Evandro F. Fang, Ph.D. (CUHK), PI (2017.10-present)
Email: evandrofeifang[at]yahoo.com; e.f.fang[at]medisin.uio.no
Evandro is a molecular gerontologist and runs a research lab aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms of human aging. His team uses bench-top knowledge to guide the development of novel interventional strategies towards human aging, with a final goal of improving the quality of life in the elderly. He is passionate about teaching and training junior scientists.
Hobbies: Badminton; Soccer; Hiking; Cycling.
Honorary Senior Professor Aasmund Sudbø, Ph.D. (UC Berkley) (2020.04-present)
Sofie H. Lautrup, Ph.D. (Aarhus University), Postdoc Fellow (2018-present)
During her PhD program, Dr Lautrup studied the connections between the DNA repair pathway base excision repair (BER) and cognitive capacity during aging and disease, under the supervision of Associated Professor Tinna Stevnsner at Aarhus University, Denmark. In addition, she has worked with premature aging by characterising two Danish patients suffering from Cockayne Syndrome (MAD 2018). Dr Lautrup also worked in the laboratory of Dr Vilhelm A. Bohr at National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, USA during her PhD programme. At NIA, she examined the effect of treatment with the NAD+ precursor Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) on different Alzheimer’s disease (AD) mouse models, including a DNA repair deficient AD mouse model (PNAS, 2018). Furthermore, she worked on elucidating the effects of treatments with mitophagy-inducing compounds on an AD mouse model. In the Fang laboratory, she is very interested in studying how NAD+ supplementation affects features seen during both normal aging and premature aging including reduced stem cell proliferation and premature senescence. Dr Lautrup utilises fly-models (Drosophila Melanogaster) of the premature aging disorder Werner Syndrome (WS), in addition to C. elegans and human iPSCs, to elucidate how WS patients show reductions of stem cells and how this is related to compromised mitophagy.
Hobbies: Hiking/exploring the nature, being a scout, hanging out with friends/family.
Guofeng Lou, Ph.D. (Ji-nan University), Postdoc Fellow (2018-)
Dr Lou studied the molecular mechanisms of modified rhaFGF, which was mediated by the phosphorylation of GSK3β, as a therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in his PhD programme, under the supervision of Professor Yadong Huang at Jinan University, China. He then investigated the role of VAAT and the interplay between VAAT and 5-HT in gene knock-out mouse brain tissues during his first Postdoctoral research, under the supervision of Professor Klas Kullander at Uppsala University, Sweden. In the Fang laboratory, he is very interested in studying the molecular mechanisms of mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) and its roles in AD. More specifically, he is using multiple laboratory models, including C. elegans, novel transgenic mouse models, as well as human iPSCs, to elucidate the molecular basis of impaired mitochondrial motility and defective mitophagy in AD, and to explore the effects of upregulating mitophagy on AD pathology.
Hobbies: Soccer; Swimming; Hiking; Photography
Maria Jose Donate Lagartos, Ph.D. (University of Castilla-La Mancha), Postdoc Fellow (2019.11-)
I did my PhD with Professor Ricardo Insausti at the University of Castilla-La Mancha, working on the characterisation of age-dependent changes in the interneuron populations in the hippocampus of two murine models, SAMP8 and Pol mu mice. Later, I become a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Menno Witter’s group at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience/Centre for Neural Computation in Trondheim (Norway), NTNU. The research project I carried out in this laboratory was focused on the postnatal development of the postrhinal cortex to the medial entorhinal cortex projection. During my years as a PhD student and a post-doc, I learned anatomy, intracellular injections, tracing, and several electrophysiological approaches including anterograde tracing, intracellular injections, confocal imaging, VSD-imaging, patch-clamp, and optogenetics. Currently, I am a postdoctoral fellow in Dr Evandro F. Fang’s laboratory and I am interested in studying lysosome pathway in Alzheimer´s disease (AD) by the use of a unique cross-species platform, involving C. elegans, mouse models and human iPSCs.
Hobbies: Reading, hiking, movies, tai-chi, martial arts.
