Think Science: Longevity | Texas Public Radio

Think Science: Longevity

Aug 23, 2019

It’s no secret that the U.S. population is aging rapidly. No one is immune. And with aging comes frailty, disease, disabilities, memory loss and more. But what if life could be lived with vigor and vitality throughout your lifespan? What if you could grow older in a healthy and wholesome manner? That’s the goal of UT Health’s Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies and the subject of this Think Science presentation, held on August 16, 2019. Dr. Sara Espinoza gives an overview of the concerns people have with aging, as well as current research from the Barshop Institute. Dr. Dean Kellogg's presentation delves into the latest findings on use of rapamycin to slow the negative effects of aging in mice, and its potential use in humans.

The panel features two of UT Health's premiere researchers: Dean Kellogg, Ph.D., and Sara E. Espinoza, M.D., M.Sc., AGSF.

Dr. Kellogg's research roles are as the Principal Investigator in several translational projects to explore anti-aging effects of rapamycin, acarbose, and other potential anti-aging pharmaceuticals in humans. These projects involve exploring the effects of anti-aging agents on mechanisms of physical performance, cognitive, and cardiovascular function. In addition, changes in oxidative stress levels and altered skeletal muscle function in human subjects are being explored. Collaborative projects are exploring immunomodulatory effects of rapamycin on responses to vaccines and on overall immunological function in healthy older (70-95yo) volunteers. In addition, he is continuing his work on human cardiovascular and thermoregulatory physiology with studies in spinal cord injured patients in collaborative studies with junior faculty from the Department of Rehabilitation. 

Dr. Espinoza’s research focuses on understanding frailty, an important clinical geriatric syndrome that causes older adults to be at risk for falls, disability, nursing home placement, and death. She highlights diabetes as a major risk factor for frailty and discusses her current study, which is examining whether metformin, a drug commonly used to treat diabetes, can prevent frailty in older adults who have pre-diabetes.

Sara E. Espinoza, M.D.
Credit UT Health

Dr. Espinoza received her medical degree from the University of Virginia and completed her residency at Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester Medical Center. Her clinical fellowship in geriatric medicine was at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

This event was made possible by Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio, Health Texas, San Antonio Vascular and Endovascular Clinic, and Texas Dermatology.

You can listen to audio from this panel discussion in the embedded link above, and follow along with the presenters' slide programs below.

Improving Health with Aging, by Sara Espinoza, MD, M.Sc. from Nathan Cone

I'm Getting Older! Is there a pill for that? By Dr. Dean Kellogg from Nathan Cone