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The Brookdale Foundation Group

300

Frank W. Burr Blvd

Suite 13

Teaneck, NJ

07666

 

Phone:

201-836-4602

 

Fax:

201-836-4342

 

Pamela L. Larsen, PhD

Dr. Larsen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cellular and Structural Biology at the Unveristy of Texas

Dr. Larsen’s research focuses on the theory that one of the primary causes of aging is the accumulation of cellular damage, which leads to a cumulative impairment of cellular function and eventually death. One test of this theory was to determine the resistance to oxidative damage and the activity levels of relevant protective enzymes of a long-lived mutant strain of C.elegans (a microscopic worm). She found a positive correlation between increased resistance and increased life span which strongly supports the free radical theory of aging. She has also found increased levels of these protective enzymes in a specialized dispersal stage, the dauer larva worm which is non-aging. Her present interest is in the dauer larva model of efficient living, because dauer larvae display a remarkable increase in resistance and longevity. Her research is aimed at understanding, in molecular detail, the execution of dauer larva formation by identifying the subset of genes that alters an animal’s response to the passage of time, and understanding the regulation of these genes. She has shown that mutations in specific genes that affect dauer larva formation (daf genes) also affect adult life span. She has derived a pathway for genetic control of life span. It is expected the study of these genes will create a link between aging and the fields of cell cycle regulation, embryonic development, and cancer, and will result in a molecular understanding of at least one mechanism of aging.

Dr. Larsen received her BS from Colorado State University and her PhD in Microbiology from Vanderbilt University. She began her Brookdale Research Fellowship in Basic Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and continued her research at the University of Missouri. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio Health Science Center Dept. of Cellular & Structural Biology.

Brookdale Research Fellow Class of 1989