Advisory Board

Professor Rozalyn Anderson

Rozalyn Anderson, Ph.D. is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Metabolism of Aging Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She is also Associate Director of the Biology of Aging and Age-Related Diseases T32 training program and Associate Director of Research at the William S Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital GRECC.

Rozalyn is a member of the UW Carbone Cancer Center, the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, the Morgridge Institute for Research, and the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. She is Co-Editor in Chief of The Journals of Gerontology Biological Sciences and serves on the editorial board for the journals Geroscience, EBioMedicine, and Nutrition and Healthy Aging.

The Anderson Lab is a part of the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology within the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There Rozalyn studies Aging and Caloric Restriction and the Molecular and Cellular Biology of Aging. The Lab research program focuses on understanding the interconnections between metabolism and aging. Reduced calorie intake without malnutrition, a strategy known as caloric restriction (CR), delays aging and the onset of age-related disorders in many different species, including rhesus monkeys.

There are three linked project areas ongoing in Rozalyn’s lab that focus on the role of metabolic regulators in the mechanisms of CR. The first area investigates the impact of age and CR on metabolism in rhesus monkeys. This highly translational project is part of an interdisciplinary program exploring mechanisms of aging and CR through high-resolution molecular profiling.

The second area investigates the tissue-specific impact of CR on cellular energy metabolism in mice with complementary mechanistic studies conducted in cultured cells. This research is relevant not just for aging but also for diseases of obesity where mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to play a causative role, including diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

The third project area explores the role of metabolic regulators in brain aging. This research, in cultured cells, mice, and monkeys, aims to understand the role that metabolism plays in cognitive decline and brain atrophy as a function of age and how age and metabolism intersect with pathology in Alzheimer’s disease. Read Conserved regulatory pathways in age-related loss of plasticity and cognitive function.

Rozalyn has been conducting research into the biology of aging and CR since 2000. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2000 from University College Dublin and her Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Biochemistry in 1992 from Trinity College Dublin.

Rozalyn began investigating Caloric Restriction and Aging in 2000 when she moved to Harvard Medical School for her post-doctoral fellowship in the Biology of Aging working with Dr. David Sinclair in a yeast model.

In the Sinclair laboratory, she researched the regulation of the lifespan by calorie restriction in yeast, demonstrating that lifespan could be extended by genetic manipulation of the NAD+ salvage pathway, and that calorie restriction downregulates NAD+. Read Manipulation of a Nuclear NAD+ Salvage Pathway Delays Aging without Altering Steady-state NAD+ Levels, Nicotinamide and PNC1 govern lifespan extension by calorie restriction in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Yeast Life-Span Extension by Calorie Restriction Is Independent of NAD Fluctuation.

In 2003, she extended her studies with her second post-doctoral fellowship working on mammalian aging models with Dr. Richard Weindruch at the UW-Institute on Aging and later in her position as an Assistant Scientist at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center.

She worked as part of the University of Wisconsin team that demonstrated that caloric restriction has a beneficial effect in rhesus monkeys, improves survival, and lowers the incidence of diseases including diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease over the course of nearly three decades.

Read Metabolic shifts due to long-term caloric restriction revealed in nonhuman primates, Caloric restriction improves health and survival of rhesus monkeys, Caloric restriction reduces age-related and all-cause mortality in rhesus monkeys, Caloric Restriction and Aging: Studies in Mice and Monkeys, and Caloric restriction delays disease onset and mortality in rhesus monkeys.

She continues to study caloric restriction, focusing on primate skeletal muscle, white adipose tissue, inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and metabolic regulators of cancer growth. Read Adiponectin receptor agonist AdipoRon improves skeletal muscle function in aged mice.

Rozalyn joined the UW SMPH Department of Medicine faculty in 2010 as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2016, and was promoted to full professor in 2021. Since 2014, she has also been affiliated with the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism.

She is a Fellow and member of the Executive Committee of the American Aging Association and a Fellow and current Chair of the Biological Sciences section of the Gerontological Society of America. Between 2019 and 2021, she served as the President of the American Aging Association.

Her honors and awards include the American Federation for Aging Research Breakthroughs in Gerontology Award, the Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging, and the Nathan Shock New Investigator Award from the Gerontological Society of America in 2013.

Funding sources for her work include the National Institutes of Health – National Institute on Aging (NIH-NIA), Glenn Foundation for Medical Research/American Federation for Aging Research (Glenn/AFAR), the Simons Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Rozalyn serves on several NIH special interest study sections and is a permanent member of the NIA-B study section. She mentors undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral trainees, and fellows.

Read Nicotinamide and PNC1 govern lifespan extension by calorie restriction in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Read Researchers Have Identified The Diet to Follow if You Want to Live as Long as Possible and Should we be eating three meals a day?

Visit her LinkedIn profile, Academic Profile, ResearchGate profile, Wikipedia page, PubMed page, Semantic Scholar page, Google Scholar page, and The AndersonLab page. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Live Forever Club, and Twitter.