Staff Profiles

Jennifer Garrison, Ph.D.

Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Jennifer Garrison is an Assistant Professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and also holds appointments in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California. During her doctoral studies at UCSF with Jack Taunton, she discovered the molecular target of a natural product and elucidated a novel mechanism by which small molecules can regulate protein biogenesis. As a postdoctoral fellow in Cori Bargmann's lab at the Rockefeller University, she found that the nematode C. elegans produces a neuropeptide that is an evolutionary precursor of the mammalian peptides vasopressin and oxytocin, and mapped a neural circuit by which this molecule, nematocin, modulates mating behavior. In 2014, Garrison was named an Alfred P. Sloan Neuroscience Research Fellow and received a Glenn Foundation Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging. Her lab uses neural circuits in C. elegans and the mouse as model systems to uncover mechanisms that govern flexibility in the nervous system, to delineate the functional contribution of different classes of neurotransmitters within defined behavioral circuits, and to understand how age-related changes in the brain can influence whole organism healthspan and longevity.