Welcome to the Baur Lab

Baur Lab 2019

We are interested in the basic mechanisms that lead to aging, which is a critical risk factor for the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the western world, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. Although the causes of aging are not known, it can be delayed experimentally in rodents by decreasing energy intake in the absence of malnutrition (caloric restriction, CR) and by a growing list of genetic and small molecule interventions. Our work is centered on elucidating the molecular mechanism(s) that mediate these improvements in health and delays in multiple age-related diseases.

A major focus of the lab is on understanding how changes in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) metabolism contribute to aging, obesity, and disease. The Baur lab employs genetic models, isotopic labeling strategies, and metabolomics to probe the pathways by which NAD is synthesized and influences whole-body metabolism. These methods are also employed to study the effects of supplemental NAD precursors and to explore compartmentalization of NAD pools. In mitochondria such compartmentalization may directly influence fuel selection and circadian variations in metabolism. Another major area of interest is the mechanisms by which rapamycin affects metabolism. Rapamycin is the most robust pharmacological strategy to extend the maximum lifespan of a mammalian species, even when started late in life. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown, and side effects including elevation of serum lipids and a diabetes-like syndrome are observed. The Baur lab is currently studying the molecular events that impair lipid and glucose homeostasis and whether the effects of the drug on longevity might be separable from its undesirable side effects.

The Baur Lab is located within the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism and affiliated with the Department of Physiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.



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