Location: Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging
Project Number: 8050-51000-089-00
Start Date: May 01, 2014
End Date: Apr 30, 2019
LAB NAME: Nutrition and Vision Research Use of clinical epidemiologic studies to survey large human cohorts. Laboratory systems are exploited to model the diseases and elucidate mechanisms of action of potentially salutary modalities. At present, we are analyzing nutritional, ophthalmologic and genetic data from about 20,000 people. Studies in the laboratory are oriented to determine the pathobiologic mechanisms that underlie the epidemiologic observations. Thus, we are trying to understand how consuming a diet that provides high levels of readily digested carbohydrate (high dietary glycemic index) is related to increased risk for macular degeneration and cataract. The studies are complemented by investigations into the metabolome and microbiome, in order to gain a wholistic understanding of mechanisms by which nutrition affects function. We are also trying to understand why and how antioxidants confer visual benefit. A complementary aspect of this work involves elucidation how the cellular protein quality control machinery (lysosomal and cytoplasmic proteolytic capacities) are related to maintaining proper protein quality within lens and retina cells. Another aspect of this work involves trying to understand how this proteolytic machinery controls tissue formation and integrity and how its function is related to nutrition and varies over time or stress.