Students Tackle Aging Issues In Innovative Training Program

UArizona Health Sciences Connect
UAHS researchers are addressing the needs of a growing population of older adults by studying the factors associated with aging, such as disease and inflammation. Students can apply for “Infection and Inflammation as Drivers of Aging,” the program funded by a National Institutes of Health T32 training grant, which supports four graduate or post-doctoral students annually. Emily Merritt, who is pursuing a doctorate in immunobiology, was one of the first students to participate in the Infection and Inflammation as Drivers of Aging program. She and four other students presented their research virtually at the inaugural Infection and Inflammation as Drivers of Aging symposium in January. The research topics ranged from chronic inflammatory response to ischemic stroke and tracking antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in aging individuals. Merritt presented on Toxoplasma gondii, a single-celled parasite she studies under the guidance of Dr. Anita Koshy, professor of neurology and BIO5 member.