Kennedy Lab Members

Brian Kennedy
CEO and Scientific Director

Brian K. Kennedy, PhD, has an international reputation for his work in the basic biology of aging. He became the Buck Institute’s second CEO in July, 2010, coming from the University of Washington in Seattle where he served in the Department of Biochemistry.

Kennedy earned his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He is well known for work during his graduate studies with Leonard Guarente PhD, which led to the discovery that Sirtuins (SIR2) modulate aging. His current work involves nutrient signaling pathways linked to dietary restriction, particularly the TOR pathway. He also studies A-type nuclear lamins, which are targets for mutation in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome.

A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Kennedy has served on the National Institutes of Health Cellular Mechanisms of Aging and Development study section since 2006, and on the grant review committee for American Federation for Aging Research Grants since 2006. He has published more than 60 manuscripts in prestigious journals including Cell, Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He has been an Associate Editor for the Journal of Gerontology since 2006, and also serves as a consultant for biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

Regina Brunauer
Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Regina graduated in September 2011 from the Institute for Biomedical Aging Research in Innsbruck, Austria. In the course of her PhD thesis, which was about aging of human mesenchymal stem cells in the context of the immune system, she became experienced in stem cell biology, biology of aging and cell culture techniques. At the Buck Institute, she will focus on changes in histone modification patterns with stem cell aging, and investigate histone code readers and writers involved in the aging process by both in vitro approaches and mouse models.

Chong He
Glenn Foundation Research Training Scholar

Chong He is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Kennedy lab. She completed her PhD in Chemistry at College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University. Chong conducts research in the area of genome-wide analysis of aging in yeast.

Maria Konovalenko
USC/Buck PhD Student

Chen-Yu Liao
Postdoctoral Research Scholar

Chen-Yu is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Kennedy lab. He got his PhD in Physiology at the Barshop Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Chen-Yu has studied the genetic variation in the murine lifespan response to dietary restriction. Chen-Yu continues his training in the field of aging research at the Buck Institute. His main focus lies in the molecular mechanisms underlying the aging process in mice.

Mark McCormick
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Mark McCormick is a postdoc in the Kennedy Lab. He completed his PhD in Cynthia Kenyon's lab at UCSF. Mark studies basic mechanisms of aging in the lab, using S. cerevisiae as a model system.

Monique O'Leary
Staff Scientist

Bhumil Patel
Research Associate I

Juniper Pennypacker
Administrative Laboratory Manager

Christine Robbins
Laboratory Aide

Katie Schreiber
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Shih Yin Tsai
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

She received her PhD in Molecular Genetics from Ohio State University. Her graduate project was to study the molecular mechanism of Rb-E2F in early development and late tumorigenesis. Rb-E2F pathway is implantable in cell cycle regulation and cell death commitment. The E2F family is identified as a family of transcription factors, whose target genes are involved in regulation of multiple cellular homeostasis. In Dr. Brian Kennedy’s lab, she works on the molecular relevance of mTOR mediated translation and longevity. She has established several genetic mouse models to test the hypothesis derived from yeast and worms, whether alternation of translation can extend mouse health lifespan. From transcription to translation, the most important thing is to thoroughly understand how gene expression is regulated and how this regulation is relevant to longevity.

Mitsu Tsuchiya
Senior Research Associate

Yeast Strain and DNA Requests
Please contact Juniper Pennypacker, Executive Associate and Laboratory Manager, for requests.

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