As people age, so does their blood. But what is in the blood of older people that actually leads to aging? Alternatively, is there something in the blood of younger people that can help rejuvenate old blood? Stem cells are the "starter" cells in bone marrow that produce red and white blood cells, and their function declines during aging. Because of this, older people become more susceptible to conditions like anemia and heart disease. Older people are also less capable of fighting infection, which can eventually lead to blood cancer. In this talk I will focus on the bone marrow microenvironment, which is where stem cells reside, and will also discuss new approaches to modulate this environment as a novel, potential therapeutic intervention to rejuvenate the stem cells found in old blood.
Novella is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southern California investigating the effect of a fasting-mimicking diet to prevent aging-related diseases, including cardiovascular and immune system diseases. Her research focuses on stem cell-based molecular mechanisms that regulate multi-system regeneration and rejuvenation. Novella earned a PhD in Molecular Medicine and Stem Cell Aging at the University of Ulm (Germany) where she discovered a way to rejuvenate old blood stem cells by modulating a protein that is decreased in the bone marrow microenvironment during aging. Since 2015 she has been an active member of the New Investigator Committee of the International Society for Experimental Hematology (ISEH), including contributing to the society blog and social media pages as well as helping to organize the annual meeting and various webinars. Novella's primary goal is to find new interventions that slow aging and eventually improve health-span.