I completed my PhD at Carnegie Mellon University in 2019, focusing on the cellular sources of the nervous system in regeneration, using sea star larvae as a model system. Through my doctoral training, I have gained a deep understanding of how cells program and progress to their fates during tissue regeneration. I’m interested in understanding the molecular basis of aging and regeneration and thereby find genes and molecules that suppress or reverse aging processes and promote tissue regeneration.
The chronic and systemic low-grade inflammation that occurs during aging, known as inflammaging, underlies many age-related diseases but the upstream causes are still being elucidated. The metabolite nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a critical metabolic and signaling molecule whose levels fluctuate in response to circadian rhythms, diet, and biological age. Its role in inflammation, however, is poorly characterized. Currently I’m working on understanding the involvement of NAD+ in inflammatory responses during infections and aging. This work will provide insights into the regulation of inflammaging, as well as promising drug candidates to treat inflammatory and age-related diseases.