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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

UAB Identifies Top Aging and Energetics Research Categories

A team of University of Alabama at Birmingham investigators—led by Dr. David B. Allison, distinguished professor and director of UAB’s office of energetics and Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC), and Dr. Steven N. Austad, distinguished professor and chair in the department of biology—systematically assayed and catalogued the top research priorities identified in the 40 most-cited publications in aging and energetics over the last four years. The results would be useful to the scientific community at large, they believed.

Co-investigators are Ms. Lisa H. Antoine, doctoral student in interdisciplinary engineering and student assistant in the office of energetics; Dr. Tonia S. Schwartz, postdoctoral trainee in the office of energetics; Dr. Scott W. Ballinger, professor, Dr. Victor M. Darley-Usmar, professor, Dr. Joseph L. Messina, professor, and Dr. Jianhua Zhang, associate professor, in the division of molecular & cellular pathology; Dr. Marcas M. Bamman, professor in the department of cell, developmental and integrative biology; Dr. Peggy R. Biga, assistant professor, Dr. Mickie L. Powell, research assistant professor, Dr. Trygve O. Tollefsbol, professor, and Dr. Stephen A. Watts, professor, in the department of biology; Dr. Gordon Fisher, assistant professor, Dr. Gary R. Hunter, distinguished professor, and Dr. Eric P. Plaisance, assistant professor, in the department of human studies; Dr. Julia M. Gohlke, assistant professor in the department of environmental health sciences; Dr. Ganesh V. Halade, assistant professor in the division of cardiovascular disease; Dr. John L. Hartman, associate professor in the department of genetics; Dr. Tim R. Nagy, professor, Dr. Daniel L. Smith, Jr., assistant professor, and Mr. Yongbin Yang, graduate research assistant, in the department of nutrition sciences; Dr. Kevin A. Roth, professor and chair in the department of pathology; Dr. Michael W. Sandel, postdoctoral trainee in the department of biostatistics, section on statistical genetics; and Dr. J. David Sweatt, professor and chair in the department of neurobiology.

AllisonDB_UAB ASPPH

[Photo: Dr. David B. Allison]

The researchers conducted the search for papers on aging and energetics in Scopus, ranked the selected papers by the number of times each was cited, and then chose the ten most-cited in the four years from 2010 to 2013. Results identified ten leading research categories: calorie restriction (CR) longevity response; role of mTOR (mechanistic target of Rapamycin) and related factors in lifespan extension; nutrient effects beyond energy (especially resveratrol, omega-3 fatty acids, and selected amino acids); autophagy and increased longevity and health; aging-associated predictors of chronic disease; use and effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); telomeres relative to aging and energetics; accretion and effects of body fat; the aging heart; and mitochondria, reactive oxygen species, and cellular energetics.

The team concluded that the field is rich with exciting opportunities to build upon existing knowledge about the relationships among aging, energetics, and the mechanisms that connect them.

“Aging and Energetics’ ‘Top 40’ Future Research Opportunities 2010-2013” was published in September in the journal F1000Research.

Journal article: http://f1000research.com/articles/3-219/v1