- BS, Chemistry, Bates College
- PhD, Inorganic Chemistry, Stanford University
- Postdoctoral Training, The Jackson Laboratory
The Harrison research group has two focus areas. We investigate aging in mouse models, focusing on processes that have the potential to retard aging and prolong health. For example, one line of research investigates mutations that reduce IGF-1 and insulin function. Such mutations can increase life span and delay certain aspects of aging, especially development of cancer. Now we are developing models that combine multiple mutations. We also study hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and other adult stem cells, which constantly proliferate and differentiate to maintain tissue functions throughout life. If aging exhausts the function of adult stem cells, the balance between damage and repair is disrupted and tissue functions become defective. Our group has found that genetic mechanisms protect hematopoietic stem cells from exhaustion in some mouse strains. Now our focus is to define the specific mechanisms. Our long-term goal is to promote healthful aging in humans, either by delaying normal aging processes or by minimizing or eliminating diseases of aging.