University: We Make Lives Better

Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies

Angela Olson


Angela Olson

Mentor: Veronica Galvan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Cellular and Integrative Physiology
Hometown: West Bend, WI
Undergraduate University: Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Degrees Earned: B.S. in Biology

My Research Interests:

My goal is to unravel the mysteries behind the molecular mechanisms which drive the aging process in pursuit of finding interventions which may extend healthy human life. My current research focus is to better understand how aging affects the brain, starting with dysfunction at the blood-brain barrier (BBB), and how these age-related changes manifest disease, reduce health span, and truncate lifespan. The greatest known risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is aging, and yet, very little has been discovered as to the molecular mechanism related to aging which drives the pathogenesis of age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Through the modulation of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), which has been identified as key regulator of mammalian aging, it may be possible to elucidate what contributes to the core etiology of AD at the BBB.

Why I’m Excited to Study Aging:

With recent advances in modern medicine, people are living longer, healthier lives. While this has many benefits to society, the advancement of finding cures for diseases which are age-related are stagnant, leading to a dramatic increase in expenditure to keep the elderly mobile and healthy. Since aging is the leading cause of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, blindness in adults, arthritis, type II diabetes, and a plethora of other diseases, discovering the biological processes which underpins aging may allow us to directly modulate aging to increase healthy lifespan and health span. As the population continues to age at a record pace, it will become imperative to alter the aging process in order to decrease the potentially detrimental financial burden to society and to improve the quality of life in older individuals.

My Future Goals:

After finishing my doctoral degree at UTHSCSA in Biomedical Sciences in the Biology of Aging track, my plan is to go on to one or two postdoc positions and continue my research in aging and age-related diseases. My ultimate goal is to have my own lab and become an independent researcher focused on understanding the core etiology of aging and age-related diseases in order to find cures, prevent diseases, and extend healthy human life.

Awards and Honors:

  • 2016 Bennie W. Schreck Scholarship, UTHSCSA, San Antonio, TX
  • 2007-2009 Dean's List, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
  • 2007-2009 Washington County Campus Foundation Scholarship, West Bend, WI
  • 2007-2009 Kenneth G. Marsden Scholarship, West Bend, WI
  • 2007-2008 Texas Tech Phi Theta Kappa Alumnus Scholarship, Lubbock, TX
  • 2005-2007 High and Highest Honors, Universtiy of Wisconsin-Washington Co, West Bend, WI


Jordan B Jahrling, Naomi Sayre, Candice E Van Skike, Angela Olson, Veronica Galvan. (2017). Attenuation of  mTOR  with  rapamycin  restores  blood-brain  barrier integrity  and  function  in  aging disease model. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism. (in review). 


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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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