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Amy Pasquinelli Awarded Grant on Aging Research

June 11, 2018

By Mario C. Aguilera

Biological Sciences Professor Amy Pasquinelli has been awarded a grant from the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research to support research on the biology of aging.

According to the foundation, the grant is intended to supplement financial resources to further Pasquinelli’s research associated with aging and the extension of the healthy human lifespan.

Pasquinelli and members of her laboratory in the Section of Molecular Biology study microRNAs, or miRNAs. These small, non-coding RNAs influence nearly every aspect of biology in the roundworm C. elegans, the organism that serves as a research model in the Pasquinelli lab.

In recent years, miRNAs have been linked to stem cell biology, tissue and organism development as well as human conditions ranging from mental disorders to cancer.

Work in the Pasquinelli lab has shown that factors in the miRNA pathway can have antagonistic effects on animal longevity—some work to extend lifespan, while others reduce it. The Glenn award will be used to study how these factors control lifespan through pathways conserved from worms to humans.

Founded by Paul F. Glenn in 1965, the mission of the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research is to extend the healthy years of life through research on mechanisms of biology that govern normal human aging and its related physiological decline, with the objective of translating research into interventions that will extend health span with lifespan.