Eric Verdin, MD
President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Originally from Belgium, Dr. Verdin earned his MD from the University of Liege, in Belgium. He trained at Harvard Medical School and has held faculty positions at the University of Brussels in Belgium, the NIH in Maryland, and the Picower Institute for Medical Research in New York.
Dr. Verdin studies the molecular virology of HIV and novel approaches to eradicate HIV infection. Dr. Verdin’s laboratory also focuses on a family of proteins—called histone deacetylases—and their role in the aging process and the immune system. He joined the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology in 1997 and became the associate director in 2004. In November 2016, Eric accepted the position as the President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.
Dr. Verdin was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Verdin serves on the National Scientific Advisory Council of the American Federation for Aging Research and on the Advisory Council of the National Institute of Drug Abuse at NIH. For his aging research, Dr. Verdin was recognized with a Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging and a senior scholarship from the Ellison Medical Foundation. His work on HIV was recognized by an Avant-Garde Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Verdin has served as reviewer on study sections for the NIH, as the organizer of international meetings and as the editor of several books and reviews. He has published more than 200 international papers and is an inventor on 14 published patents.
Che-Ping grew up in a small island – Penang, Malaysia and graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry. Prior to joining the Verdin lab in 2013 she studied microglia and genetic modifiers of Huntington disease. In addition to managing the Verdin lab, she is currently working on SIRT1 related research. Che-Ping loves animals, especially dogs, and is an avid coffee-holic and foodie. She really enjoys engaging in outdoor activities (especially photography) with her husband.
I am French and have a terrific accent, which my friendly co-workers have gradually learned to tolerate. I earned my Ph.D at Paris 7- Denis-Diderot, and I joined Eric Verdin's lab in October 2012. Since then, I have been very busy studying the mechanisms that govern HIV latency in primary cells. Besides the lab, I like hanging out with friends, drinking a good glass of wine, reading, skiing, traveling, playing music and so many other things.
Emilie got her PhD studying cellular senescence and DNA replication at the University of Montpellier in France. She is interested in the transcriptional regulation of sirtuins and their effects on metabolism and aging. She will also be further characterizing the role of mTOR in the regulation of HIV transcription. Emilie grew up in Normandy in France and had an early interest in understanding how nature works. She lives in San Francisco and enjoys hiking, running, watching movies and TV series, and trying new restaurants.
I'm interested in using my structural biology skills to better understand mitochondrial protein acylation and its regulation by sirtuins. I finished my PhD in Biochemistry in 2013 at the University of Washington under the mentorship of Roland Strong and William Schief, working on protein design and crystallography to study anti-HIV antibodies. My interest in the biology of aging drew me to the Verdin lab, and I hope to some day continue on to a lab of my own. When time allows, I enjoy rock climbing, live music, exploring the city, and spending time with the amazing friends I've made in California.
Anthony is currently exploring the links between inflammation and aging. He came to the Verdin lab in Spring 2016 after getting his PhD from the Biological Sciences program at the Harvard School of Public Health. He has a particular interest in how the innate immune system utilizes nutrients and came to the Verdin lab because they were among the first to show that endogenous changes in metabolites can affect gene function. His project in the lab is focused on understanding how metabolites impact the innate immune system during aging. Anthony grew up in Los Angeles and got his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from UCLA. He is glad to be back on the West Coast. He is new to San Francisco and enjoys exploring the city, visiting breweries, and cheering for the Dodgers when they are in town!
Staff Scientist, Flow Core Director
I did my undergraduate work in biology at Duke University, and got my PhD in immunology from UC Berkeley, working on the regulation of cell death in T cell development in the laboratory of Dr. Astar Winoto. Since joining the Verdin lab, my main area of focus has been elucidating the immunobiology of histone deacetylase 7, an epigenetic regulator with an essential role in the maintenance of immune self-tolerance. With other members of the immunology group, I’m working to define the molecular mechanisms whereby the TCR-dependent nuclear export of HDAC7 mediates both negative thymic selection and the differentiation of agonist-selected innate-like T cell populations. By understanding the important role of HDAC7 in T cell development, we hope to gain new insights into the regulation of immune self-tolerance, and also to identify novel molecular pathways that can be targeted in autoimmune disease. When I’m not pushing back the frontier of human knowledge one miniprep at a time, I like to cook fabulous food for my friends and family, hike through the many splendid landscapes surrounding the Bay Area, and play at being a suburban farmer.
John is a geriatrician physician-scientist who studies how cellular signaling functions of ketone bodies, like regulating gene transcription, can affect aging. Ketone bodies are produced by the body during fasting and exercise, and may mediate some of the health benefits of these activities. John completed a BS/MS at Yale, and then an MD/PhD at the University of Washington, before training in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at UCSF. He is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Geriatrics at UCSF. John is originally from New York, and a lifelong Mets fan. He gets his own exercise playing volleyball.
Rosalba joined the Verdin lab in January 2017 as a postdoctoral fellow. She earned her Ph.D in Biomedicine at the University of Padua in Italy studying innovative therapeutic targets at the HIV proviral level. In the Verdin lab, her first interest for HIV biology meets her new and exciting interest for aging. She’s working to investigate and elucidate mechanisms that link HIV infection and aging since increasing evidence supports accelerated aging in HIV-positive patients. Science is not her only big passion, she loves creative arts for expressing herself, primarily with belly dancing. She loves everything from her home country, Italy, especially the good Italian food and music. Her first goal in life is to always be passionate, curious, and happy. Her motto is: “Resolve to be the sun!”
Tugsan grew up in Izmir, Turkey. He has a B.Sc. on Molecular Biology & Genetics; he got his Ph.D. on Biological Sciences & Bioengineering from Sabanci University, Istanbul. Then, he moved to Italy to work on mitochondrial metabolism in cancer. After a 3-year post-doc training in the National Cancer Institute of Italy, he came to San Francisco to work in Verdin Lab in 2016. He is currently focusing on epigenetic regulation of aging process in model organisms like C. elegans and mouse, as well as cultured mammalian cells. He is investigating the effect of potential compounds that change the activity of histone acetyltransferases and deacetylases. He enjoys singing, cooking and creating molecular gastronomy recipies in his kitchen.
Visiting Undergraduate Student
Vivek is a visiting undergraduate student in the Verdin lab. He is from India and is currently in the final semester of his Bachelors degree in Genetic Engineering. His previous research work includes microbiological work with Sporosarcina pasteuriiand APOE and PAI1 polymorphisms (SNP) in South Indian Tamil populations. Currently at the Verdin lab, he is working with Tugsan Tezil on the effect of potential compounds that change the activity of histone acetyltransferases and deacetylases. His primary model organisms for research are C.elegans and cultured mammalian cell lines. Aging in general is his area of research interest and the hope to make a significant contribution to the Aging research community is what keeps him motivated.