Gender differences in telomere length across the life course
Monday, 04/11/2016. ARCHIVED EVENT
Location: 6050 ISR Thompson St
Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a biomarker of cell aging that has been hypothesized to contribute to women's greater longevity. Belinda Needham will discuss the telomere hypothesis of aging, the current knowledge on sex/gender differences in LTL, the hypothesized mechanisms underlying these differences, and the results of her recent work examining sex/gender differences in LTL among newborns, children, adolescents, and older adults. She will conclude with a discussion of next steps and advantages of LTL in life course studies of sex/gender differences in health.
Belinda Needham is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan. She received her doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 and was a Health and Society Scholar at the University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley, from 2006-2008. Her research focuses on health disparities. In general, members of socially disadvantaged groups have worse mental and physical health than those who have higher social status. Her work seeks to identify, explain, and reduce gender, socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and sexual orientation health disparities. Her primary research goals are: (1) To use novel approaches to assess health disparities across the life course, (2) To identify the social structural, psychological, behavioral, and physiological mechanisms by which social disadvantage leads to health disparities, and (3) To develop and test interventions to reduce the effect of social disadvantage on morbidity and mortality.