Regenerative Medicine and Aging Program

The Regenerative Medicine and Aging Program within the Kogod Center on Aging researches the impact of cell and organ transplantation on the aging process.

Senescent cells accumulate with age and can cause chronic age-related conditions, including tissue damage. Adult stem cell transplantation could repair this damage using a person's own cells.

Focus areas

Research focus areas in the Regenerative Medicine and Aging Program include:

  • Studying a method to harvest cells from abdominal fat of adults, genetically modifying those cells, and then transplanting them back into the person to regenerate damaged tissue
  • Translating findings about senolytic drugs into human studies, including efforts to improve kidney function in patients with renal failure by collecting and re-implanting stem cells into diseased tissues
  • Determining why cell and organ transplantation is not as effective in older patients as it is in younger patients
  • Studying unique molecules in the blood of older adults that make them vulnerable to heart failure after a heart attack. This work has helped identify six markers that can predict poor outcomes at the time of cardiac injury and help pave the way for regenerative therapies.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of cells grown under different conditions for the treatment of patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's.

Program leadership

Director: James L. Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D.