Congratulations to Dr. Jenna Bartley, Assistant Professor in the UConn Center on Aging and the Department of Immunology, as well as a UConn Pepper Center Scholar, for receiving a 9% percentile on her first ever R01 grant submission for a project entitled “Impact of Senolytics on Aged Vaccine Responses”. While official notification is pending, her percentile is well under the NIA interim pay line of 15% for New and Early Stage Investigators.
Congratulations to Dr. Beiyan Zhou for having her paper, AtheroSpectrum Reveals Novel Macrophage Foam Cell Gene Signatures Associated With Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk, accepted for publication in the journal Circulation.
Congratulations to Dr. Joel Pachter on the award of his NIH R21 grant through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke entitled, Detailed molecular and structural characterization of the meninges: an approach combining proteomics and imaging mass cytometry.
Congratulations to Dr. Beiyan Zhou for having her paper, A high OXPHOS CD8 T cell subset is predictive of immunotherapy resistance in melanoma patients, accepted for publication in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.
Congratulations to Dr. Sunitha Pulikkot on receiving an AAI Career Reentry Fellowship. This award will provide one year of salary support to study whether inhibiting b2 integrin activation by small molecular drugs will relieve psoriasis. Dr. Pulikkot is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Zhichao Fan.
Congratulations to Timofey “Tima” Karginov for receiving the AAI Young Investigator Award at the 2021 New England Immunology Conference. Tima is enrolled in the M.D./Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Sciences (Immunology Concentration) working under the mentorship of Dr. Anthony Vella. Tima’s project, which has been a team effort with lab instructor Dr. Antoine Ménoret, is entitled “Optimal T cell immune responses require costimulation-induced RNA-binding proteins that reprogram the transcript isoform landscape.”
The UConn Center on Aging has been awarded a Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (OAIC) grant. “Pepper Centers” were established by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to develop and enhance research and education at institutions with strong programs in aging research. Drs. George Kuchel and Richard Fortinsky are the principal investigators who led this effort.
The UConn Pepper Center will focus on “precision gerontology” which seeks to enhance independence in older adults through approaches designed to better understand the uniqueness of each older individual in a manner that can lead to the design, testing and implementation of clinical interventions that are more targeted and precise. It will be focused in approaches that will enhance independence relative to mobility, memory and behavior, host defense and infection, and voiding.
The Cores associated with the Pepper Center will provide investigators with assistance in recruiting human subjects, data analysis, biomarker discovery and preclinical model development. There will also be opportunities for UConn investigators to apply for funds for pilot projects in aging research and for new investigators to become Pepper Scholars.
Dr. Laura Haynes from the Center on Aging and the Department of Immunology will lead the Biomarker and Preclinical models core and Drs. Jenna Bartley and Zhichao Fan will be involved in a developmental project related to this core.
Congratulations to Blake Torrance who has been named a 2021 recipient of the Kalman/AFAR Scholarship for Research in the Biology of Aging from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR). Blake is enrolled in the Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Sciences (Immunology Concentration) working under the mentorship of the Dr. Laura Haynes. Blake’s project is entitled “Investigating the Role of the Senescent Environment in Shaping T cell Immunity following Influenza Vaccination.”