Professor Yousin Suh
Suh, Ph.D. is Associate Professor, Department of Genetics and
Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Yousin’s laboratory uses novel technology to investigate the genetic components of aging and aging-related disease using functional genomics approaches, focusing on the identification of gene sequence variation (i.e. single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)), in candidate genes and the assessment of their potential functional impact on aging-related phenotypes. The assessment of the functional impact of SNP haplotypes in vitro and animal models is essential to confirm the link between genotype and phenotype in aging studies.
Her current and future investigations focus on the following areas:
- Somatic growth and aging: Identification of functional SNP
haplotypes of genes involved in the Growth Hormone/Insulin-like Growth
Factor-1 (GH/IGF-1) pathway. Genetic and biochemical results from her
lab indicate that partial loss-of-function mutations in genes
acting in the GH/IGF pathway are overrepresented in centenarians
relative to controls, which is the strongest evidence to date for a role
of this pathway in modulation of human lifespan (Procs Natl Acad of Sci.
2008). She will continue to screen for novel functional mutations in the
GH-IGF-1 signaling pathway in centenarians and their
- Genetic instability and human aging: Using a longitudinal study of
the longevity cohort and an aging cohort of Mexican Americans and
European Americans, her lab is testing the hypothesis that genetic
variation at loci involved in genome maintenance mechanisms can be
related to individual differences in the rate and severity of
aging-related phenotypes. Functional assays of allelic gene variants
positively associated with phenotypes will provide insight into the
biological significance of genome maintenance in
- Genomic instability in models: Yousin is also studying mouse
models that harbor human gene variations in DNA repair/genome
maintenance and as a consequence manifest premature aging phenotypes
(Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. 2006). Results from transcriptome
analysis delineate a complex genetic network of cellular responses to
endogenous DNA damage and suggest it as the cause of the premature aging
phenotypes in these mice.
- Haplotype and risk for cancer: Yousin has initiated a population-based association study to test genotype-phenotype correlations of genome maintenance genes in a breast cancer cohort using a comprehensive screening method. She is testing the hypothesis that these rare combinations of common SNPs give rise to BRCA1 gene variants with suboptimal function of the encoded gene products, which may lead to susceptibility to breast cancer.
Watch A Paul F. Glenn Symposium on the Biology of Aging: Yousin Suh and Science Talk: Longevity Tied to Genes That Preserve Tips of Chromosomes. Read Mutant genes “key to long life”. View her Facebook page.