Faculty Fellows Program

Sanford Center for Aging

The Sanford Center for Aging (SCA) launched a new Faculty Fellows program in Fall 2015 to support full-time, assistant-level academic and clinical faculty in pursuing aging-related research. Two recipients were selected to receive two years of support to develop a robust aging research program. The scholarship developed under this program will help ensure faculty become more competitive in producing publications, seeking external funding and securing tenure, while at the same time advancing the study of aging across multiple disciplines.

Meet the SCA Faculty Fellow

Ruben DagdaRuben K. Dagda, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Dr. Dagda's Program: Parkinson's disease is an age-related brain degenerative disease that destroys dopamine neurons in the brain and leads to an inability of the patient to properly move. An increase in oxidative stress, a decrease in protective signals (neurotrophic signaling) and alterations in energy metabolism of dopamine neurons may contribute to age-related progression of disease.

Through the Sanford Center Faculty Fellows award, we will identify the antioxidants and metabolic enzymes that are altered in dopamine neurons in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease in response to aging. Secondly, we will investigate the extent by which restoring neurotrophic signaling can reverse the alterations in energy metabolism and loss of dopamine neurons in the brain of aged Parkinsonian mice.