Martin Brand, PhD, Professor
Understanding how the energy metabolism of cells affects aging and disease
Martin Brand is an authority on mitochondria, the energy-converting unit of cells and their influence on aging and disease. After receiving his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Bristol in the UK, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, a faculty member at the University of Cambridge and then a group leader at the Medical Research Council. At Cambridge, he began collaborative studies with Buck faculty and joined the Buck Institute in 2008.
The Brand Lab is studying mitochondria, which extract energy from nutrients and distribute it to drive the machinery of life, in a process that also releases free radicals. Believed to be one of the primary actors in the aging process, free radicals are also implicated in numerous age-related diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, and many neurological disorders. Dr. Brand’s lab envisions treatments that would minimize the release of free radicals without inhibiting mitochondrial energy metabolism. His lab is collaborating with other Buck labs to evaluate the role of the mitochondria in aging and in such diseases of aging as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. This research has already opened up new potential drug targets for the control or treatment of these conditions.
“We aim to cut through the guesswork and establish how free radicals that impact aging and disease are generated, and how they can be decreased.’’
- Martin Brand, PhD