Buck professor Pankaj Kapahi, PhD, receives prestigious Glenn Award at BAAM Meeting
This spring’s Bay Area Aging Meeting (BAAM), held at the Buck Institute, was a huge success -- attracting hundreds of local researchers focused on aging from leading academic institutions and biotech companies. The meeting was a particular success for Buck professor Pankaj Kapahi, PhD, who organized the day-long gathering. He received a prestigious Glenn Award which is a $60,000 unsolicited grant given to outstanding researchers in the aging research field.
The award was presented by Mark R. Collins, President and Director of the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research. The Glenn Foundation’s mission is to extend the healthy productive years of life through research on the mechanisms of biological aging. Among other projects, the organization funds BAAM, which meets semiannually, rotating across host institutions, including Gladstone Institutes/UC San Francisco, Stanford University, UC Berkeley and the Buck Institute.
“The Foundation is happy to recognize Dr. Kapahi’s contributions to the field and to support his ongoing research,” said Collins. “I’ve had the privilege of watching his science take off over the last few years, and it’s rewarding to play a part in that.”
Kapahi came to the Buck in 2004 as a fruit fly researcher, having been the first to demonstrate that the TOR pathway (a growth signaling pathway named for the Target of Rapamycin) mediates the effects of dietary restriction, which has been shown to extend lifespan in several species.
While still focused on understanding the role of nutrition and energy metabolism in lifespan and disease, Kapahi has expanded his research portfolio to include worms and mice. His lab, the largest at the Buck, has diverse projects underway, including: understanding the link between aging and nutrients, gut function, calcification, circadian clocks and diabetic complications. His research has relevance to a number of age-related human conditions including intestinal diseases, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease and Type 2 diabetes.
“I want to thank the Glenn Foundation for their recognition and support,” said Kapahi, who added that the award will be utilized in efforts to understand the effects of aging in diabetes, in particular the role of age-dependent changes in protein glycation in diabetes. “The Glenn Foundation’s support has allowed the Bay area to flourish as a nexus for research on aging. It is an honor to be a recipient of their largess.” The Glenn Foundation was founded in 1965 by Paul F. Glenn, at a time when aging research was not yet recognized as a bona fide field of scientific inquiry.