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GSBS Research Topics: AGING

Monica, A. Driscoll, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Our lab uses the facile C. elegans model system to investigate molecular and genetic mechanisms of necrotic cell death, aging and mechanical signalling.

Ronald Ellis, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Control of Germ Cell Fate: Animals must produce sperm or eggs to reproduce. Although these cell types differ dramatically, they are produced from similar progenitors. Understanding how this process is controlled could revolutionize our ability to treat reproductive disorders and infertility in humans. Evolution of Hermaphroditism: Sexual traits are among the most rapidly changing features of each species. To learn how these changes take place, and how developmental pathways constrain which ones occur, we are studying the evolution of mating systems in nematodes. Email: ellisre@umdnj.edu

Ronaldo P. Ferraris, * - Newark - Dietary and hormonal control of expression of intestinal nutrient transporter genes. Uses rat, mouse and fish models to study the mechanisms underlying expression of different transporters at different times of development, and the effects of nutritional status and aging on the absorption and metabolism of nutrients and on protein synthesis by intestinal cells.

Utz Herbig, Ph.D * - Newark - Our laboratory is interested in understanding how telomeres contribute cellular senescence in mammalian cells. As cellular senescence is a critical tumor suppressing mechanism, but also is thought to contribute to organismal aging, our studies are relevant for both aging- and cancer-research.

Carl Hock, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Current work is focused on the effect of humoral mediators and inflammatory cells in the pathophysiology of ischemic states, the effects of dietary lipids on cardiovascular function and the response of the young and aging heart to ischemia and reperfusion. Email: hock@umdnj.edu

Peitan Liu, M.D/Ph.D. * - Stratford - Work in the laboratory concerns the role of cytokines and reactive oxygen species in ischemia-reperfusion injury. Currently we focus on the study of myocyte apoptosis, particularly the role of Mdm2/p53-mediated apoptosis, in aged rat model of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion. Email: liupe@umdnj.edu

William McAllister, Ph.D * - Stratford - Molecular basis of transcription. Work in our laboratory concerns the structure and function of RNA polymerase, the enzyme that carries out the first step in gene expression, using a combination of biochemical, genetic, and structural methods. Email: mcalliwt@umdnj.edu

Robert Nagele, Ph.D. * - Stratford - My laboratory is focused on elucidating the role of breakdown of the blood-brain barrier in the initiation and progression of Alzheimer`s and other neurodegenerative diseases and developing therapeutic strategies aimed at preventing this breakdown and the leak of potentially damaging blood components into the brain tissue. In addition, my laboratory is investigating the potential of certain blood-borne autoantibodies as biomarkers of disease that can be used for disease diagnostics or a monitor or disease progression. Email: nagelero@umdnj.edu

Harvey Ozer, M.D. * - Newark - Carcinogenesis and Regulation of Cellular Aging. We have been studying human diploid fibroblasts (HF) and introduction of genes from the DNA tumor virus SV40 to understand the mechanism of multi-step carcinogenesis ("transformation") in culture and its effect on bypassing cellular aging and facilitating immortalization.

Alexey, G. Ryazanov, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - We are studying the structure and function of a novel class of protein kinases that we recently discovered. These kinases are involved in the regulation of many biological processes including calcium influx, protein synthesis and aging. We are using C. elegans and mice as model systems.

Patricia K. Sonsalla , Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Animal models of Parkinson`s disease and the mechanisms associated with the neurodegeneration and neurochemistry of dopamine neurons within the basal ganglia. We are studying the role of endogenous dopamine and oxidative products in the degeneration of these neurons under conditions of a metabolic stress.

Bernd W. Spur, Ph.D. * - Stratford - We focus on mediators of inflammation, including prostaglandins, phytoprostanes, leukotrienes, lipoxins, resolvins, neuroprotectins, docosatrienes as well as isoprostanes. These mediators are prepared in the natural and isotopically labelled form to explore their biological activities and serve as markers in inflammatory diseases such as Asthma and Alzheimer. Email: spurbw@umdnj.edu

Ellen Townes-Anderson, Ph.D. * - Newark - Using primary cultures, we are trying to understand mechanisms of regeneration, degeneration, and synaptic plasticity in photoreceptors and other types of retinal neurons. Techniques used include microscopy, optical tweezers, time lapse recording, immunocytochemistry, and molecular biology.

Venkat Venkataraman, Ph.D * - Stratford - We are investigating the processes of neuronal transduction in biological clocks and aging with respect to the role of Ca2+ signaling via alpha2 adrenergic receptors and membrane guanylate cyclases. Email: venkatar@umdnj.edu

B.J. Wagner, Ph.D. * - Newark - Role of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in development, aging and response to stress: We use the mammalian ocular lens and lens cell culture models to study differentiation, cataractogenesis and oxidative stress.

Marco Zarbin, M.D., Ph.D. * - Newark - The laboratory research focuses on the development of treatments for retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration through ocular cell transplantation and the stimulation of retinal pigment epithelial wound healing.

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