Joseph W. Kemnitz
Position title: Professor, Department of Cell and Regenerative Biology
Phone: (608) 263-3588
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
Energy Balance and Aging in Nonhuman Primates
My laboratory studies mechanisms controlling energy balance and on the consequences of caloric excess or deficit on physiological systems. Current experiments focus on the biology of aging and metabolic problems associated with mid- and late-life. One research focus concerns dietary restriction and aging. We are testing the hypothesis that a moderate reduction in caloric intake will slow the rate of aging and ultimately extend lifespan in primates as has been shown for rodents and some other short-lived species. Results thus far indicate that the monkeys on the reduced diet have less body fat, increased sensitivity to insulin and lower insulin levels, improved lipid profiles, and other changes that are consistent with better health. With leadership including other NTP faculty and students we are now extending these assessments to include brain imaging and cognitive function. Other projects have examined the pathogenesis of obesity and its complications, such as insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus. Pharmacologic interventions (e.g., neuropeptide analogs, adrenergic agonists) to promote maintenance of a healthy body weight and to ameliorate the complications of obesity also have been studied in this context.
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