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Naga lady scientist receives $418,000 grant for Epigenetics of Aeging research in USA

Dr. Khyobeni Mozhui, PhD, an assistant professor of Preventive Medicine and Genetics, Genomics and Informatics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) have been awarded $418,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to research the epigenetics of aging study.

The grant will support her two-year project titled – “DNA Methylation and Gene Expression Study of Aging and Lifespan Differences”. She is collaborating with her fellow university associate Megan Mulligan, PhD, and Karolina Aberg, PhD, from Virginia Commonwealth University, to study a more comprehensive understanding of the molecular basis of aging.

“Aging can be thought of as a form of scheduled self-destruction that ensures timely demise of an individual,” Dr. Mozhui told to the University Journal. “For now, we don’t have a comprehensive explanation as to why multi-cellular organisms like us have a predefined period of viability before the cellular degeneration and aging process.”

If successful, this project could better strategies for a long healthy aging, and for enhancing vigor and wellness during old age.

“Our study will evaluate the time dynamics in DNA methylation and gene expression, and examine whether these changes are associated with lifespan and aging rate. Ultimately, our goal is not so much to delay or reverse aging, but to understand how we can maintain optimal health as we advance in age,” added the Lotha female scientist from Nagaland.

She studied at Little Flower School, Kohima and received her B.Sc in Biochemistry from Delhi University. She pursued a Master’s degree in Life Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and won scholarships to move to US where she completed her doctorate in Neuroscience (Neurogenetics) from University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC).

Besides being a scientist, she is also a fitness enthusiast, foodie and loves playing classical guitar.

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