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Hiroshi Saito

Q&A with Hiroshi Saito, PhD, FGSA, from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.

saitoMeet Hiroshi.

"Although you usually have to concentrate on your own research subjects, take this opportunity at GSA Conference to learn something new and different from what you are doing, which would help you years later."

Q: How long have you been a GSA member and what type of involvement do you have?
A: I have been a GSA member for 20 years since 1999. I worked for the Fellowship Committee (2006-2012) and Publication Committee (2012-2015).

Q: How has membership in GSA benefited you?
A: I have made a lot of good friends and collaborators through GSA.

Q: How did you get interested in the field of aging?
A: Initially, about 30 years ago, I got interested in a limited replicative lifespan of human fibroblast cells in vitro. Eventually I became more interested in aging of humans and animals, particularly their age-dependent vulnerability to certain diseases.

Q: How do you feel GSA serves the field of gerontology and aging research?
A: GSA is a center of gerontology research. GSA can be highly educational and informative, but it is up to each individual how to benefit by joining GSA.

Q: What are your key responsibilities at your job?
A: My key responsibilities at my job are to maintain/enhance our active research projects and to assist younger researchers for their successful careers.

Q: Do you have any tips for emerging gerontologists?
A: Although you usually have to concentrate on your own research subjects, take this opportunity at GSA Conference to learn something new and different from what you are doing, which would help you years later.

Q: Tell us a little about your most recent activities/accomplishments.
A: I have been investigating to understand why tolerance to physiological stress, such as infection or injury, reduces in old age. In addition, my lab has been studying on chronic dysfunction among aged individual after severe stress such as sepsis. My recent most rewarding experience is that my former graduate student and current collaborator became an independent investigator and received her first NIH R01 grant.

Q: Have you had an important mentor in your career? If so, how did s/he make a difference?
A: As all of my mentors are important for my career, I shouldn’t pick one. My graduate school mentor Dr. Michio Oishi in University of Tokyo encouraged me to change my research direction to aging.
My post-doc mentor Dr. Robb Moses at Baylor College of Medicine helped my happy soft-landing on US. Dr. Samuel Goldstein at University of Arkansas introduced molecular biological approach to cellular aging study.
Dr. John Papaconstantinou at University of Texas medical Branch provided me the first opportunity to work on mice to study aging. Dr. B. Mark Evers guided me to become an independent investigator.

Want to ask Hiroshi a question? Contact him on GSA Connect!

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