The University of Maine Institute of Medicine has announced its seminar series for the fall 2021 semester, with events scheduled from noon–1 p.m. on Fridays in September and October. The second seminar in the series is titled, “Identifying tissue-specific nutrient-sensing effects on growth, health, and longevity in C. elegans,” presented by Aric Rogers, Ph.D., Associate Professor at MDI Biological Laboratory.
Dr. Aric Rogers is Assistant Professor of Regenerative Biology and Medicine at MDI Biological Laboratory. He received his PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 2005, he began postdoctoral research at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging under the guidance of Dr. Pankaj Kapahi. His studies focused on adaptive mechanisms responsible for lifespan extension when mRNA translation is genetically attenuated. He discovered that restricting a nutrient-responsive translation factor, while globally reducing total protein synthesis, enhanced relative translation rates of pro-longevity genes. Furthermore, he showed that some of these longevity factors were required for increased lifespan when translation is restricted.
In 2013, he started his own lab at the MDI Biological Laboratory, using the small roundworm C. elegans to study how gene expression is remodeled under conditions that extend lifespan, particularly at points of regulation that occur after transcription. Genetic variations and environmental conditions that result in lifespan extension are also associated with delaying the onset of age-related diseases including diabetes, cancer, and neurodegeneration. The goal of his lab is to understand how life-extending interventions work across different species and apply what is learned to extend human health and longevity. Current research projects are focused on understanding how environmental changes, such as exposure to physical stress or nutrient restriction, remodel post-transcriptional gene expression as part of an evolutionarily conserved adaptive response to increase survival. This is key to understanding how interventions like dietary restriction or direct attenuation of translation factor gene expression are able to increase lifespan and organismal homeostasis. In 2019, his lab received an R01 from the NIA to study the role of mRNA translation in adaptation to dietary restriction.
UMaine Institute of Medicine events are free but registration is required. Please use this link to register for the Zoom event.