Professor Holly M. Brown-Borg
M. Brown-Borg, Ph.D. is
Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor,
Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Therapeutics,
University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences.
Holly is Past-President of the American Aging Association and current Biological Sciences Chair of the Gerontological Society of America. She is also Organizer of the International Symposia on Neurobiology and Neuroendocrinology of Aging, Bregenz, Austria.
A popular theory to explain the physiological decline that occurs during aging involves oxidative stress and subsequent damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids. Delaying this decline is associated with extended lifespan. Mice with hereditary dwarfism (Ames dwarf, df/df) and growth hormone (GH) deficiency exhibit delayed aging, living more than a year longer than normal siblings (P<0.0001), differences in antioxidant defense capacity, and lower DNA damage. In contrast, mice with high plasma GH concentrations live half as long as normal, wild type siblings and exhibit a depressed antioxidative defense capacity. The overall hypothesis is that the Ames dwarf mouse has a biologic advantage over normal wild type mice with better enzymatic scavenging of toxic metabolic byproducts and less mitochondrial membrane leakage underlying their enhanced longevity.
Holly’s current studies are designed to further understand the relationship between cellular oxidation, hormones, mitochondrial activities, and aging in a mammalian model of extended lifespan. Determining the pathways and mechanisms that GH utilizes may suggest potential therapeutic interventions that could lead to strategies to delay aging, treat aging-related disorders, and extend lifespan in humans.
She coedited Life-Span Extension: Single-Cell Organisms to Man and coauthored Effects of Growth Hormone and Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 on Hepatocyte Antioxidative Enzymes, Mitochondrial localization of alpha-synuclein protein in alpha-synuclein overexpressing cells, Growth hormone alters methionine and glutathione metabolism in Ames dwarf mice, Hormonal regulation of longevity in mammals, Association Between Low Birth Weight and Increased Adrenocortical Function in Neonatal Pigs, and Methionine flux to transsulfuration is enhanced in the long living Ames dwarf mouse.
Holly earned her M.S. in Animal Science at University of Nebraska-Lincoln and her Ph.D. in Physiology at North Carolina State University. She is winner of the 2011 Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging.