Einstein's Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in Basic Biology of Aging

Project: Research project

Project Details


Summary The Health Span Core (HSC) of the Einstein Nathan Shock Center serves as a unique resource for geroscientists in need of sophisticated in vivo metabolic phenotyping studies, and specialized surgeries, including heterochronic parabiosis. The HSC will continue to be a resource for ‘gold standard’ assays to assess the aging-metabolism interplay as well as a resource for parabiotic surgeries and tissues. The goals during the next funding period will be to: 1) accommodate the continuously growing demand for parabiosis as well as steady requests for metabolic studies; 2) employ newly established functional assays and related services to provide a more comprehensive assessment of health span, and 3) provide technical support and consultation regarding implementation of aging studies and training in the various surgical and in vivo methodologies routinely performed by the Core. Specific Aims of this Core are: 1) To make available specialized in vivo measurements of metabolism; 2) To advise and assist in performing health span assessments and provide a geropathology resource; 3) To perform analyses of whole body energy balance; 4) To provide specialized surgical procedures in aging rodents. 5) To make available imaging modalities for quantification of rodent adipose tissue distribution, liver and muscle glycogen, and organ lipids. 6) To provide heterochronic parabiosis surgical services and continue to make available a related tissue and plasma repository. 7) Accumulate and define normative values for health span across strains, and determine their relation to other functional domains, frailty and geropathology in aging. Activities of the HSC are: 1) Service by providing unique and valuable experimental assays that are not highly feasible or readily accessible, such as specialized metabolic assays, surgeries and geropathology, 2) Resources, by serving as a tissue repository for both normal aging and heterochronic parabiosis tissue from mice and rats and experimental protocols made available upon request 3) Centralizing a diverse battery of functional assays and services via expansion of Core capabilities to facilitate comprehensive health span assessments at a single site, and 4) Consultation and training by providing input to investigators either seeking assistance in designing or implementing their study or in need of hands-on in Core technologies. Personnel: 1) The Director (Huffman) handles all requests, helps to formulate an experimental plan, establishes prioritization, provides oversight of data collection, and works with HSC staff to compile a final report. 2) The Director consults with key personnel and members of the advisory committee to provide intellectual and/or technical expertise and assistance on specific projects, 3) The HSC is staffed with two full-time experienced surgeons, a senior staff scientist and technician trained in health span assessment to carry out the studies. Relevance: The HSC uniquely harbors the ability to address requirements of Investigators seeking high quality in vivo metabolism, health span assays, surgeries and specialty tissues, and geropathology.
Effective start/end date9/15/205/31/23


  • National Institute on Aging: $245,405.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $245,404.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $245,404.00


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