BioFrontiers Seminar Speaker Dr. William Orr | Department of Biological Sciences

BioFrontiers Seminar Speaker Dr. William Orr

Friday, March 2, 2018 - 15:00

Join us as we Welcome, to the UNT Spring 2018 BioFrontiers Seminar Series: Dr. William Orr Professor and Biological Sciences Department Chair at Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences SMU.

Presentation: "The Interplay of Peroxiredoxins in Inflammation and Aging"

Research Interests

Oxidative Stress and Aging / Model Systems of Aging

Research Interests:

My principle research focus lies in the use of transgenic and genetic models to examine mechanisms involved in the aging process, with emphasis on testing the Oxidative Stress Hypothesis of Aging. There are three on-going projects in our laboratory.

The first of these is designed to determine the effects of an increased or a decreased ability of cells to synthesize and regenerate reduced glutathione (GSH) on the aging process in fruit flies. The motivation for this effort lies in the observation that GSH can react with a variety of free radical species and is likely to work in conjunction with superoxide dismutase to provide an important mechanism for the attenuation of oxidative stress. We have generated transgenic flies over-expressing glutamate cysteine ligase and have achieved significant longevity effects (up to 50%) in a long-lived background. In continuing work we are attempting to identify "pace-maker" tissues and temporal windows where longevity effects are conferred and we are determining interactions with other pathways that have been implicated in the aging process.

In a second study we have set out to elucidate the potential role of the thioredoxin peroxidases on oxidative stress, aging and immunity in Drosophila. The thioredoxin peroxidases represent a group of recently identified components of the antioxidative network, which reduce H2O2 and organic peroxides using thioredoxin as an electron source and do so in very specific sub-cellular compartments. Analysis of this gene family has allowed us to reveal elements of both antioxidant function and redox regulation related to longevity and innate immunity.

We have also initiated a study in collaboration with Raj Sohal (USC) designed to reduce mitochondrial superoxide generation by manipulation of cytochrome c oxidase (COX) activity in transgenic flies. Various COX subunit components likely to be limiting for superoxide generation have been identified and we have begun to generate key mutant and transgenic lines.

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