The grant, awarded by the National Science Foundation on Sept. 1 and co-led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), brings together expertise from across the country to understand more about the significant implications aging has on our world and populations, including our food and agricultural supply, biodiversity, climate change and with human health. Jingyue (Ellie) Duan, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture and Life plays a critical role in the analytical team of evolutionary systems biology and will bring her expertise in epigenetics and genomic data integration. She also co-leads the establishment of the database infrastructure in the IISAGE Biology Integration Institute.
“Sex-specific aging is widespread and highly diverse across the animal tree of life. Among mammals, females tend to live longer, but in some bat species and European rabbits, males are longer lived than females, and some species lack sex differences in lifespan,” Duan said. “Fish, reptiles, insects, and other invertebrates also show striking variation in sex‐specific longevity. However, due to the challenges posed by this diversity and complexity, there are currently no rules that explain sex-specific aging both within and among species.” IISAGE aims to answer the question – What causes sex-specific aging and how does it evolve?