Two UVA Researchers Aim to Solve the Mystery of Aging

July 5, 2023 by

Eyleen O'Rourke and Irina Bochkis

Eyleen O’Rourke, PhD, (left) and Irina Bochkis, PhD

Two UVA researchers are looking at ways to extend healthy lifespan, using different approaches to study the aging process.

Eyleeen O’Rourke, PhD, an associate professor of biology and cell biology and member of the Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Center, and her School of Medicine team of scientists are studying two biological models involving yeast and roundworms. Her research aims to control aging by removing toxic byproducts of fat through a process called “AMAR” or “Alcohol and aldehyde-dehydrogenase Mediated Anti-aging Response.”

Another School of Medicine researcher, Irina Bochkis, PhD, an associate professor of pharmacology, is studying the process of aging by looking at removing the wrinkles from our cells’ DNA. The nuclear membranes housing our cells’ DNA get crinkly over time, leading to decline in the body’s functioning through inflammation and metabolic syndrome, which can point to development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Living longer and having a better quality of life has many upsides, but also presents some challenges and questions for society to consider like potential for cognitive decline while bodies remain strong, implications for the caregivers providing care for both older and younger generations, addressing retirement ages, etc.

Read the full story on anti-aging research in UVA Today.


Filed Under: Faculty, Research