Domenica Caponio, PhD (The University of Foggia), Postdoc Fellow (2020.10-)
Nica did her PhD from the University of Foggia, Italy, during which time she also worked in the Fang lab for around one year. She has again joined the Fang group for her postdoc training because of her long-standing passion for studying the molecular mechanisms of human aging. She studied at the University of Bari and then did a PhD with the University of Foggia where she was involved in understanding the deeper metabolic aspects of human cell lines. She is passionate on teaching. At UiO, she is working on the effect of mitophagy, a cellular process which enables systematic self clearance of damaged mitochondria, in the rejuvenation of stem cells. She uses multiple laboratory models, including C. elegans, Drosophila, and human cells to approach this fundamental question in human aging. More specifically, her current projects cover spatiotemporal characterization of mitophagy and AD pathologies in the AD human brain, mechanisms of transgenerational memory, and many collaborative projects with other Fang lab members.
Hobbies: swimming; cooking.
Shuqin Cao, visiting Ph.D candidate (2020.02-)
Shu holds a bachelor degree from The University of Malaya, Malaysia, and is reading a PhD programme in Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. She is working as a visiting student in the Fang lab (UiO) from Feb 2020. Her PhD project is focusing on the identification of potential anti-AD drug candidates from natural molecules isolated from Thai medicine.
Hobbies: Exploring the world, Snorkelling, Hiking, Yoga, Belly dance
Tomás Schmauck-Medina, MSc Neuroscience (UCL), Lab engineer (2020.10-2021.03) then Ph.D. student (2021.04- )
Tomás is interested in the mechanisms of ageing and age-related neurodegenerative diseases. After his bachelor degree in Biomedicine he went to University College London (UCL) to study Neuroscience and was worked on ageing in the laboratory of Professor Dame Linda Partridge. In UCL, he studied the neuroprotective role of GADD45 in ALS. In the Fang laboratory at the University of Oslo (UiO), he is interested in mechanisms of ageing, autophagy, mitophagy, and how they impact neurodegeneration, with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease. He is using C. elegans, mice, and iPSCs in combination with CRISPR and confocal microscopy techniques to address related questions.
Hobbies: Writing, debating, real-time strategy games
Caroline Shi-qi Zhang, Ph.D. student (2021.05-)
Caroline has a Master of Science degree from the China Medical University, China. During this period she did a one-year internship program with Professor Clifford Woolf’s lab at the Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital, USA. At Harvard Medical School, her research was mainly focused on developing an ALS-associated human motor neuron model of mutant ¬TDP-43 for genome-wide CRISPR screens. In the Fang lab at the University of Oslo (UiO), she is focusing on the mechanistic studies of Alzheimer´s disease (AD), with a focus on ApoE4, NAD+, and autophagy/mitophagy. She uses a cross-species approach, covering human iPSC-derived neurons and glial cells, nematodes, mice, and postmortem brain tissue from individuals affected with AD to address related questions.
Hobbies: TV shows, writing.
Janet Jian-ying Zhang, Ph.D. (Sun Yat-sen University, China), Postdoc Researcher (2021.02-)
Dr Zhang got her PhD degree in Clinical Science of Stomatology from Sun Yat-sen University, China in 2016. After graduation, she became a licensed dentist in China, while working as a researcher at Central South University. Dr Zhang is fascinated with observing the progression of life from tiny cells up to a well crafted tooth via all kinds of experimental microscopies as well as her favorite dental operating microscope. In the Fang lab, Dr Zhang is devoted to unveiling the causes of delirium and how it progresses to Alzheimer’s disease via examination of several possible molecular mechanisms.
Hobbies: Travel, gourmet lover, work out
He-ling Wang, MDS, DDS, student
Heling holds a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and a Masters degree in Oral Medicine from Jilin University, China. During her Masters, she completed a one-year internship program at Okayama University, Japan, where she received training in microbiota, focusing her research mainly on microbiota related-diseases. In the Fang lab at the University of Oslo (UiO), she is focusing on the mechanistic studies of Alzheimer´s disease (AD), with focuses on ApoE4, NAD+, and autophagy/mitophagy. She will also conduct research on microbiota and AD to address related questions.
