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Dr. Bruce Troen is professor of medicine, research scientist at the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, and director of the molecular gerontology program at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Florida. He has also served on multiple committees at the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center and at UM, and is presently a member of the VA research and development committee and the UM department of medicine peer review committee. At the state level, he is president of Scientific Advisory Board of the Florida branch of the American Federation for Aging Research. At the national level, Dr. Troen has several ongoing responsibilities. He is an associate editor and bioscience section editor for the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. He also serves as a regular member of the post-doctoral review committee for the American Federation for Aging Research. 

Dr. Troen received his MD from Harvard Medical School and completed a residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. He went on to complete a fellowship in molecular biology at the Lab of Molecular Biology, at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and an additional fellowship in geriatric medicine in the department of medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. 

Dr. Troen has several major foci of research, including osteoporosis, longevity/aging mechanisms, and frailty, all of which result in great morbidity in the elderly. He is investigating the molecular basis of bone resorption, which leads to decreased bone mineral density and subsequent fractures and includes studying the factors that govern both the formation and differentiation of osteoclasts and the regulation of cathepsin K expression. His studies are providing insight into molecular genetic events in the osteoclast that underlie the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. Eventually this information will facilitate the development of strategies to alter cathepsin expression and thereby modulate bone resorption and the destructive potential of the osteoclast. Given his perspective as both a geriatrician and molecular biologist, Dr. Troen is also investigating the broader mechanisms that underlie the development of age-related syndromes/diseases and their impact upon the quality of life and longevity.

Specifically, he is examining the role of sirtuin activating compounds (STACs, e.g. - resveratrol and resveratrol mimetics) and vitamin D upon both osteoblast and osteoclast formation and gene expression using in vitro culture systems and in vivo murine models. His laboratory is also studying mesenchymal stem cell proliferation and differentiation in mature, ovariectomized, and aged mice (both wild-type and senescence accelerated) treated with STACs. Dr. Troen's research seeks to determine whether STACs alone or in combination with vitamin D: 1) alter/improve mitochondrial biogenesis and function in healthy animals, 2) alter the self-renewal as well as the commitment and/or differentiation of marrow mesenchymal stem cells, 3) maintain the stem cell pool during aging, thus contributing to the mechanisms leading to increased lifespan (e.g. - enhanced stem cell-mediated tissue repair), 4) alter body composition (e.g. - increase bone mineral density, decrease bone marrow fat, and/or decrease visceral adiposity, and 5) enhance metabolism, muscle performance, and mobility in elderly animals. In order to elucidate more precisely and completely the role and impact of sirtuin activation, his laboratory is developing animal models with both age and tissue/cell specific over expression of sirtuins.

Dr. Troen is also collaborating to study the impact of vitamin D and resveratrol supplementation in the elderly in clinical trials that assess physical performance, body composition and biomarkers of bone turnover, insulin sensitivity, and inflammation. Given the deleterious impacts of both osteoporosis and the epidemic of obesity/metabolic syndrome/diabetes, Dr. Troen's research provides exciting research opportunities that are highly clinical relevant. His laboratory employs a broad range of techniques including in situ and real time quantitative RT-PCR, northern and western analyses, transfection analyses with promoter-reporter gene plasmids, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays, electromobility shift assays (EMSA's), knockdown of genes via transduction of siRNA and shRNA, bone pit resorption assays, analysis of stem cell differentiation and function, and construction and utilization of transgenic mice. These state-of-the-art molecular techniques in the context of cell culture, animal and human models of aging and disease will permit trainees to develop successful research careers and to bridge the gap between the bench-top and the bedside.

 

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