Learn About the Health Span Core
Learn About the Health Span Core
On Thursday, March 24, 2022, at noon, learn how Einstein’s Health Span Core can aid your research during the bimonthly Pathways to Success at Einstein Cores seminar series, accessible via Zoom. Core director Derek Huffman, Ph.D., will provide an overview of the resources and services of the core, followed by Meredith Hawkins, M.D., and Leonard Augenlicht Ph.D., who will share how the core has enhanced their respective research efforts.
About the Health Span Core
There are clear phenotypic changes that occur with aging, including shifts in energetics and metabolism, and behavioral and functional deficits. These phenotypic changes are accompanied by increased pathologic lesions and burden in tissues with advancing age. These effects can further be mediated by cell autonomous and cell non-autonomous mechanisms, which are explored using strategies, such as heterochronic parabiosis.
To support demands for these services to the research community, the Health Span Core (HSC) was established as a critical resource within the Einstein-Nathan Shock Center of Excellence to perform integrative phenotyping of health and function across multiple domains in aging rodents by leveraging our long-standing expertise in conducting sophisticated, in vivo, metabolic studies, hormonal assays, and specialized surgeries, including parabiosis, as well as newly added behavior and cognitive testing services.
These studies are supported by an experienced and skilled team of staff scientists and technicians, and a distinguished group of expert consultants. The HSC also offers consultation, advice, and training to investigators interested in implementing these studies in their own lab, or who wish to devise a customized study design for services in the core. The HSC also makes an aging and parabiotic tissue repository available for dissemination to investigators upon request.
Reagents and Samples
- In vivo clamp studies
- Specialized surgeries (catheters, ICV cannulas, parabiosis)
- Metabolic phenotyping
- Behavioral and functional phenotyping
- Hormonal assays
- Aging and parabiotic tissue repository
Director: Derek Huffman, Ph.D.
Operations Managers: Kai Mao, Ph.D. and Hongqian Liang
Nir Barzilai, M.D (glucose metabolism)
Gary Schwartz, M.D. (Whole-animal metabolic phenotyping)
Rajat Singh, M.D. (Cell metabolism assays)
Maria Gulinello, Ph.D. (Rodent behavior phenotyping)
Richard Kitsis, M.D. (Cardiovascular phenotyping)
Amanda Beck, D.V.M. (Geropathology)
It’s Been Said
“The Health Span Core aims to serve as a unique resource for members of the Einstein community interested in leveraging in vivo models to support their research efforts into metabolism, aging, and diseases of aging. We have capabilities to comprehensively assess health span and life span in rodents. We also specialize in performing sophisticated in vivo, metabolic phenotyping studies, conducting hormonal assays and specialized surgeries, and providing intellectual and technical expertise specific to the design, implementation and interpretation of studies that can benefit from these varied approaches. The core can also facilitate access to live, aged animals (with institutional approval), and makes available a tissue repository of aged, parabiotic, and drug-treated animals that can be disseminated upon request.”
Derek Huffman, Ph.D.
"The resources, support, and in-depth consultation and advice we have received from the Health Span Core have been immensely valuable to my research program. Our interest has long been in the regulation of endogenous glucose production by the central nervous system in humans and its dysregulation in type 2 diabetes (T2D). Parallel studies in rodents have been essential to providing greater mechanistic insights into these effects. Such studies have required highly-skilled techniques and procedures to be performed in the rat model. They required experiments designed to specifically and cleverly interrogate the brain versus periphery, which were carefully and reliably conducted by the core’s expert staff. The unique capabilities provided by the core team continue to be essential to our ongoing efforts to investigate the role of nutrients in the dysregulation of central glucose sensing in T2D."
Meredith Hawkins, M.D.
"A major focus of my lab has been on the role of long-term dietary patterns as a risk for colon cancer. This is inextricably linked to aging, also a major risk factor for colon cancer. Collaboration with the Human Span Core has been key in investigating this link. In particular, the advice and collaboration that we received in conducting an aging study, using single-cell RNAseq analysis with intestinal tissue from aged mice on unique diets, was invaluable. This has led to important insights into how intestinal stem cells and the mucosa are functionally remodeled in the aged mouse and the effect of rapamycin and metformin in reversing some of these effects. This has opened an important new area of research for our lab, helping to understand the interaction of nutritional exposures as mice age on mechanisms establishing risk for intestinal cancer and on the potential for nutritional and pharmacological approaches to lower this risk."
Leonard Augenlicht, Ph.D.
Professor, Cell Biology
Posted on: Wednesday, March 23, 2022