The Laboratory for Aging and Infertility Research (The LAIR) encompasses several labs in the Biology Department at Northeastern University under supervision of several principle investigators. Together we collaborate and study various aspects of fertility and aging mechanisms in human and model systems. The LAIR utilizes core lab spaces and interact frequently during lab meetings and experimental collaborations to investigate aging from many directions. As a collaborative space, projects often overlap and benefit from the expertise of multiple PIs often approaching a topic from widely diverse backgrounds. This approach allows us to study mechanisms of aging at a molecular, cellular, genomic, and organismal level.
Jonathan Tilly, Ph.D., Interim Dean of the College of Science and Distinguished Professor, Northeastern University
After assembling a molecular blueprint of how mammalian germ cells die (Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 2001), the focus of our work changed from one of cell death to cell renewal based on our studies that initially challenged (Nature, 2004), and eventually overturned (Science/AAAS, 2013), one of the most basic doctrines in our field by demonstrating the existence of female germline stem cells in the ovaries of mammals that support new oocyte production during adulthood (Nature Medicine, 2012; Nature Protocols, 2013).
Konstantin Khrapko, Ph.D., Professor, Northeastern University
Mitochondria are cellular organelles responsible for ATP production as well as many other cellular processes, from calcium homeostasis to apoptosis. Mitochondria are the only animal organelle that carries its own genome, mtDNA. mtDNA suffers high levels of somatic mutations which are suspected of being involved in aging and carcinogenesis. We are studying mutations in mtDNA and their effects on cellular physiology, aging and disease. We also use mtDNA mutations to trace mtDNA lineages and to study human evolution.
Justin Crane, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Northeastern University
Cellular energy status is a critical checkpoint for the health and maintenance of tissues. The Crane lab studies age-associated muscle wasting (sarcopenia) as well as mitotic cell aging in the context of energy metabolism using transgenic and knockout mice. The overall goal of the lab is to develop therapies that mitigate chronological aging and promote function and independence in our aging population.
Barry Karger, Ph.D., James L. Waters Chair in Analytical Chemistry, College Distinguished Professor, and Barnett Institute Director
Prof. Karger’s research focuses on the development and application of microscale separations and MS analysis to problems of biological relevance. Our collaborations involve proteomic characterization of ovarian tissues, cell samples, and isolated organelles.
Zhaohui Sunny Zhou, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Professor Zhou’s group applies analytical, organic and protein chemistry, as well as biochemistry, enzymology and protein engineering to biology and medicine. Students actively collaborate with biologists and chemists alike in academia and industry all over the world.