Text Image: UM Medical School: Graduate Program in Immunology
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Raymond L. Yung, M.B., Ch.B.
Professor and Chief,
Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine
Department of Internal Medicine
Director, Institute of Gerontology
Co-Director, Geriatrics Center


Current Research Activity

My research focus is in immunosenescence and the effects of inflammation in aging. There are 3 ongoing research projects:

1. The effects of early life micronutrients on chronic inflammatory disease development. This NIH/NIA-sponsored program examines how prenatal micronutrient alters the susceptibility to chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disease development in the F1 generation through the epigenetic system. The first part of this work has just been accepted for publication in the Journal of Nutrition, with Colin as the lead/first author. We are currently examining the mechanisms and effect of the pre-natal diet on cardiovascular disease, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis development.

2. Age-related obesity and ‘inflamm-aging’. Our earlier work has defined key T cell chemokine changes in murine and human aging, as a mechanism explaining the observation that normal aging is associated with low grade chronic inflammation. In our most recent publication (Nov 2011, J Immunol), in collaboration with Carey Lumeng from the Department of Pediatrics, we showed that age-related adipose tissue macrophages may be a source of inflammation in aging. We also reported similarities and differences between diet- and age-related adipose tissue T cells and macrophages.

3. Dendritic cell function in aging. In the project, we have been examining the effects of aging on the efficacy of dendritic cell cancer immunotherapy. We showed that dendritic cells from aged mice are less competent as a therapeutic agent in melanoma immunotherapy. Furthermore, we are exploring the underlying molecular mechanisms for age-associated changes in the innate immune system.

Representative Publications

1. Grolleau-Julius A, Harning E, Abernathy L, Yung RL. Impaired dendritic cell function in aging leads to defective antitumor immunity. Cancer Research 68:6341-6349, 2008.

2. Carey N. Lumeng, Jianhua Liu, Lynn Geletka, Colin Delaney, Jennifer DelProposto, Anjali Desai, Kelsie Oatmen, Gabriel Martinez-Santibanez,  Annabelle Julius, Sanjay Garg,
Raymond L. Yung. Aging is associated with an increase in T cells and inflammatory macrophages in visceral adipose tissue. Journal of Immunology 187:12:6208-6216, 2011.

3. Delaney C, Hoeltzel M, Warner R, Johnson K,
Yung R. Maternal micronutrient supplementation suppresses T cell chemokine receptor expression and function in F1 mice. Journal of Nutrition (in press 2012).



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