Northwestern Events Calendar


SQE Lecture Series: "Transcriptional and Epigenetic Mechanisms of Brain Aging" with Ashley E. Webb, PhD

When: Tuesday, January 17, 2023
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM CT

Where: Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center, Simpson Querrey Auditorium, 303 E. Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60611 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Beverly A Kirk   (312) 503-5217

Group: Simpson Querrey Institute for Epigenetics Lecture Series

Category: Lectures & Meetings


The Simpson Querrey Institute for Epigenetics presents:

Ashley E. Webb, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry
Brown University

"Transcriptional and Epigenetic Mechanisms of Brain Aging"

Aging is the major risk factor for a number of diseases, including neurodegeneration and several types of cancer. Yet, our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for aging at the molecular level remains limited. Identifying the factors that accelerate the aging process, as well as those that confer resilience, will influence quality of life in the elderly and lead to treatments for age-associated diseases. The focus of my research is on the molecular mechanisms of brain aging. We take an interdisciplinary approach to study physiological aging and age-associated disease, using a combination of mouse models, cell culture approaches, and genomics technologies. More specifically, I investigate the epigenetic and transcriptional mechanisms that preserve healthy cellular function, and how changes in these processes impair cellular processes in the aged brain. One major line of investigation is to discover the mechanisms that support the formation of new neurons from stem cells in the adult brain. We have made key discoveries on how relatively dormant stem cells in the brain accumulate damage with age and in disease models. Additionally, we are investigating the gene expression programs that promote healthy aging and are conserved across species. In this work, we have linked chromatin changes to gene expression networks that are critical for the cellular stress response and inflammation, which are key contributors to aging. Most recently, we have extended our work to models of Alzheimer’s disease and applied cutting-edge technologies such as single cell transcriptomics to delve into mechanisms of aging and disease at the single cell level. In the long-term, my work will advance our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms that accelerate brain aging, and reveal new strategies to promote healthy aging and prevent age-associated disease. 

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