November 26, 2018

Science on Tap to discuss combating eye diseases in old age

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Vikki Weake, a Purdue University professor of biochemistry in the College of Agriculture, will speak at the next installment of Science on Tap, which will focus on plans to scientifically combat the expected increase in age-associated eye diseases over the next 30 years.

The talk, titled “What’s So Stressful About Getting Old?” will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 29) at Lafayette Brewing Company, 622 Main St., Lafayette. The talk is free and open to anyone 21 and older.

In order to answer important questions such as “Why does getting older increase our risk for eye diseases?”, Weake’s lab uses fruit flies as a model system to study how aging affects the light-sensing neurons in the eye. The work done in Weake’s lab shows that light itself acts as a stress that mimics aging in the eye. The lab uses a combination of genome-wide, genetic and behavioral approaches to identify factors that can delay aging in fly eyes. Eventually, Weake and her colleagues hope to identify therapeutic strategies that could be used to prevent or delay the onset of age-associated eye diseases in patients.

Weake earned her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Massey University in New Zealand. She also did postdoctoral work at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. She is a member of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research and the Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience.

Science on Tap, led by graduate students Elizabeth Phillips, Matthew Pharris, Emma Lendy and Aswathy Chandran, provides Purdue faculty and collaborating researchers the opportunity to share research activities in an informal setting with presentations designed to appeal to a more general audience. 

Writer: Jaclyn Lawmater, 

Source: Matt Pharris, organizer of Science on Tap Lafayette,

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