UTHSC Assistant Professor Wins Grant to Study Epigenetics of Aging


Khyobeni Mozhui, PhD, an assistant professor in the Departments of Preventive Medicine and Genetics, Genomics and Informatics in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has received a $418,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the epigenetics of aging.

The two-year award will support the project, titled "DNA Methylation and Gene Expression Study of Aging and Lifespan Differences."

Mozhui is collaborating with UTHSC's Megan Mulligan, PhD, and Karolina Aberg, PhD, from Virginia Commonwealth University on this research study. Their team will use the vast biobanked tissue resource developed by Robert Williams, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Genetics, Genomics and Informatics at UTHSC.

With this project, Mozhui and her team aim to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the molecular basis of aging. If successful, this project could better strategies for healthy aging, and for enhancing vigor and wellness during old age.

"Aging can be thought of as a form of scheduled self-destruction that ensures timely demise of an individual," Mozhui said. "For now, we don't have a comprehensive explanation as to why multicellular organisms like us have a predefined period of viability before the cellular degeneration and aging process."


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