- B.S., Molecular Biology, Grove City College, 2003.
- Ph.D., Neuroscience and Neuroendocrinology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, 2007.
- Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Rochester.
Jason Karpac is an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Medicine. He received his B.S. in Molecular biology from Grove City College in 2003. He obtained his Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Neuroendocrinology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in 2007 working with Dr. Ute Hochgeschwender. He then pursued postdoctoral research in Dr. Heinrich Jasper’s laboratory, first at the University of Rochester and then at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Dr. Karpac was a Research Assistant Professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging from 2013-2014 before joining the faculty at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in September 2014.
Our laboratory is broadly interested in the cellular and systemic (endocrine) adaptive signaling networks that regulate metabolic homeostasis, and subsequently affect the aging process. The ability to endure bouts of starvation and infection is a primitive challenge in multi-cellular organisms. In order to combat these ancient stressors, organisms have developed tightly regulated and highly integrated adaptive signaling mechanisms to promote survival through the maintenance of metabolic homeostasis. It is also imperative that these responses are dynamically controlled, as changes in the regulation of adaptive mechanisms (i.e. chronic inflammation and insulin resistance) can lead to metabolic dysfunction and age-related diseases. The laboratory primarily uses the fruit fly Drosophila as model to investigate the function of these signaling networks at multiple levels of biological organization: from molecules, to cells and tissues, to tissue-tissue interactions, to whole organism physiology and aging. Some specific areas of research interest currently include:
- understanding how the integration of insulin/IGF signaling and NFkB-mediated innate immune responses in various tissues governs specific aspects of metabolic function and tissue aging
- investigating the tissue-specific signaling networks, regulated by insulin/IGF signaling, that govern lipid metabolism in response to metabolic adaptation (i.e. dietary changes)
- developing in vivo genetic screens aimed at identifying systemic (endocrine) factors that drive tissue-tissue interactions during aging to control metabolic homeostasis and longevity