Aging & Fibrosis

HSCI has the critical mass of expertise needed to tackle major questions that transcend individual disorders.

Our scientists study fibrosis and aging in collaborations that cross traditional boundaries, as insights in these key areas have applications across almost all of human disease.

Fibrosis

Fibrotic diseases involve scarring in many different tissues in the body, caused by chronic inflammation. Scarring impairs the function of tissues and ultimately leads to organ failure. But while fibrotic diseases are common, there are very few treatments available. 

HSCI scientists in the Harvard Fibrosis Network look for commonalities across fibrotic diseases, sharing their expertise in many different organs and biological processes. This HSCI network partners with groups such as Bristol- Myers Squibb and Boehringer Ingelheim, bringing academic, clinical, and pharmaceutical research practice to bear on studies of fibrosis of the kidney, lung, heart, liver, and other organs.

Ruth Franklin headshot image

Ruth Franklin, PhD

Assistant Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Harvard Medical School
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Aging

Why do we lose the ability to repair and regenerate over time? Why do some parts of our bodies age more slowly than others? 

By comparing repair processes in young and old animals, across organ systems, HSCI researchers have identified circulating factors that can restore function to damaged tissue. These findings have sparked a new generation of cross-sector research that has implications for many conditions associated with aging. 

By analyzing gene expression in tens of thousands of cells, HSCI scientists have also identified aging patterns in every cell type of the brain, such as the specialized endothelial cells that line blood vessels. The resulting knowledge base is transformative for the field of aging research, well beyond the HSCI network. 

Markus H. Frank, HSCI Skin Program

Markus Frank, M.D.

Boston Children's Hospital
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Richard T. Lee, Harvard University

Richard Lee, M.D.

Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
Brigham and Women's Hospital
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