Jasper Lab

Heinrich Jasper, PhD

Enhancing stem cell function to promote longevity.

Lab focus

Our bodies have amazing regenerative capacity, which is fueled by tissue-specific stem cells. This capacity declines with age, disrupting tissue maintenance. Many age-related diseases, including cancer, COPD, and sarcopenia, are likely consequence of stem cell dysfunction. Understanding how stem cells age and identifying intervention strategies to maintain stem cell function and regenerative capacity is thus likely to lead to new therapeutic approaches for maintaining our health as we age. The Jasper lab uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system to explore the basic biology of stem cell function and regeneration and to identify mechanisms of age-related stem cell dysfunction. Hypotheses emerging from this work are then tested in mammalian systems. We have identified signaling mechanisms that govern the response of stem cells to environmental stress, to nutrient conditions, and to the commensal microbiota as areas of intervention to preserve tissue health. We have also identified intervention strategies based on these findings that can extend lifespan and maintain stem cell populations in flies and mice.

Why it matters

Interventions that promote stem cell health are likely to provide new avenues to prolong human tissue health and to treat or prevent a wide range of age-related diseases. Coupling fundamental insight into stem cell biology to the exploration of such intervention strategies is likely to be a productive route for the identification of new and promising therapeutic approaches.
While biologically complex, our premise is based on a simple possibility: reinvigorating our tissues as we age may allow us to address many of the chronic diseases that afflict older adults.

Henri Jasper, PhD

The Jasper lab is pleased to acknowledge the generous support of the following major funders:

Dr. Jasper obtained a diploma in biochemistry in 1999 from the University of Tübingen in Germany, and he received his PhD in 2002 from the University of Heidelberg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, where he studied transcriptional regulation of developmental processes in Drosophila. He was appointed research assistant professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center in 2003 and became assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Rochester in 2005, where he was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2010. He moved to the Buck Institute in July 2012 and served as its chief scientific officer from 2014 to 2017. In 2017, he was appointed staff scientist at Genentech, Inc.

  • Cagsar Apaydin  Research Assistant and San Francisco States University Master's Student

    CApaydin@buckinstitute.org

  • Martin Borch-Jensen, PhD  Postdoctoral Research Fellow

    MBorchjensen@buckinstitute.org

  • Xiaoyu Cai  PhD Candidate , USC-Buck Biology of Aging Program

    XCai@buckinstitute.org

  • W. C.
    Wendy Craft  Research Associate II

    WCraft@buckinstitute.org

  • Suzy Jackson  Lab Manager

    SJackson@buckinstitute.org

  • Joshua Kramer  PhD Candidate, USC/Buck Biology of Aging Program

    JKramer@buckinstitute.org

  • L. M.
    Lindy McClelland, PhD  Postdoctoral Research Fellow

    LMcclelland@buckinstitute.org

  • Joana Neves, PhD  Staff Scientist

    JNeves@buckinstitute.org

  • Rebeccah Riley  Senior Research Associate

    RRiley@buckinstitute.org

  • Pedro Sousa-Victor, PhD  Glenn Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow

    PVictor@buckinstitute.org

Susan Jackson
Administrative Laboratory Manager

SJackson@buckinstitute.org
Phone: 415-209-2071
  • D. I.
    Dr. Imilce Rodriguez-Fernandez (2013–2017)  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Genentech
  • D. S.
    Dr. Samantha Haller (2015–2017)  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Genentech
  • D. D.
    Dr. Daniel Hu (2016–2017)  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Genentech
  • D. J.
    Dr. Jina Yun (2016–2017)  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Genentech
  • D. O.
    Dr. Otto Morris (2016–2017)  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Genentech
  • D. H.
    Dr. Helen Tauc (2016–2017)  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Genentech
  • D. L.
    Dr. Lifen Wang (2012–2017)  Senior Scientific Researcher, Genentech
  • D. H.
    Dr. Hansong Deng (2012–2017)  Assistant Professor, Tongji University, Shanghai, China
  • D. J.
    Dr. Jihyun Kim (2012–2016)  Senior Scientist, Finless Foods; Associate Editor at Bio-Protocol
  • D. H.
    Dr. Hongjie Li (2012–2016)  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stanford Neurosciences Institute
  • D. A.
    Dr. Arshad Ayyaz (2012–2015)  Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto
  • D. L.
    Dr. Linlin Guo (2012–2016)  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Genentech
  • D. S.
    Dr. Subir Kapuria (2012–2015)  Postdoctoral Fellow, Saban Research Institute, Los Angeles
  • D. J.
    Dr. Jason Karpac (2008–2014)  Assistant Professor, Texas A&M Health Science Center
Selected Publications
  • Neves, J., Zhu, J., Sousa-Victor, P., Konjikusic, M., Riley, R., Chew, S., Qi, Y., Jasper, H., Lamba, D. A. (2016 July 1). Immune modulation by MANF promotes tissue repair and regenerative success in the retina. Science, 353(6294), aaf3646.
  • Deng, H., Gerencser, A., Jasper, H. (2015). Signal integration by Ca2+ regulates intestinal stem cell activity. Nature, 528, 212–7.
  • Ayyaz, A., Li, H., Jasper, H. (2015). Hemocytes control stem cell activity in the Drosophila intestine. Nature Cell Biology, 17(6), 736–48.
  • Guo, L., Karpac, J., Tran, S. L., Jasper, H. (2014 Jan 16). PGRP-SC2 promotes gut immune homeostasis to limit commensal dysbiosis and extend lifespan. Cell, 156(1), 109–22.
  • Hochmuth, C., Biteau, B., Bohmann, D., Jasper, H. (2011). Redox regulation by Keap1 and Nrf2 controls intestinal stem cell proliferation in Drosophila. Cell Stem Cell, 8, 1–12.
  • Biteau, B., Hochmuth, C. E., Jasper, H. (2008). JNK activity in somatic stem cells causes loss of tissue homeostasis in the aging Drosophila. Cell Stem Cell, 3(4), 442–55.
  • Wang, M. C., Bohmann, D., Jasper, H. (2005). JNK extends lifespan and limits growth by antagonizing cellular and organism-wide responses to Insulin signaling. Cell, 121, 115–125.

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