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SEMINAR:Sexual-dimorphism in human immune system aging

Speaker: Duygu Uçar

Title:  Sexual-dimorphism in human immune system aging

Date/Time:  20 October 2021 / 17:40 - 18:30 PM

Zoom: Meeting ID

Passcode: gradsem

Abstract:  Differences in immune function and responses contribute to health- and life-span disparities between sexes. However, the role of sex in immune system aging is not well understood. Here, we characterize peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 172 healthy adults 22–93 years of age using ATAC-seq, RNA-seq, and flow cytometry. These data reveal a shared epigenomic signature of aging including declining naïve T cell and increasing monocyte and cytotoxic cell functions. These changes are greater in magnitude in men and accompanied by a male-specific decline in B-cell specific loci. Age-related epigenomic changes first spike around late-thirties with similar timing and magnitude between sexes, whereas the second spike is earlier and stronger in men. Unexpectedly, genomic differences between sexes increase after age 65, with men having higher innate and pro-inflammatory activity and lower adaptive activity. Impact of age and sex on immune phenotypes will provide insights into future studies and clinical decisions.

Bio:Dr. Ucar earned her B.S. degree in Computer Engineering from Bilkent University followed by her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Ohio State University. She conducted postdoctoral studies at University of Iowa and Stanford University, during which she developed computational methods to discover cell-specific epigenomic patterns in human cells. In 2013, she launched her laboratory at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine (JAX-GM). The overarching goal of her lab is to uncover how the epigenomic landscape of human cells especially immune cells - are remodeled and disrupted with aging and aging-related diseases. She also studies how genetic variants impact epigenomic landscapes of human cells in the context of complex diseases, e.g., Type 2 Diabetes (T2D).