Dr. Collins, a post-doctoral fellow working in Dr. Richard Loeser’s lab, was selected to receive the $120,000, two-year grant following a rigorous scientific competition held by the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR). His research currently focuses on determining how age-related increases in oxidative stress levels contribute to disordered cell signaling in joint tissues to promote the development and progression of osteoarthritis (OA).

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Dr. Collins’ research aims to determine how age-related oxidative stress modifies the activity of a protein called sirtuin 6, which has been shown to increase the lifespan of model organisms.

Establishing the importance of sirtuin 6 activity in joint tissues and defining how the cell signaling capabilities of sirtuin 6 are altered as we age will provide us with a better understanding of how aging contributes to the development of OA. This could lead to new targeted therapies that slow or stop OA progression.