Bucks Institute on Aging, CA.
Dr. Martin Brand was trained in Biochemistry in the UK at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (B.Sc.) and the University of Bristol (Ph.D.), followed by a postdoctoral position at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD) with Professor Albert Lehninger. He was a faculty member of the Biochemistry Department at the University of Cambridge (UK) and a Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge, then a Group Leader at the Medical Research Council in Cambridge. He moved his laboratory to the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato, CA, in 2008.
Dr. Brand’s scientific research focuses on cellular energy transformations, particularly the balance between allocation of energy for growth, repair and fat storage on the one hand, and inefficiencies to prevent damaging free radical production and disease on the other. He has made major contributions to understanding the mechanisms of energy transformation, and in understanding the mechanisms of energetic inefficiency and free radical production, and their roles in evolution, physiology, and the diseases of aging.
Dr. Brand has published over 330 scientific papers, which have been cited more than 30,000 times by other scientists. His research has been recognized by awards of the Keilin Medal of the Biochemical Society and a senior scholarship from the Ellison Medical Foundation, and by his election as a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK). He serves on the editorial board of several scientific journals (Aging Cell, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, Cell Metabolism, Physiological and Biochemical Zoology) and the scientific advisory boards of Mitochon Pharmaceuticals and Ogenx Therapeutics.
Current Research Projects
Dr. Brand currently works on regulation of cellular energy metabolism and the mitochondrial production of free radicals (reactive oxygen species; ROS). To investigate the regulation of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation within cells, his laboratory has established improved plate-based assays of oxygen consumption rate and extracellular acidification rate, and fully quantitative fluorescence microscopy measurements of plasma membrane and mitochondrial membrane potential. They have used these technologies to understand mitochondrial function in cells and tissues and the relationships between rate of oxidative phosphorylation, coupling efficiency and radical production in aging and in a range of age-related pathologies. Dr. Brand’s laboratory has established the specific sites and regulation of free radical generation in the electron transport chain in mitochondria and cells using novel endogenous reporters, and screened chemical libraries to discover novel suppressors of ROS formation that do not inhibit energy metabolism; these compounds hold great promise as therapeutics against previously unexplored targets to slow the onset of aging and its diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sarcopenia, osteoporosis and dementia.