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New Scholar Awards in Aging 2003

Shawn Cameron Ahmed, Ph.D.
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Germline Immortality in C. elegans
2003 New Scholar Award in Aging

Germ cells can be passed from one generation to the next, indefinitely. Therefore, the germline has the potential to proliferate indefinitely and is an immortal cell lineage. In contrast, somatic cells are only needed for a single generation, and biological theory predicts that the germline may have unique properties that enable it to achieve immortality.... (more)

Cindy X. Cai, M.D., Ph.D.
Tufts University School of Medicine
Nuclear Ferritin May Protect Against Oxidative and Light-induced DNA Damage in Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells
2003 New Scholar Award in Aging

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible vision loss in developed countries. Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) degeneration initiates AMD. Oxidative stress has been suggested for RPE aging/degeneration. However, corneal epithelilal cells (CE) rarely suffer... (more)

Vera Gorbunova, Ph.D.
University of Rochester
Effect of Aging on Efficiency and Accuracy of DNA Double-Strand Break Repair
2003 New Scholar Award in Aging

Aging cells and tissues accumulate point mutations and genomic rearrangements, consistent with a failing ability to defend their genomes against DNA damage. Rearrangements result primarily from errors in repair of double-strand breaks (DSBs), which arise commonly by breakage of replication forks, as a result of damage due... (more)

Shin-ichiro Imai, M.D., Ph.D.
Washington University School of Medicine
The Function of Mammalian NAD-dependent deacetylase Sir2a and NAD Biosynthesis Enzymes in Aging-associated Epigenetic Gene Regulation
2003 New Scholar Award in Aging

Epigenetic alteration in gene expression is one of the postulated mechanisms underlying aging, as well as oxidative lesions by reactive oxygen species, genomic instability by accumulated DNA damages, telomere shortening in proliferating... (more)

Shuji Kishi, M.D., Ph.D.
Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School
Genetic Approaches for Functional Aging in Zebrafish
2003 New Scholar Award in Aging

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) offer a number of advantages for studying biological and biomedical science. Because embryonic development is external to the mother and the embryos are transparent, zebrafish were initially used as a model system for developmental biology. Recently, zebrafish have become a useful organism for research on a number... (more)

Jiyan Ma, Ph.D.
Ohio State University
The Pathogenic Mechanism of Prion Disease
2003 New Scholar Award in Aging

Prion diseases belong to a large group of neurodegenerative disorders occurring in the elderly, such as Alzheimerís disease and Parkinsonís disease. Like other neurodegenerative disorders, prion disease can be manifested as a sporadic or inherited disease. However, prion diseases can also be infectious. This characteristic distinguishes the prion disease... (more)

Kathryn J. Moore, Ph.D.
Massachusetts General Hospital
Genetic and Functional Analysis of CD36-signaling in Age-related Chronic Inflammatory Diseases
2003 New Scholar Award in Aging

In Alzheimerís disease, a chronic inflammatory response to b-amyloid has been proposed to underly neuro-degenerative pathology. Central to this hypothesis is the observation that microglia are recruited to, and accumulate at, sites of b-amyloid... (more)

Tannishtha Reya, Ph.D.
Duke University Medical Center
Control of stem cell self-renewal and regeneration
2003 New Scholar Award in Aging

While most cells in the hematopoietic system have a limited lifespan, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have the unique ability to live indefinitely through self-renewal. Self-renewal enables HSCs, and indeed all stem cells, to maintain throughout the lifetime of an organism a pool of undifferentiated cells that have the capacity to continually... (more)

Stephen Robert Wicks, Ph.D.
Boston College
Natural Sequence Variation in C. elegans: Impact on Lifespan and Aging
2003 New Scholar Award in Aging

Lifespan is determined by variables in both the genetic and environmental dimensions. It appears, that in natural aging populations of animals, a number of genetic loci, some independent, others as interdependent pairs or even sets, contribute to the genetic lifespan potential of a given organism. Within a given species,... (more)