Glenn Foundation for Medical Research and AFAR Grants for Junior Faculty for 2019

Nausica Arnoult

Nausica Arnoult

Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Boulder


DNA Double Strand Break repair pathway choice and repair fidelity during cellular and organismal aging Our DNA is constantly subject to lesions and damage, which are repaired by cellular machineries. This repair, however, is not always faithful and can lead to mutations or rearrangements, which are toxic. Over time, our cells accumulate DNA damage, and...

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Carlos Aguilar

Carlos Aguilar

Assistant Professor, University of Michigan


Deconstructing stem cell aging through interact-omics Dr. Aguilar’s lab has potential to advance knowledge about an “old” question, which is “why do we age?” Specifically, his lab is trying to figure out why stem cells that reside in skeletal muscle become dysfunctional through aging. His lab’s studies...

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Abigail Buchwalter

Abigail Buchwalter

Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco


Defining drivers and consequences of ribosome biogenesis deregulation during mammalian aging Dr. Buchwalter research focuses on how intracellular organization is established and specialized across types of cells to enable unique functions. Aging is a fundamental process that erodes this exquisite organization. Her interest in aging research is sparked by questions like: do all cells age...

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Lindsay De Biase

Lindsay De Biase

Assistant Professor, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA


Regional differences in microglial lysosome function: implications for microglial aging and cognitive decline Dr. De Biase studies glial cells, the non-neuronal cells within the central nervous system. Research has shown that these cells can critically influence the health and function of surrounding neurons. This raises the exciting possibility that changes in glial cell function are...

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Brian DeBosch

Brian DeBosch

Assistant Professor, Washington University School of Medicine


Activating the hepatic glucose fasting response to attenuate aging-related metabolic and autophagic defects As a pediatrician and physician-scientist, Dr. DeBosch’s goal is to help ensure that all kids enter into adulthood healthy, thereby extending overall healthspan and lifespan.  Fasting and caloric restriction have clear data in support of their beneficial effects on...

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Yarui Diao

Yarui Diao

Assistant Professor, Duke University School of Medicine


Identification and application of cis-regulatory enhancer elements for muscle stem cell function and muscle regeneration in aging Dr. Diao plans to apply innovative genomics and genetics tools, to identify enhancer elements that play an essential role in the process of muscle stem cell aging, and to understand the gene regulatory mechanism that could be exploited...

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Sung Min Han

Sung Min Han

Assistant Professor, University of Florida


Identifying genes that regulate mitochondrial positioning at the synapse during aging Mitochondria (the cell’s “powerhouses”) undergo changes in their morphology, motility, and activity in response to physiological or pathological condition to satisfy local demand for energy and to maintain cellular homeostasis. Proper regulation of mitochondrial dynamics and activity is critical for...

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Mark McCormick

Mark McCormick

Assistant Professor, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center


Measurement of the conservation in mammalian cells of the effects of lifespan-extending tRNA synthetase inhibitors Dr. McCormick has been fascinated by aging as a scientific puzzle for as long as he can remember, in part because it is puzzling that related types of animals can have such different natural lifespans. Dr. McCormick’s lab...

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Maria Mihaylova

Maria Mihaylova

Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University


Understanding the Effects of Dietary and Microbially Derived Metabolites on Gut Epithelial and Immune Cell Homeostasis During Aging Some of the tissues in our body, such as the gut, are highly dependent on adult stem cells to regenerate and to function properly. Age-dependent decline of stem cell function and regeneration may predispose us to develop...

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A. Hunter Shain

A. Hunter Shain

Assistant Professor, University of California, San Francisco


Somatic mutation burden and aging in human skin Dr. Shain's research background is in cancer biology, but recent breakthroughs have led him to focus his research on how DNA damage can drive both cancer and aging. As the cells in our body accumulate mutations over time, they lose their ability to carry out normal,...

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Aakanksha Singhvi

Aakanksha Singhvi

Assistant Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington


Molecular investigation of glial roles in neural aging Why do most of us need glasses and hearing aids as we get older, and why do our mental acuities decline? Our brain has two types of cells in equal numbers, neurons and glia, which must constantly communicate with each other for normal nervous system activity. Dr....

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Peter Sudmant

Peter Sudmant

Assistant Professor, University of California, Berkeley


Ultra-sensitive profiling of cell-type specific age-associated somatic mitochondrial mutational diversity Dr. Sudmant's lab studies aging in the context of disease, evolution and diversity across different scales. One fundamental and yet poorly understood process of aging is how somatic DNA damage and mutations accumulate in different cells of organisms. These lesions in our genetic blueprint...

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George Sutphin

George Sutphin

Assistant Professor, University of Arizona


Understanding the interplay between tryptophan and NAD metabolism during aging Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is found in all living cells and plays important roles in energy production and as a cofactor for enzymes implicated in aging. NAD levels decline with age and elevating NAD by supplementing with NAD precursors extends lifespan in both invertebrate and...

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Ming Xu

Ming Xu

Assistant Professor, University of Connecticut Health Center


Targeting p21high senescent cells to improve healthspan and lifespan Dr. Xu plans to examine the role of senescent cells in aging as well as to develop and test the effects of senolytic drugs (which specifically kill senescent cells) for translational purpose. Dr. Xu hopes that these studies will provide us and others with important...

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