Diet and Genetics research core

Diet and Genetics

Center for Healthy Aging Research

Research core

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 M. Hagen

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


Diet and Genetics Core faculty and research interests

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

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,  Director of the Linus Pauling Institute; Co-Director of the Center for Healthy Aging Research; OSU Distinguished Professor of Nutrition

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

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

Luke Marney, Department of Chemistry

  • Investigates therapeutic botanicals for functional resilience to aging
  • Developing and applying analytical chemistry and chemometric methods for in-depth chemical characterization of plant extracts, botanicals, and biological samples.

Nathan Mortimer, Biochemistry and Biophysics

  • Studies cell signaling and inflammation in a variety of diseases of aging using Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) as a model system.
  • Also studies the ability of insect venoms to manipulate cell signaling.

Mark Phillips, Department of Integrative Biology

  • Identifying the factors that drive differences in rates of physiological decline between individuals as they age.
  • Studying physiological and molecular differences between fruit fly populations where selected reproductive timing has produced accelerated aging and their controls.

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

Alysia Vrailas-Mortimer, Biochemistry & Biophysics; Linus Pauling Institute

  • Researching how and why humans age and the link between aging and age-dependent diseases such as Parkinson’s diseases, Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease and muscular dystrophies.
  • Using the genetic model organism Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) to explore how stress response genes play a role in regulating aging and toxin exposure and how this contributes to a disease state.