Candidate. The candidate, Anthony J. Donato Ph.D., is a cardiovascular physiologist in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah. Dr. Donato's research focuses on the mechanisms mediating arterial aging and the mechanisms by which caloric restriction can preserve and restore vascular health with aging. His long term goal is to direct an independent, extramurally-funded research laboratory that can integratively study vascular aging at the gene, cellular, tissue and systemic (whole-body) levels and to be recognized as an international leader in translational vascular function. The proposed K02 award will provide Dr. Donato the necessary protected career development time to achieve this goal. Career Development Plan. This award will support the further career development of Dr. Donato, allowing him to complete a well-rounded program in molecular genetics and the basic biology of aging while maintaining his training in Geriatrics. The career development plan contains several separate but coordinated efforts to enhance the expertise of the applicant including training in new experimental techniques related to endothelial activation and inducible transgenic mouse creation, didactic course work designed to facilitate better understanding of the application of molecular genetics for investigators with advanced degrees and continued attendance at regular aging and geriatric seminar series and other vascular and basic biology of aging meetings aimed to educate and encourage collaborative research between Dr. Donato and other investigators in the specialties of biology of aging and geriatric research. Research.
The aim of the research project is twofold: first, determine the modulatory influence of SIRT-1 on endothelial activation with aging and the vasoprotection induced by long term caloric restriction;second, to determine if genetically augmenting endothelial NAMPT expression/activity can ameliorate age-related endothelial dysfunction. These novel and important studies will determine if, and how, NAMPT influences sirtuins and subsequent inflammation/oxidative stress- related vascular aging. The expected results will provide clinically important information regarding the integrative physiological mechanisms by which global endothelial dysfunction is expressed with aging and if NAMPT is a potential therapeutic target.
Advancing age is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This proposal aims to determine the modulatory influence of SIRT-1 on endothelial activation with aging and the vasoprotection induced by lifelong caloric restriction. Additionally, this proposal will allow for the development of skills necessary to genetically alter mice and upregulate a pathway (NAMPT), an enzyme that is believed to provide vasoprotective effects in lifelong calorically restricted animals.