January 21, 2014

Researcher earns grant to study genetics of aging

A research scientist at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield has been awarded a five-year federal grant from the National Institutes Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health to study a potential aging gene. The total budget for the grant is $687,555.

Dr. Rong Yuan, Ph.D., assistant professor of geriatric research in the Department of Internal Medicine, is the principal investigator for the project.

The study will use mice to test a potential aging gene, nuclear receptor interacting protein 1 (Nrip1), and to verify that depressing it can significantly reduce fat tissue, increase insulin sensitivity and enhance resistance to high-fat-diet-induced obesity and diabetes. The results of this research will help scientists understand how genetic metabolic diseases are related to aging.

This is the second NIA grant awarded for Yuan’s research, which is focused on aging and longevity.

Yuan joined SIU's faculty in 2012. He received his medical degree and doctorate from Shanghai Second Medical University in China (2000), a master’s of surgery (1997) and bachelor’s in medicine (1993), from Chinese Southeast University in Nanjing, China.