Advances in medicine and public health increase average life span and survival of patients with chronic diseases, contributing to a gradual and continuous shift toward older adults in the US population. As our lifespan increases, maintaining active lifestyle with age and diseases will become increasingly important part of our life and society. I am interested in finding ways to contribute to healthy and active lifespan in the elderly and diseases. My lab uses animal models to elucidate mechanistic insights of muscle weakness and wasting, while testing interventions that can be translated to the elderly and cancer patients in parallel. We use animal models to elucidate mechanistic insights of muscle weakness and wasting, while testing interventions that can be translated to the elderly and cancer patients. First, I am interested in the role that free radicals play in the progression of loss of muscle mass and function with age (i.e. sarcopenia). I and others have demonstrated that reactive oxygen species from the mitochondria is an early event prior to muscle weakness and loss. Using gain-of-function and loss-of-function mouse models of antioxidant enzymes, I test causal effect of oxidative stress in sarcopenia. Also, I am interested in interventions that have potential to delay muscle wasting and weakness in the elderly and chronic diseases. I am currently testing the therapeutic potential of unacylated ghrelin in sarcopenia and cancer cachexia. The overarching goals of my studies are to find ways to extend active and functional lifespan in the elderly and patients with chronic diseases.
Education Program Involvement
Molecular Medicine and Translational Science PhD
Program Research Interest: Analytical approaches to molecular and cellular synthesis, structure and function, Genetics and gene regulation, Cell communications, Organ systems, Pathophysiology
Integrative Physiology and Pharmacology PhD
Program Research Interest: Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Cardiovascular Physiology and Hypertension, Regenerative Medicine, Neuro- and Behavioral Pharmacology, Cancer Therapeutics Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism Lifespan Physiology.