A key direction of my laboratory is to understand age-imposed and pathological changes in molecular compositions of systemic and local environments of adult stem cells and to calibrate these to health - youth. In the past few years this direction has been ramified into synthetic biology, CRISPR technologies, bio-orhtogonal proteomics and development of innovative digital bio-sensors that we collaboratively applied to the fields of aging and diagnostics of genetic diseases. Success in this research will improve our understanding of the determinants of homeostatic health and will enable novel rational approaches to treat a number of degenerative, fibrotic, metabolic and inflammatory diseases, as a class.
a few links: https://engineering.berkeley.edu/news/2019/10/new-frontiers-in-gene-editing/, https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2019/09/12/uncovering-how-the-body-ages-is-leading-to-drugs-to-reverse-it, http://berkeleysciencereview.com/article/bloody-battle-aging/ https://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21724967-might-be-true-people-too-blood-young-animals-can-revitalise-old. http://ww2.kqed.org/science/2014/07/21/new-uc-berkeley-study-shows-oxytocin-may-help-rejuvenate-aging-muscles/ https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161122123102.htm, http://time.com/4579899/young-blood-transfusion-aging/
In the News
UC Berkeley researchers have discovered that a small-molecule drug simultaneously perks up old stem cells in the brains and muscles of mice, a finding that could lead to drug interventions for humans that would make aging tissues throughout the body act young again.
UC Berkeley researchers have discovered that oxytocin – a hormone associated with maternal nurturing, social attachments, childbirth and sex – is indispensable for healthy muscle maintenance and repair, and that in mice it declines with age.
UC Berkeley researchers have turned back the clock on mature muscle tissue, coaxing it back to an earlier stem cell stage to form new muscle. Moreover, they showed in mice that the newly reprogrammed muscle stem cells could be used to help repair damaged tissue. The achievement is described in the Sept. 23 issue of the journal Chemistry & Biology.