Jeff Miller Awarded Dean’s Challenge Grant

Congratulations to Assistant Professor Jeffrey Miller who was recently chosen by The McLennan Dean’s Challenge Grant Program selection committee to receive funding in the amount of $50,000 to support research on “Studying mechanisms of aging via closed-loop analysis and experimentation.” Dr. William Mair, Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Metabolism, is the Co-PI.

Each year the dean’s challenge grant program supports strategic investments that foster rapid innovation and advance the shared vision for a stronger, more dynamic, and more globally-engaged school. The two key priority topics for applications this year were (1) Aging and Longevity, and (2) Mental Health & Well-being.

A brief description of their proposal is below:

A key barrier limiting our ability to translate existing dietary, environmental, genetic, and pharmacological anti-aging interventions into effective human therapeutics is the fact that inter-individual responses are highly heterogeneous; some individuals show large healthspan gains for a given intervention, while others do not respond at all or live shorter. Thus, it is important to be able to accurately predict a given individual’s response to a given treatment, to maximize the health benefit. Focusing on C. elegans as a model organism for proof of concept, in this project we will (i) develop a predictive model of longevity based on functional mechanisms, and (ii) define biomarkers of physiological age and predictors of life expectancy.