James Mitchell, associate professor of genetics and complex diseases, is the 2016 recipient of the Armen H. Tashjian Jr. Award for Excellence in Endocrine Research. At an awards ceremony on May 17, Mitchell spoke about the “Role of endogenous hydrogen sulfide in endocrine regulation of aging.” The award was presented by Gökhan S. Hotamisligil, J.S. Simmons Professor of Genetics and Metabolism and chair of the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases.

Mitchell’s research focuses on how dietary restriction can slow the aging process, improve metabolic fitness, and increase the body’s resistance to a variety of stressors. He told the audience that age is a leading risk factor for multiple conditions, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, but Mitchell said that by targeting the aging process itself, it may have an effect on all of these diseases. “The aging process is plastic; it’s really malleable by a variety of interventions, including dietary and even some pharmacological interventions,” said Mitchell.

Armen Tashjian was professor of toxicology emeritus in the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases. He led the School’s toxicology program for nearly three decades. The Tashjian Research Award recognizes promising young faculty members and fellows at the School who are pursuing innovative research ideas in basic biomedical sciences.

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