Stimulating Pittsburgh Research in Geroscience Working Group


Fueling fundamental discovery in basic biology of aging research to bridge translational science and promote healthy aging


The goal of this working group is to promote healthy aging through multidisciplinary bench science and clinical translation. We support team science in the investigation of basic mechanisms underlying diseases associated with aging, including but not limiting to mitochondrial disorders, cancer, musculoskeletal degeneration, cardiovascular disorders, and neurodegenerative disease.  We aim to create a collaborative community of scientists for the exchange of knowledge, tools and techniques to investigate mitochondria, aging, and metabolism by:

  • establishing a medium for interaction which will include robust monthly presentations and an annual retreat
  • strategically hosting collaborative outside speakers to our campus;
  • creating a repository of animal and human tissues to facilitate pilot studies and stimulate novel research directions;
  • establishing an interactive website to encourage communication and synergy among Pittsburgh SPRIG community members
  • developing a collaborative pilot project funding program
  • developing a SPRIG Scholars Program to support graduate student and postdoctoral training and development; and
  • translating our efforts to the clinic by partnering with our local UPMC Clinical Analytic Group to promote personalized medicine.  

Our long term goal is to establish the University of Pittsburgh as the international leader in aging research by creating an outstanding research environment through the development of training grants and collaborative grants and eventual establishment of a center of excellence.

Executive Committee Members

Ben Van HoutenBen Van Houten, PhD
Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology


Fabrisia AmbrosioFabrisia Ambrosio, PhD, MPT
Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Nam Viet VoNam Viet Vo, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology


Internal Advisory Board

Charles Reynolds
Nancy Davidson
Steven Shapiro

External Advisory Board

Judith Campisi, The Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Julie Andersen, The Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Peter Rabinovitch, Director of the University of Washington Nathan Shock Center