Hobbies: Documentary, swimming，gourmet
Ruixue (Alice) Ai, student
Alice Ruixue Ai studied in oral medicine from Sichuan University, China. During her master period, she investigated the microenvironmental regulation of the progression of potentially malignant oral disorders towards malignancy and published four papers in international peer-reviewed journals during the 3-year master programme. In the Fang lab, with collaborators, she is applying artificial intelligence to the screening and designing of drug candidates for ageing and Alzheimer’s disease. She is also very interested in studying the role of mRNA splicing in NAD+-mitophagy axis in AD, as well as age-dependent mitophagy changes in AD.
Hobbies: Traditional Chinese painting; yoga.
Martin Andreas Wilvang, Medical student (2020.03-)
Martin is a norwegian medical student at the University of Oslo on his fourth year and finds the field of neurodegenerative diseases and the potential of NAD+ boosting to mitigate neurodegenerative phenotypes especially interesting. He became a part of the Fang lab through working on a master’s equivalent subject at the university along with Ole Kristian. He has been writing a review about “Preclinical and clinical evidence of NAD+ precursors in health and ageing” with a focus on the pharmacological aspects of different precursors.
Hobbies: Bible studies and teaching, skiing, climbing and volleyball
Ole Kristian Reiten, Medical student (2020.03-)
Ole Kristian is a Norwegian medical student at the University of Oslo (UiO). Here, he is currently attending his fourth year at the faculty of medicine, where he was granted the possibility to write his project thesis at the Fang lab in collaboration with Martin Andreas Wilvang. He is particularly interested in the development of potential interventional strategies to mitigate neurodegenerative and age-related disease phenotypes as the global population continuously grows older. His contributions at the lab revolves around exploring the therapeutic potential of NAD+ boosting to forestall these phenotypes and promote healthy longevity.
Hobbies: Callisthenics, exploring the world, fiction, playing the guitar
Johannes Frank, ERASMUS student (2019.06-2020.01 ERASMUS student) (2020.09-present Master student at the University of Vienna, un-officially co-mentoring on his Masters project)
Mr. Johannes Frank was an exchange student at the Fang lab for his bachelor’s degree at the University of Applied Sciences in Krems, Austria. He wrote his bachelor’s thesis about research undertaken during his six months internship in the Fang group. During his internship he was involved in studying the anti-aging effect of NAD+ precursors and mitophagy inducers on premature aging, especially in Werner syndrome, using the model organisms Drosophila melanogaster and C. elegans. Currently he is taking a master’s degree in Molecular Biology with a major in Neuroscience at the University of Vienna, Austria. Besides his Master Program, he is working on a collaborative project in the Zimmer Group at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna. For this Project he analyses the sleeping behavior of C. elegans Alzheimer’s models.
Hobbies: skiing, fencing, weight training.
Thale Dawn Patrick-Brown, MSc, MIET, PPT, Lab manager (2021.03-)
Thale started her research career last century at the precocious age of 12, when she took up her first post as a summer research assistant, pulling catheters, packing and autoclaving surgical equipment and assisting with things requiring small fingers. Eventually, she graduated from lower school and obtained an honours degree in Neuroscience studying under the profs who literally wrote the book (Kolb and Whishaw), who likely only remember her as that lass whose senior project proposed a neural network for diagnosis of psychiatrically-relevant changes in the brain using fMRI before such things were computationally possible (she got a D). Thale completed an eye-watering three full undergraduate theses in Foetal Physiology, Aerospace Neurophysiology, and 11-Beta Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenase Type 1&2 in foetal development respectively. Her MSc focused on the use of artificial intelligence to solve chaotic real-world problems, a theme she has continued in her PhD (which she is completing concurrent to work). Thale recently published her first-first-author paper describing a novel statistical methodology for the estimation of prevalence and incidence in rare diseases using Pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP) as a model (with collaborators from EuroPMP). She has undertaken specialist training in gross anatomy and is interested in the role of the HPA axis in physiological activities, including parturition and metastatic disease. Thale is the Scientific Communications Manager for EuroPMP and a professional medical project manager. She can usually be found staring intently at a computer screen, muttering incoherently about grammar.
