Georgetown Geneticist Earns AFAR Grant

JULY 2, 2013 - A Georgetown University geneticist has earned a grant from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR).

The $100,000 award will support the research of Jan LaRocque, PhD, assistant professor of human science at the School of Nursing & Health Studies.

Premature Aging Cells

Using a fruit fly model, LaRocque will investigate genome instability and DNA damage in normal aged cells, as well as cells associated with premature aging syndromes.

“At the cellular level, both premature-aging syndrome cells and normal aged cells are marked with an increase in genome instability and an increase in DNA damage,” she says. “However, the mechanisms that lead to this have not been fully delineated.”

Junior Investigators

AFAR is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to support and advance healthy aging through biomedical research.  Through the Research Grant Program, AFAR provides research grants to MD- and PhD-prepared junior faculty to conduct research that will serve as the basis for long-term research efforts.

“The major goal of this program is to assist in the development of the careers of junior investigators committed to pursuing careers in the field of aging research,” the organization says.  “Funding decisions are made based on the qualifications of the investigator, the quality of the proposed research, the excellence of the research environment and likelihood that the project will advance the investigator’s career in aging research.  Dr. LaRocque and her proposed project clearly fit those criteria.”

By Bill Cessato