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Brian Thomas Sage, Ph.D.

Division of Biology & Medicine
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Box G-W
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912


Research Interests


I study the molecular mechanisms of aging using Drosophila as a model. I am particularly interested in two factors that have been shown to influence aging across a variety of species, dietary restriction and the insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling pathway. My goal is to further elucidate the genes and pathways that result in these factors affect on aging.


I have recently discovered falafel, a regulatory subunit of the protein phosphatase 4 complex, to be a positive regulator of organisimal aging. Additionally, I determined that falafel affects dilp (drosophila insulin like peptide) levels. Furthermore, with our collaborators in the Bodmer lab at the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, we have demonstrated that falafel affects cardiac aging. Finally, in joint efforts with the Jasper lab at the University of Rochester, we determined that falafel works together with other known longevity regulators: foxo, JNK, and dietary restriction. Building on these results, my current goal is to elucidate the poorly understood mechanism by which falafel regulates aging. My current work on falafel is elucidating a gene pivotal in the regulation of aging. This is a brand new area of aging research and proving to be very fruitful. However, my intention is to always probe deeper into the mechanisms of aging, wherever this research may lead me. In addition to falafel, there are many areas ripe for exploration in the aging field.


Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, September 2004

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Thesis: Factors Influencing Gene Silencing by Heterochromatin in trans

B.S. in Microbiology and Cell Science with a minor in Chemistry, May 1998

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL


Sage, B.T., Lou, X., Qian, L., Bodmer, R., Jasper, H., and Tatar M.
The regulation of lifespan by falafel.
Manuscript in preparation.

Sage, B.T., Wu, M.D., and Csink, A.K.
Interaction of developmentally regulated gene expression and silencing by heterochromatin in trans.
Manuscript in Review.

Sage, B.T., Jones, J.L., Holmes, A.L., Wu, M.D., and Csink, A.K. 2005.
Sequence elements in cis influence heterochromatic silencing in trans.
Molecular and Cellular Biology. 25: 377-388. Abstract or PDF

Sage, B.T. and Csink, A.K. 2003.
Heterochromatic Self-Association, a Determinant of Nuclear Organization,
Does Not Require Sequence Homology in Drosophila.
Genetics 165: 1183-1193. Abstract or PDF

Csink, A.K., Bounoutas, A., Griffith, M.L., Sabl, J.F., and Sage, B.T. 2002.
Differential Gene Silencing by trans-heterochromatin in Drosophila melanogaster.
Genetics 160: 257-269. Abstract or PDF