Professor David E. Harrison
David E. Harrison, Ph.D. is Professor and Senior Staff Scientist
at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Dave’s research group has two focus areas. Under “Gerontology: Mechanisms of Aging”, he investigates aging in mouse models, focusing on processes that have the potential to retard aging and prolong health. For example, one line of research investigates mutations that reduce IGF-1 and insulin function. Such mutations can increase lifespan and delay certain aspects of aging, especially development of cancer. Now he is developing models that combine multiple mutations. He will use these models to test effects of these mutations on physiological and molecular pathways critical to aging processes.
Under “Hematology: Stem Cells” his focus is on hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and other adult stem cells, which constantly proliferate and differentiate to maintain tissue functions throughout life. If aging exhausts the function of adult stem cells, the balance between damage and repair is disrupted and tissue functions become defective. His group has found that genetic mechanisms protect hematopoietic stem cells from exhaustion in some mouse strains. Now his focus is to define the specific mechanisms. His long-term goal is to promote healthful aging in humans, either by delaying normal aging processes or by minimizing or eliminating diseases of aging.
Dave authored Genetic Effects on Aging, and coauthored Lifespan extension and delayed immune and collagen aging in mutant mice with defects in growth hormone production, Number and continuous proliferative pattern of transplanted primitive immunohematopoietic stem cells, Normal Production of Erythrocytes by Mouse Marrow Continuous for 73 Months, In vivo kinetics of murine hemopoietic stem cells, Competitive repopulation in unirradiated normal recipients, and The same exhaustible multilineage precursor produces both myeloid and lymphoid cells as early as 3–4 weeks after marrow transplantation. Read the full list of his publications!
Dave earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry from Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Stanford University, California. He completed a post-doc in physiologic genetics at The Jackson Laboratory. He has served as a member of the AFAR National Scientific Advisory Council and a site evaluator for the NIA’s Aging Review Committee, and currently serves as the Principal Investigator on two NIA ROI grants, as well as a NIA Shock Center.
Watch Biomarkers of Aging: The Key in the Search for the Fountain of Youth? Read Cancer Drug Delays Aging in Mice.