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Grantees and Board Member in the News: Anne Brunet, Thomas Rando, Ashley Webb and Xiaoai Zhao co-authored research on the discovery of aggregates in young stem cells in Science

Mar 21
2018

Grantees and Board Member in the News: Anne Brunet, Thomas Rando, Ashley Webb and Xiaoai Zhao co-authored research on the discovery of aggregates in young stem cells in Science View MoreBACK

On March 16, 2018, Science published research co-authored by four AFAR-supported researchers based at Stanford University: 2005 Glenn Foundation for Medical Research and AFAR Grants for Junior Faculty recipient Anne Brunet, Ph.D.; Board Member, 1999 Paul Beeson Career Development Scholar, and 2008 Glenn/AFAR Breakthroughs in Gerontology Award winner Thomas Rando, M.D., Ph.D.; 2012 Ellison Medical Foundation/AFAR Postdoctoral Fellows and 2015 Glenn Foundation for Medical Research and AFAR Research Grant for Junior Faculty Ashley Webb, Ph.D. and 2016 Glenn/AFAR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Translational Research on Aging grantee Xiaoai Zhao, M.D., Ph.D. 

In “Lysosome activation clears aggregates and enhances quiescent neural stem cell activation during aging,” the team’s research found that “young, resting neural stem cells in the brains of mice store large clumps of proteins in specialized cellular trash compartments known as lysosomes.”

The research was funded in part through by Dr. Zhao’s 2016 Glenn/AFAR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Translational Research on Aging grant, a program supported by the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research.

The research was also picked up in Science Daily, where lead author Dr. Brunet explains: “We were surprised by this finding because resting, or quiescent, neural stem cells have been thought to be a really pristine cell type just waiting for activation but now we've learned they have more protein aggregates than activated stem cells, and that these aggregates continue to accumulate as the cells age. If we remove these aggregates, we can improve the cells' ability to activate and make new neurons. So if one were able to restore this protein-processing function, it could be very important to bringing older, more dormant neural stem cells 'back to life.’”

The original research published in Science is available by subscription-only here, but a related press release can be read here.  Read related articles in Science Daily here and Science Newsline here.


Anne Brunet, Ph.D. is a Professor of Genetics and Co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging at Stanford University.

Thomas A. Rando, M.D., Ph.D. is the Principal Investigator of the Thomas Rando Lab at Stanford University, where he is also the Director of the Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging, Deputy Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, and a Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences.

Ashley Webb, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry and an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Brown University.

Xiaoai Zhao, M.D., Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Genetics at Stanford University.





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