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Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies

Elizabeth Fernandez, Ph.D.


Elizabeth Fernandez, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor/Research
Department of Pharmacology
Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Phone: 210-562-6050


Aging is the main risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a disorder of the brain that leads to shaking (tremors) and difficulty with walking, movement, and coordination. Dr. Fernandez's studies are focused on testing the role of impaired detoxification of biogenic aldehydes and reactive oxygen species in the Gpx1/Aldh1a1 double KO model of  Parkinson's disease and whether the use of aldehyde trapping agents and N-acetylcysteine, separately and/or together will revert the effects, which could provide a new therapeutic approach as an intervention in Parkinson's disease.

The objectives in these studies are to examine the role of two genes, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1a1 (Aldh1a1) and glutamate peroxidase 1 (Gpx1), each of whose expression is notably reduced in the nigrostriatal pathwayin Parkinson's disease. She is examining the effects of the aldehyde trapping agent, hydralazine and, or the glutathione precursor, N-acetylcysteine in preventing or attenuating the progression of Parkinson's disease.

Selected Publications

Strong, JR. Miller, RA., Astle, CM., Baur, JA., de Cabo, R., Fernandez, E., Guo, W., Javors, M., Kirkland, JL., Nelson, JF., Sinclair, DA., Teter, B., Williams, D., Zaveri, N., Nadon NL., Harrison, DE. (2012) Evaluation of Resveratrol, Green Tea Extract, Curcumin, Oxaloacetic Acid, and Medium-Chain Triglyceride Oil on Life Span of Genetically Heterogeneous Mice. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci March

Miller, RA., Harrison, DE., Astle, CM., Baur, JA., Rodriguez Boyd, A., de Cabo, R., Fernandez, E., Flurkey, K., Javors, MA., Nelson, JF., Orihuela, CJ., Pletcher, S., Sharp, ZD., Sinclair, D., Starnes, JW., Wilkinson, JE., Nadon, NL. and Strong, JR. (2011) Rapamycin, but not resveratrol or simvastatin, extends life span of genetically heterogeneous mice. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 66A(2):191-201

Frahm, KA., Lumia, AR., Fernandez, E., Strong, JR., Roberts, JL. and McGinnis, MY. (2011) Effects of anabolic androgenic steroids and social subjugation on behavior and neurochemistry in male rats. Pharmacol Biochem Behav Jan:97(3):416-422

Harrison, DE., Strong, JR., Sharp, ZD., Nelson, JF., Astle, CM., Flurkey, K., Nadon, NL., Wilkinson, JE., Frenkel, K., Carter, CS., Pahor, M., Javors, MA., Fernandez, E. and Miller, RA. (2009) Rapamycin fed late in life extends lifespan in genetically heterogeneous mice. Nature Jul;460(7253):392-395


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The Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies

15355 Lambda Drive
San Antonio, Texas  78245
P: 210-562-6140 F: 210-562-6150

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