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LifeGen Wins SBIR Grant for Aging Research

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – LifeGen Technologies has won a Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a genetic panel that can be used to screen for compounds related to fat tissue and diet, the company said today.

LifeGen will use the $124,000 grant from the National Institute on Aging to fund its project to identify genes in adipose tissue that are regulated by a calorie-restricted diet, which has been found to increase maximum and average lifespan in mammals and to delay age-related diseases, the company said.

Because restricting calories reduces body fat and markers of inflammation that are related to disease, LifeGen said, it is possible that metabolic alterations in fat may be involved in the health benefits that are associated with such a diet.

The company is using gene expression profiling technology it licensed from the University of Wisconsin to study these connections between calories and aging.

"This research grant clearly validates the enormous potential of LifeGen's technology in discovering the next generation of anti-aging compounds, based on caloric restriction science," LifeGen Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer Tomas Prolla, who also is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said in a statement.

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