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2015 - Dena Dubal

The 2015 Gerald and Sally DeNardo Lectureship featured Dena Dubal, M.D., Ph.D. and her research on Longevity and the Aging Brain. Dr. Dubal's lecture was attended by students, faculty, members of Santa Clara's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and community members.

Using multiple research methodological approaches, her lab is investigating how a hormone, knows as Klotho, enhances healthy longevity - living longer and with improved cognition. SCU student
Naimi Kuehn wrote: 

I was highly impressed by Dr. Dubal's lecture. She introduced the focus of her talk and research very clearly and made it very easy to understand: she wants to try and harness the biology of aging to help prevent or delay age-related diseases. Her focus, specifically, was on Alzheimer’s which, among many other things, erodes the hippocampus resulting in memory loss. Her lab has been studying the enzyme Klotho, which when over-expressed, leads to a longer and healthier life, and if under-expressed, causes rapid aging. I was really surprised to hear that consistent exercise can increase Klotho levels to the same levels as people who naturally have higher Klotho. This highlights the importance of exercise especially as an individual ages.

Dr. Dubal's two-day visit included engaging students at the Sigma Xi Research Poster Presentation and ended with a dinner recognizing the DeNardo Student Research Scholars.