David Walker

email:  davidwalker@ucla.edu

phone:  310-825-7179

office:  2018 Terasaki Life Sciences Building

research interests:  Molecular Biology of Aging

Research Interests

The mechanisms that cause the deterioration of cellular functions during the aging process remain poorly understood. Our lab is using the powerful genetics of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to better understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of aging. Drosophila has proven to be an invaluable resource for understanding many molecular and cellular mechanisms of human disease, powered by versatile gene discovery methods and a biology that has much in common with that of humans. The long-term aim of this research is to provide novel therapeutic targets to counteract age-related human diseases.

Selected Publications

Aparicio, R., Rana, A., Walker, D.W., "Upregulation of the Autophagy Adaptor p62/SQSTM1 Prolongs Health and Lifespan in Middle-Aged Drosophila", Cell Reports, 28 : 1029-1040 (2019) .

Schinaman, J.S., Rana, A., Ja, W.W., Clark, R.I., & Walker, D.W., "Rapamycin modulates tissue aging and lifespan independently of the gut microbiota in Drosophila", Scientific Reports, 9 (1): 7824- (2019) .

Salazar A.M., Resnik-Docampo M., Ulgherait, M., Clark R.I., Shirasu-Hiza M., Jones, D.L., Walker, D.W., "Intestinal Snakeskin Limits Microbial Dysbiosis during Aging and Promotes Longevity", iScience, 9 : 229-243 (2018) .

Hansen M., Rubinsztein, D.C., Walker, D.W., "Autophagy as a promoter of longevity: insights from model organisms", Nature Rev Mol Cell Biol, 19 (9): 579-593 (2018) .

Rana A, Oliveira MP, Khamoui AV, Aparicio R, Rera M, Rossiter HB, Walker DW, " Promoting Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission in midlife prolongs healthy lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster", Nature Communications, 8 (1): 448- (2017) .

Resnik-Docampo M, Koehler CL, Clark RI, Schinaman JM, Sauer V, Wong DM, Lewis S, D'Alterio C, Walker DW, Jones DL, "Tricellular junctions regulate intestinal stem cell behaviour to maintain homeostasis", Nature Cell Biology, 19 (1): 52-59 (2017) .

Clark RI, Salazar A, Yamada R, Fitz-Gibbon S, Morselli M, Alcaraz J, Rana A, Rera M, Pellegrini M, Ja WW, Walker DW., "Distinct Shifts in Microbiota Composition during Drosophila Aging Impair Intestinal Function and Drive Mortality", Cell Reports, 12 (10): 1656-1667 (2015) .

Ulgherait M., Rana A., Rera M., Graniel J., Walker D.W., "AMPK Modulates Tissue and Organismal Aging in a Non-Cell-Autonomous Manner", Cell Reports, 8 (6): 1767-1780 (2014) .

Rana A, Rera M, Walker D.W., "Parkin overexpression during aging reduces proteotoxicity, alters mitochondrial dynamics, and extends lifespan", Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 110 : 8638-8643 (2013) .

Rera, M, Clark, R.I., Walker D.W., "Intestinal barrier dysfunction links metabolic and inflammatory markers of aging to death in Drosophila", Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 109 (52): 21528-21533 (2012) .