Kuro-o receives award

Dr. Makoto Kuro-o's work on a gene that causes mice to live longer has earned him an award from a foundation that funds work on the mechanics of aging.

The Ellison Medical Foundation, based in Bethesda, Md., has given Dr. Kuro-o a Senior Scholar Award, a four-year grant that provides a minimum of $600,000 to a maximum of $1 million, which covers both direct and indirect costs.

"His research fits absolutely with what the mission of the Ellison Foundation is," said Dr. Errol Friedberg, chairman of pathology at UT Southwestern. "He's an outstanding researcher."

Dr. Kuro-o, assistant professor of pathology, has been studying a gene known as Klotho in mutated mice. Mice without the gene age quickly and die prematurely, while mice that overexpress the gene live longer and in good health.

"It demonstrated that one can prolong lifespan," Dr. Friedberg said. "Not only does he have a mouse model in which the mice age prematurely, he's also shown that you can reverse that."