Corinna N. Ross, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Office (210) 784-2227
I have worked with marmosets, small New World primates since 1995. I received my PhD from the University of Nebraska in 2005 where I had examined the presence and distribution of naturally occurring chimerism between fraternal twins. I stayed for a year of postdoctoral work to continue examining the impact of chimerism on infant care. The focus of my research for the last few years has been to develop small nonhuman primate models for aging and healthspan studies. My research has consisted of two major components: (1) pre-and postnatal factors determining the development of obesity and the pathology that follows, including insulin resistance, inflammation and cardiovascular dysfunction (2) the development of marmosets as a model of frailty and functional decline.
Marmosets are small New World primates that offer many advantages over current rodent and nonhuman primate models for translational biomedical research. As primates they share a closer evolutionary history with humans than do rodents. Marmosets have the shortest average lifespan and fastest reproduction of any anthropoid primate. Additionally, a long history of studies of marmoset hormonal development, reproduction, cooperative breeding behavior, and use as a biomedical model has resulted in a large base of average values for infant growth, body weight, and hematological measures.
The ability to examine molecular, hormonal, and inflammatory pathways in concert with whole organism phenotyping makes the marmoset models for studies of obesity and frailty unique. Ultimately I envision these two lines of research coalescing thru the examination of epigenetic, genotypic, and phenotypic variation to determine the influence of developmental programming. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the propensity for the development of obesity and frailty will provide critical knowledge needed to prevent and treat these two conditions.
Primate models of aging, obesity and frailty. Developmental programming.