Author: Karen Ring

Weekly SAGE: November 3rd, 2014

Identifying novel pathogenic mechanisms for neurodegeneration. By, Karen Ring and Brandon Tavshanjian. As humans age, fundamental processes that keep our cells and organ systems functioning properly begin to break down. In the aging brain, loss of function of or death of specific populations of brain cells can lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and age-related memory impairment. Scientists are working hard to identify mechanisms that cause dysfunction/degeneration and disease in the brain using different models including invertebrates (ie. worms and flies) and vertebrates (ie. mice and rats) systems. Below are two recently published studies highlighting...

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Buck Institute Hosts Open House with Association for Women in Science

The Buck Institute held an open house on Wednesday October 15th, which featured a panel of three talented women professors at the Buck Institute: Dr. Judy Campisi (Professor), Dr. Shona Mookerjee (Adjunct Assistant Professor), and Dr. Julie Andersen (Professor). The event was organized by the Buck Postdoc Association in collaboration with the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). The panelists discussed their scientific research focus, and why they decided to work at the Buck Institute. They also talked openly about they challenges they have faced as women in science and gave advice on how to be successful in your scientific career. Below are highlights from the panel discussion. Research Focus? Judy Campisi: Studies the molecular and cellular links between cancer and aging. Her lab focuses on the tumor suppressive response termed cellular senescence and its relationships to DNA damage signaling. Shona Mookerjee: Studies mitochondrial function and the role of mitochondria in cellular metabolism. Julie Andersen: Studies environmental stressors as they relate to mitochondrial dysfunction associated with Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. Why the Buck? Judy: “I joined the Buck Institute when it started. I’ve watched it grow up over the years, and it’s been a terrific journey! The Buck started the momentum that healthspan is important and its integrated approach drives a complete understanding of aging.” Shona: “I was attracted to the investigative nature of the Buck’s setup. There...

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An Overview of Huntington’s Disease and Aging

What is Huntington’s Disease? Huntington’s disease (HD) is a degenerative disease that manifests in specific regions of the brain and affects around 1 in 10,000 individuals worldwide. People with HD exhibit movement abnormalities, personality changes, psychiatric problems, and cognitive disabilities. HD is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder, meaning that HD patients with one copy of the HD mutation have a 50% chance of passing this disease to their offspring. HD is most commonly diagnosed in adults between 30 and 50 years of age, however approximately 16% of HD cases affect juveniles and manifest before the age of 20. Patients...

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