Holly Brown-Borg

Holly Brown-Borg is an American biologist and biogerontologist best known for her research on the regulation of lifespan by growth hormone. She is the Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology, Physiology & Therapeutics at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. rown-Borg attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an undergraduate, receiving a B.S. in Agriculture and an M.S. in Animal Science. She performed her Ph.D. research at North Carolina State University, followed by post-doctoral research at the USDA Meat Animal Research Center and Southern Illinois University.

Brown-Borg joined the faculty of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology & Therapeutics as an Assistant Professor in 1995 and was tenured as Associate Professor in 2002. In 2010, Brown-Borg was selected as a Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor, an endowed professorship established by Chester Fritz. She has received several awards for her work, including an Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar Award and the Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging. Her contributions to the field of the biology of aging were recognized in 2013 by receipt of the Denham Harman Lifetime Achievement Research Award from the American Aging Association, the society's highest honor.

Brown-Borg is a leader in the field of aging. In 2010 served as president of the American Aging Association; she also has served as Chair of Biological Sciences section of Gerontological Society of America. Her contribution to aging and these societies have been recognized by her election as a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America in 2006 and a Fellow of the American Aging Association in 2016. In postdoctoral research completed by Brown-Borg in Andrzej Bartke's laboratory, Brown-Borg demonstrated that the Ames Dwarf mouse had a significant increase in lifespan. Brown-Borg's work has also linked growth hormone signaling to oxidative stress and methionine metabolism, and highlighted the role of growth hormone in the pro-longevity effects of methionine restriction.

His research interests are primarily determining the pathways and mechanisms that hormones utilize which may suggest potential therapeutic interventions that could lead to strategies to delay aging, treat aging-related disorders and extend life span in humans. The somatotropic axis plays a major role in aging and longevity. Mice with hereditary dwarfism (Ames dwarf, df/df) and growth hormone (GH) deficiency exhibit delayed aging, living 49-68% longer (males and females, respectively) than normal siblings and differences in their antioxidant defense capacity, mitochondrial function, metabolism, stress resistance and DNA methylation patterns. In contrast, mice with high plasma GH concentrations live half as long as normal, wild type siblings and exhibit depressed antioxidative defense capacity and reduced stress resistance. The overall hypothesis is that reduced somatotropic signaling confers a biologic advantage (increased healthspan and delayed aging) to mammals with better enzymatic scavenging of toxic metabolic byproducts, less mitochondrial membrane leakage, and enhanced stress resistance. Their current studies are designed to further understand the relationship between cellular metabolism, hormones, mitochondrial activities and aging in various mouse strains of extended and shortened life spans. The epigenetic signature of long-living mice also differs from normal animals in terms of DNA methylation patterns and the underlying mechanisms that promote methylation. Her lab is investigating the interplay between hormone levels, methylation and gene expression in terms of aging and age-related disease.