News, Announcements, and Higlights for the JAX Shock Center

Matt Kaeberlein, Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Washington, director of the Healthy Aging and Longevity (HALo) Research Institute, and CEO of the American Aging Association, gives a broad introduction to the Biology of Aging and discusses the effects of rapamycin on biological age.

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$2.4M National Institute on Aging grant to fund JAX research in age-related blood condition.

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A Team led by Duygu Ucar and Jacques Banchereau analyzed immune cells from a large cohort of healthy people spanning the adult life span (22-93), carefully matched between women and men, to investigate age- and sex related immune differences.

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National Institute on Aging grant funds annual interdisciplinary science meeting focused on systems immunology of aging at JAX Genomic Medicine.

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JAX Center for Aging Research

Renewal – Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging

A renewal application for the Nathan Shock Center was submitted to the National Institute on Aging on October 20 by Center co-directors Luanne Peters, Gary Churchill, and Ron Korstanje (lead-PI). With significant support from Research Program Development Senior Scientific Writer Stephen Krasinski, Ph.D., we believe this is a very competitive renewal and hope to continue the work of the 15-year old center. In the renewal we describe a new core (the Image Analysis Core) for the automated analysis of geropathology in different tissues and a project to understand the impact of genetic variation on senescence and treatment of senolytics, the new type of drugs that target and remove senescent cells. The priority of the center remains being a resource for the geroscience community and performing pilot projects for both internal and external investigators that generates preliminary data for grant applications.

Geroscience Summit

Center co-directors Gary Churchill and Ron Korstanje attended the third Geroscience Summit at the NIH on November 4th and 5th. The NIH created a Trans-NIH Geroscience Interest Group (GSIG) of 20 NIH Institutes and Centers who convene for a yearly summit in a forum of novel interactions between disease-focused professional societies and foundations, the academic community involved in geroscience research, and drug-discovery groups looking to develop therapies against aging and age-related diseases. A goal of the program is to introduce major concepts of geroscience and how basic research into the biology of aging has led to identifying biological mechanisms that contribute to age-related chronic disease.

Aging Interest Group (AIG)

Another exciting AIG was held on December 4th. Presentations included a talk from Danielle Bruns and Emily Schmitt of the University of Wyoming presenting results from a pilot project the Nathan Shock Center performed for them in 2018. Results led to a recent publication in AJP Renal Physiology (PMID 31461350) and an RO1 application. The other presenter was Andrew Schile, JMCRS Senior Scientific Advisor, talking about recent studies using aged C57BL/6J mice from JAX production.

Publication Highlights

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has elected Jackson Laboratory (JAX) Professor Gary Churchill of The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) as an AAAS Fellow, one of the nation’s highest scientific distinctions. Link to full article.

JAX, UConn researchers explore how patients’ microbiome, and risk of infection, change after time in a skilled nursing facility. Link to Article

This Old Mouse: ‘Golden Girls’ Unlock the Mysteries of Aging

Ancient mice are important to research on aging people and command a higher price; Maine cousins live well past 125 human years

In the U.S., an estimated 90 percent of deaths due to influenza are in people aged 65 and older.

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We all want to live long lives, but not at the expense of our health!

The mythical fountain of youth was thought to do two things: extend lifespan and cure sickness.

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Black bears hibernate for up to seven months out of every year. And while it seems like a great way to get through cold winters, the reality is that months of much lower metabolism is tough on the body. How do bears endure long periods of minimal kidney function and damage, yet quickly recover from it each spring?

Ron Korstanje, Ph.D. is a Nathan Shock Center Translation Core Director

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Aging affects all of the cells, tissues, and organs in our bodies similarly: they lose their ability to resist damage and repair errors. Cellular damage disrupts the functions of the organs and tissues that those cells make up. 

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Judith and Anthony Evnin, Ph.D., are giving $1.5 million to JAX to establish the Evnin Family Endowed Chair in Alzheimer’s Research. Catherine Kaczorowski, Ph.D. , a JAX neuroscientist who is taking a bold approach to combat Alzheimer’s, has been appointed chairholder.

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Catherine Kaczorowski, Ph.D., an assistant professor at The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), received a Young Investigator Award from the International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society (IBANGS).

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Diet, and specifically restricting calories, appears to have a strong link to the aging process. Link to Full Article

There’s no getting around it — we all age, and as we age our health declines. Link to Full Article

Jackson Laboratory (JAX) Assistant Professor Catherine Kaczorowski, Ph.D., has been recognized by The Glenn Foundation for Medical Research for her efforts toward gaining a better understanding of cognitive aging. Link to Full Article

Dr. Ucar receives $2.3M in federal funding to JAX to support studies of aging immune system. Link to Full Article

Assistant Professor Catherine Kaczorowski, Ph.D., received a five-year grant totaling $2.7M from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) for Alzheimer’s disease research.  Link to Full Article

Spanning a large swath of the model organism spectrum, a team led by Assistant Professor Ron Korstanje, Ph.D., used research with C. elegans to screen for genes significantly associated with aging.  Aging Cell, April 12, 2017.