Eric Verdin, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Professor

Epigenetic regulators of the aging process

Dr. Verdin’s laboratory was first to clone a family of enzymes, called HDACs, which regulate histone acetylation. Dr. Verdin studies how metabolism, diet and small molecules regulate the activity of HDACs and Sirtuins and thereby the aging process and its associated diseases, including Alzheimer’s.

Current Research Projects

Role of reversible protein acetylation in aging. This work is focused on the role of key metabolites (NAD+ and acetylcoenzyme A) as sensors for the metabolic status of cells. These metabolites regulate the activity of epigenetic enzymes such as sirtuins and p300/CBP and thereby the activity of key gene programs involved in aging. The laboratory also focuses on the identification of inhibitors of p300 and activators of sirtuins as drugs that regulate the aging process and age-associated diseases.

Effect of β-hydroxybutyrate and ketogenic diet on aging and age-associated diseases (Alzheimer’s).
The Verdin lab recently reported that β-hydroxybutyrate inhibits the activity of HDACs and thereby gene expression of key genes that regulate aging, including Foxo3a. The laboratory is currently exploring the effects of a ketogenic diet on lifespan in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. They have also synthesized new β-hydroxybutyrate precursors and are testing them in models of aging.

Role of NAD+ metabolism in innate immune function. Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of aging. The Verdin lab studies how fluctuations in NAD+ metabolism regulate innate immune function. They are searching for small molecules that regulate key enzyme in NAD metabolism.

Study of accelerated aging in humans. The Verdin lab is currently studying models of accelerated human aging with a focus on patients infected with HIV and treated with antiretroviral therapy.

A native of Belgium, Dr. Verdin received his Doctorate of Medicine (MD) from the University of Liege and additional clinical and research training at Harvard Medical School. He has held faculty positions at the University of Brussels, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Picower Institute for Medical Research and the Gladstone Institute. Dr. Verdin is also a Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco.

He has published more than 210 scientific papers and holds more than 15 patents. He is a highly cited scientist (top 1%) and has been recognized for his research with a Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging and a senior scholarship from the Ellison Medical Foundation. He is an elected member of several scientific organizations including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He also serves on the Advisory Council of NIDA at the National Institutes of Health.

Media Expertise
Dr. Verdin welcomes media inquiries on the following subjects:
Aging and longevity, extending healthspan, metabolism and aging, dietary restriction, and HIV and aging.

Contact:
Juniper Pennypacker
Assistant Director, Operations and Scientific Affairs

jpennypacker@buckinstitute.org
Phone: 415-209-2249

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