Research

Our lab studies several different aspects of aging biology.  We use the powerful genetic model C. elegans as a discovery tool for new longevity genes and perform functional analyses in both C. elegans and mammalian cells to elucidate the mechanistic basis of their longevity functions.

Chromatin & transcriptional regulation in development and longevity

We have long been interested in how specific transcription and chromatin modifying factors modulate longevity. Specifically, we are investigating the roles of the transcriptional co-regulator HCF-1 and the chromatin factors SET-9 & SET-26 in development, stress response, and aging.

More recently, we have begun to profile the genome-wide pattern of several major histone modification marks through aging to gain better insights into how the global chromatin landscape changes with age.

Fat metabolism, reproduction, and longevity

Reproduction, fat metabolism, and aging are key processes well known to influence each other. However, the molecular basis of their connections are not well understood.  We aim to investigate how different ways of perturbing germline development affect fat metabolism and lifespan, and vice versa.

Neurodegeneration

A number of neurodegerative disease models have been developed in C. elegans.  We aim to harness the power of C. elegans genetics to uncover new genes and pathways that modulate the neurotoxicity of these disease models.