Complex interaction between excess adiposity and healthy aging

Samuel Klein, M.D., Ph.D.
Longevity Research Program Director

Project Summary:

The Longevity Research Program (LRP) will stimulate the collaboration of Washington University investigators with expertise in different disciplines to work cooperatively to investigate: i) why cardiometabolic and immune system abnormalities occur in many but not all people with excessive adipose tissue accumulation (e.g. obesity and aging), and ii) the effect of specific dietary interventions on cardiometabolic and immune system function.

It is anticipated that the results from these studies will increase our understanding of the nutritional/metabolic factors that promote cardiometabolic health and improved immune system function, and thereby provide insight into factors that might promote healthy aging. In addition, a careful interrogation of the blood, tissue and stool samples obtained from these studies might identify novel biomarkers associated with healthy and unhealthy metabolic and immune system profiles.
This ambitious research agenda requires considerable resources, including support from The Longer Life Foundation, use of Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) laboratories, administrative support from the Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science, and philanthropic support from the Pershing Square Foundation and the Atkins Foundation, which will support a major five-year research study to provide a repository of samples for LRP initiatives from carefully characterized human subjects. Each year, the LRP will submit an interdisciplinary research proposal to The Longer Life Foundation that will be developed by Washington University faculty with input from the LRP and NORC leadership.

Final Report
Co-investigators at Washington University School of Medicine:
Gordon Smith, Ph.D. – Department of Medicine (Geriatrics and Nutritional Science)
Bettina Mittendorfer, Ph.D. – Department of Medicine (Geriatrics and Nutritional Science)
Jun Yoshino, M.D., Ph.D. – Department of Medicine (Geriatrics and Nutritional Science)
Victor Davila, M.D. – Department of Medicine (Cardiology)
Shin-ichiro Imai, MD, Ph.D. – Department of Developmental Biology
Scott Beeman, Ph.D.  – Department of Radiology
Hongyu An, D.Sc.– Department of Radiology
Paul Commean, BEE – Program in Physical Therapy
Anja Fuchs, Ph.D.  – Department of Surgery
Sarah Eisenstein, Ph.D. – Department of Psychiatry
Ken Schechtman, Ph.D. – Division of Biostatistics