Using Drosophila as a model, Tower lab is undertaking a multi-pronged and genome-wide analysis of aging and DNA replication. We are currently studying the regulation of hsp gene expression during aging, the role of superoxide dismutase in regulating life span, genome-wide analysis of gene expression in response to aging and stress, and the regulation of life span and somatic stem cell aging by p53. We have developed novel P element mutagenesis techniques to identify genes that regulate Drosophila life span, and have developed video-tracking methods that have revealed predictive biomarkers of life span.

Biographical Sketch: John Tower received his PhD in 1988 from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology Training Program, where he worked under the direction of Dr. Barbara Sollner-Webb on the topic of rDNA transcriptional regulation. He subsequently undertook postdoctoral training with Dr. Allan C. Spradling, at the Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, in Baltimore, where he began ongoing studies on Drosophila P element mutagenesis and chorion gene amplification. In 1991 he joined the faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, in what is now the Molecular and Computational Biology Program. Dr. Tower has been investigating the molecular genetics of aging in Drosophila since 1989, with a particular emphasis on transgenic technologies, hsps, superoxide dismutase and p53.