowledge could allow them to ultimately develop strategies for ameliorating aging-dependent stem cell decline.

View all grantees for The Julie Martin Mid-Career Award in Aging Research in 2015

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