AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty for 2015

Dena Dubal

Dena Dubal

Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco


Epigenetics of the X-Chromosome and Aging Females exhibit a longer lifespan than males across most of the animal kingdom. But how and why females live longer in normal aging and show less vulnerability to certain age-related brain diseases remains unknown. Dr. Dubal’s group recently discovered that sex chromosomes—specifically the X chromosome...

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Jenna Galloway

Jenna Galloway

Assistant Professor, Massachusetts General Hospital


Tendon cell homeostasis and stem cell activity during growth, adulthood and aging in the mouse Tendons are an integral part of our everyday movements, transmitting the force produced by the muscle to the bone. As we age, our tendons become more prone to degenerative conditions and injury, and their healing capacity diminishes. Tendon and ligament...

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W. Mike Henne

W. Mike Henne

Assistant Professor, University of Texas, Southwest Medical Center


Novel ER-lysosome inter-organelle tethers in lipid metabolism and aging Lipid metabolism, the process by which fats are digested or stored in the human body, is essential to healthy cell function. A decline in lipid metabolism is associated with aging and a myriad of diseases ranging from diabetes to heart failure. While connections between fatty acid...

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Derek Huffman

Derek Huffman

Assistant Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine


Restoration of aged intestinal stem cell function by exposure to a young environment Functional decline in multiple tissues is a hallmark of aging, and is thought to be driven in part by a decline in resident stem cell function. The intestine is a prototypical example of a tissue harboring features of age-related decline in structure...

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Adam Hughes

Adam Hughes

Assistant Professor, University of Utah


Dissecting the role of the lysosome in organismal aging The cells in our body are made up of compartments called organelles, which act to separate different cellular activities. As we age, these organelle structures break down and lose function. Mounting evidence suggests that this functional decline in organelles is linked with the aging process and...

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Dudley Lamming

Dudley Lamming

Assistant Professor – University of Wisconsin, Madison


Sexual dimorphism in response to longevity interventions Aging researchers are often asked why women live longer than men. While it is true that men are more likely than women to have hazardous occupations and to engage in violent behavior, these factors alone cannot fully account for the difference in lifespan between the sexes. Many other...

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Louis Lapierre

Louis Lapierre

Assistant Professor, Brown University


Study of the role of lipoprotein biogenesis in autophagy regulation and lifespan determination Lipid secretion from key metabolic tissues, such as the liver and the intestine, is an important process that facilitates lipid transport to peripheral tissues. However, the role of lipid secretion in the maintenance and homeostasis of metabolic tissues remains unknown. Using the...

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Sergiy Libert

Sergiy Libert

Assistant Professor, Cornell University


Genetic determination of the rate of aging and susceptibility to disease of aging in different breeds of dogs An organism’s rate of aging is partially encoded genetically. Dr. Libert and his team aim to identify genes that can be modified in order to extend lifespan and protect against age-associated diseases in mammals. To...

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Ashley Webb

Ashley Webb

Assistant Professor, Brown University


Preservation of adult neural stem cells by the pro-longevity FOXO3 transcription factor during aging Millions of people worldwide experience aging-related cognitive decline. Many of them have conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and stroke that are exceedingly difficult to treat. Learning and memory functions are in part supported by a population of adult neural...

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Omer Yilmaz

Omer Yilmaz

Assistant Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Dietary and epigenetic control of the intestinal stem cell niche in aging The adult mammalian intestine is a rapidly renewing organ that is maintained by stem cells. In order to function properly, these intestinal stem cells often require signals from their cellular neighborhood, or “niche,” which consists of Paneth cells. With age, the...

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