As people get older, their bodies become more susceptible to certain diseases. Cancer, among others, is a disease that becomes more common as people age. David S. Yu, M.D., Ph.D from Emory University was recently awarded $1.6 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the gene SIRT2 and how it can be manipulated to control the effects of aging and prevent cancer.
Researchers in 1999 learned that the gene Silent Information Regulator two (Sir2) doubled the lifespan of yeast, and removing the gene reduced the lifespan. Through later tests on mice, researchers found that extra Sir2 could potentially suppress tumors, while a deficiency of the gene led to cancer.
With this knowledge in mind, the Emory research team is studying the gene SIRT2 (the human equivalent of Sir2) to see if the findings from yeast and mice can be translated to humans. If the manipulation of SIRT2 can regulate the human body's response to age-related diseases, then the Emory team will begin clinical trials in the next couple of years.
Dr. Yu explained, “SIRT2 has been identified as a regulator of aging and a tumor suppressor. As we age, our body’s capacity to respond to stress deteriorates. On a cellular level, the ability to identify and kill cancerous mutations and to repair damaged DNA is greatly reduced. SIRT2 plays a major role in sensing and coordinating our body’s stress response to these effects of aging and to age-related diseases such as cancer.”
With more than $334.6 million in active life science funding from the NIH, Emory University is a world leader in life science research and publications. In the 2014 fiscal year, Emory ranked 21st in the nation for total research and development (R&D) life science expenditures, totaling over $513.6 million.
Currently funded projects at the university include:
The newly renovated Atwood Chemistry Center opened after a two year renovation project. The $52 million project now features 70,000 square feet of new space and four floors of research labs.
- The NIH awarded Emory University a five-year, $9 million grant to study Fragile X syndrome and its associated disorders, and to develop more effective treatments.
- The NIH awarded Emory University researchers $7.2 million over the next five years to identify new protein-based targets for Alzheimer's Disease.
With so much funding for research projects, Emory University is the premiere marketplace for laboratory product vendors. Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. produces an annual BioResearch Product Faire™ Event in Atlanta that provide lab suppliers with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with more than one hundred academic researchers in one place and in only a few hours time. Here, the researchers can discover the best and newest lab tools and technologies available.
The 17th Annual BioResearch Product Faire™ Event in Atlanta, GA will be held on March 31, 2016.
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