Understanding the molecular processes and biological basis of cell aging


Biology of Aging and Age-Related Diseases

The Challenge: With more and more individuals living longer, the aging of the Arizona population will bring unique challenges in health care and opportunities for innovative solutions in the future. People desire to live long, healthy, and independent lives, without the burden of disease. Critical research and development remains to be done to understand the processes of normal and healthy aging, determine the causes of age-related diseases, develop and test drugs, devices, and behavioral interventions to minimize handicap and disease, and maximize functionality and independence towards a higher quality of life. Over the last five years, progress has begun to take hold with an increased focus of federal funding agencies and foundations, the awarding of the Nobel Prize in this area in 2014, and the current White House Brain Initiative. 


UA Advantage: UA is uniquely poised to conduct both basic and clinical research into the biology of aging and age-related brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurological conditions. Strong transdisciplinary teams have already been built that include faculty in neuroscience, medicine, molecular and cellular biology, surgery, psychology, and other departments. The UA’s Arizona Center on Aging, Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, and the Center for Innovation in Brain Science are facilitating studies ranging from brain imaging, to looking at molecular and genomic changes during aging, and dietary/exercise interventions. Together with our health and community partners, BIO5 faculty have the expertise and support to translate their basic studies into effective treatments and life-enhancing strategies for Arizonans, which ultimately will reduce health care costs and increase the chance for a long, healthy, productive, disease-free life.