Interests: Thale is a licensed race driver and sports therapist, plays polo and is terminally British.
Name: Emilie Gasparini, MSc (2021.09 – )
I have a Bachelor’s Degree from University of Minnesota, and will be starting my Neuroscience Master’s in the fall at University of Copenhagen. My research background is in studying the role of the autophagy-lysosome pathway in relation to accumulation of aggregates and neurotoxicity in Parkinson’s Disease. In the Fang Lab I am interested in investigating the molecular mechanism of mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) in Alzheimer’s Disease.
Hobbies: Yoga, Hiking and Skiing.
Amund Hov, Volunteer, NO-Age editor (2019.01-)
Amund is a life-long learner with a passion for the biology of aging. He has a background in applied physics and integrated circuits from the semiconductor industry. Currently he studies and invests in bioscience with the aim of translation into happy and healthy lives.
Hobbies: Rock Climbing, Cooking, Films
Brian Christopher Gilmour, Volunteer, NO-Age editor (2019.01-)
Brian holds a bachelor’s degree from Canada and is pursuing a master’s in immunology at UiO. He works as a volunteer journalist and editor for the Norwegian Centre for Healthy Ageing (NO-Age) while also completing his thesis at Oslo’s Rikshospitalet, focusing on work with cancer vaccines. Brian has a keen interest in the processes of ageing that started as an undergraduate in Canada and continues here in Norway. He has lab work experience related to immunology, pharmacology and biochemistry.
Hobbies: Swimming, writing, reading, coffee & TV shows
Ruben Gudmundsrud, Volunteer, NO-Age editor (2018.07-present), Master student (2019.11-2020.11)
Ruben holds a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from UiO, and is now taking master courses in immunology and introductory computer science. He works as a scientific assistant (technician, UiO) and editor for the Norwegian Center for Healthy Ageing (NO-Age), and has a special interest in the molecular mechanisms of aging. He thinks exploring the mechanisms can lead to the development of novel therapeutics to suppress the aging phenotype – more importantly to ameliorate disease associated with aging. If we find ways to live longer, we also need to prolong our healthspan. Ruben also has experience from various labs with specialization in neuroscience and immunology.
Hobbies: Hiking/exploring nature, reading, programming, writing, popular science, coffee and TV shows.
Nuria Pereira Banzo, Volunteer (2020.03-)
Bjoern Olaisen, Research Volunteer (2021.06-2021.09)
Bjoern is doing a bachelor’s degree in Molecular Genetics at King´s College London. He tries to develop a broad understanding of biosciences and focus on genetics and bioinformatics, to help him reach his goal. He wants to devote his scientific career to improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of ageing and age-related diseases. He hopes this will enable us to make interventions that increase our lifespan and healthspan. A big part of his motivation is the thought that understanding and intervening with the ageing process can improve a range of diseases and health problems in the elderly. Bjoern wanted to get research experience in the ageing field and was impressed by the world-class publications in the Fang lab. He contributes to the research investigating the mechanisms of ageing, specifically the potential of upregulating mitophagy, increasing NAD+ levels, and regulating DNA repair in the cell. Bjoern is working towards doing a PhD in which he can explore fundamental mechanisms of ageing.
Hobbies: Running, hiking, skiing, cycling, reading, university societies
Name: Markus Nyhus, Medical Student (2022.01 – )
I am a third year medical student attending the University of Oslo. Starting january 2022 I will be involved with the Fang lab as a part of my project thesis on the current methods used to detect neuronal NAD+ in living organisms and c. elegans in particular. Personally, I am very fascinated with neurology and the molecular mechanisms behind psychology and cognition. Through my studies I strive to better understand the mysteries of the human brain and how it works; why do we think and act the way we do, and what truly makes us who we are? And not least, what happens when these basic functions are lost? In the future, I would like to be able to contribute to solving this puzzle and wish to take part in research enabling new insights into what happens in our brains to cause pathology and the development various neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s and ALS.
Hobbies: Running and reading.