Basic Science Mentor
Professor & Chief
Department of Aging and Geriatrics
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
College of Medicine
Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, PhD, is a Professor in the Departments of Aging and Geriatrics and Anatomy and Cell Biology. He is Director of the Claude Pepper Center Career Development Core. Dr. Leeuwenburgh’s research interest is in the area of aging, muscle senescence and free radical biology. Several diseases and conditions including cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular atrophy and spinal cord necrosis after injury are thought to be associated with increased formations of reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species (free radicals) resulting in oxidative stress. Excessive oxidation by reactive oxygen species can damage tissues, including neurons, myocytes, and muscle cells. Dr. Leeuwenburgh is particularly interested in finding interventions that prevent the mitochondria from becoming dysfunctional and inducing cell death or apoptosis. Dr. Leeuwenburgh has received numerous awards and grants and his research has been published in more than 150 publications. His laboratory is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIA) and Dr. Leeuwenburgh co-mentors junior faculty Terese Chmielewski together with Dr. Vandenborne.