Diet and Genetics

Research core

Center for Healthy Aging Research

We are studying the biological components of the aging process to develop targeted strategies that help maintain and promote good health. We’re addressing the aging body’s increasing inability to respond to internal and external factors such as bone fractures, drug interactions and infections. We also explore the impact nutrition plays in reducing vulnerability to these stresses.

Tory Hagen, Core Director
Jamieson Endowed Chair in Healthspan Research, Linus Pauling Institute


Diet and Genetics Core faculty and research interests

Joe Beckman, Director Environmental Health Sciences Center

  • Understanding the involvement of oxidative stress, superoxide dismutase and zinc in Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
  • Examining the roles of nitric oxide, peroxynitrite and nitrotyrosine in human disease

Andrew Blaustein, Environmental Sciences

  • Understanding the relationships among life history, development and susceptibility to disease
  • Physiological characteristics of hosts and disease dynamics

    Patrick Chappell, Veterinary Medicine

    • Reproductive neuroendocrinology/neurosecretion: sex steroid hormone modulation of neuronal gene expression /activity
    • Circadian control of reproductive capacity, at the level of the hypothalamus and gonads; role of the circadian clock in initiation/progression of reproductive cancers

    Dee Denver, Integrative Biology

    • Investigating the impact of mitochondrial dysfunction on the mutation and evolution of genomes
    • Understanding the evolution of mitochondrial DNA from population-genetic and selfish DNA perspectives

    Jadwiga Giebultowicz, Integrative Biology

    • Understanding the mechanisms of biological timing
    • Investigating clock genes and their functional significance in healthy aging

    Adrian Gombart, Biochemistry and Biophysics

    • Physiological importance of vitamin D in our diet and its impact on immune response
    • Investigating how vitamin D deficiency affects the innate immune system of the elderly

    Tory Hagen, Jamieson Endowed Chair in Healthspan Research, Linus Pauling Institute

    • Causes of age-related mitochondrial decay and its consequences with respect to cardiac dysfunction
    • Mechanisms causing increased susceptibility to oxidative and toxicological insults

    Emily Ho, Endowed Director of Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health

    • Understanding dietary influences on cancer susceptibility
    • Understand health benefits of zinc across the lifespan

    Donald Jump, Nutrition

    • Dietary and hormonal regulation of hepatic lipid and carbohydrate metabolism
    • Impact of hepatic metabolism on the onset and progression of chronic diseases, e.g. diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

    David Lee, Pharmacy

    • Medication-related effects on physical and cognitive function in older adults
    • Medication therapy in multiple chronic conditions in older adults

    Juyun Lim, Food Science & Technology

    • Understanding the role of human sensory perception in food preference

        Kathy Magnusson, Veterinary Medicine

        • Prevention of declines in learning and memory
        • Mechanisms underlying the age-related changes in the NMDA receptor

        Claudia Maier, Chemistry

        • Biomarkers and proteomics of oxidative stress
        • Development and application of mass-spectromery-based methodology for the structural and functional characterization of proteins and their interaction with other biomolecules

        Kate Shay, Linus Pauling Institute

        • Diet and Healthy Aging

          Jan (Fred) Stevens, Pharmacy

          • Interactions of  biological antioxidants with lipid peroxidation products
          • Novel biological functions of vitamin C

          Yumie Takata, Nutrition

          • Dr. Takata is a nutritional epidemiologist and her research focuses on the etiological roles of nutritional factors in cancer and chronic disease.

          Maret Traber, Nutrition

          • Vitamin E requirements in human subpopulations at risk of increased oxidative and nitrative stress
          • The role of vitamin E in regulating hepatic xenobiotic metabolism in mice, rats and humans

          David Williams, Environmental and Molecular Toxicology

          • Drug/xenobiotic metabolism 
          • Dietary modulation of cancer