The National Institutes of Health awarded a five-year, $10.4 million grant to Tulane University's Center for Aging to develop the careers of promising young scientists, including two from the School of Medicine.
The grant, known as a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) award, supports five junior faculty who are all working on biomedical aging research within three schools at Tulane.
"The five projects in this COBRE focus on several complementary themes that contribute to our understanding of aging, from basic genetic and epigenetic contributions through cardiovascular and neurocognitive mechanisms," says principal investigator S. Michal Jazwinski (left), the John W. Deming, MD Regents Chair in Aging and director of the Tulane Center for Aging.
COBRE member Sangkyu Kim, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, will explore the genetic basis of healthy aging by studying fraternal and identical twins to shed light on how the environment affects gene expression and aging.
Assistant Professor Cecilia Sanchez, also in Medicine, has applied for funding to study idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which is scarring or thickening of the lungs. There are currently no treatments for the fatal disease, which strikes those over 50, and its cause is unknown. Sanchez is studying whether two sirtuins play a role in fibrosis development and whether this may open a pathway to treat or delay the deadly disease.
The grant also funds enhancements to the Center for Aging's biostatistics and genomics core, which provides state-of-the-art genomics instrumentation and sophisticated data analysis for researchers within the COBRE.
Sangkyu Kim (left) and Cecelia Sanchez, assistant professors in the Department of Medicine