Recent News

September 25th, 2020: Paper published in Aging Medicine.

The Pence lab published a paper in Aging Medicine entitled "Growth differentiation factor-15 is associated with age-related monocyte dysfunction". The paper reports results of a secondary analysis relating blood levels of the cytokine GDF-15 with metrics of monocyte cellular dysfunction reported in several of our previous papers. The manuscript is published open access and is available on the journal website.


August 5th, 2020: Pence and Cory awarded CORNET grant.

Dr. Pence and Dr. Ted Cory (University of Tennessee Health Science Center) will serve as co-Principal Investigators on a Collaborative Research Network (CORNET) award to study mechanisms underlying the increased severity of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 in older adults. The $50,000 grant is one of 9 funded by UTHSC with the University of Memphis, with at least one scientist from each institution serving as co-PI on each grant. For more information, see the university press release.


July 1st, 2020: Papers published in Immunometabolism.

The lab had two papers published back-to-back in the virtual special issue on "Immunometabolism and Aging" in the journal Immunometabolism. Dr. Pence authored a commentary on a recent paper in Aging Cell by Saare et al. Graduate student John Yarbro also wrote a review article on macrophage immunometabolism and aging, with co-authors Drs. Emmons and Pence. Both papers are available open access.


June 17th, 2020: Dr. Pence presents at virtual American Aging Association meeting.

Dr. Pence presented a virtual poster titled "Immunometabolic activation of monocytes by SARS-CoV-2 spike protein suggests potential therapeutic role of geroprotector drugs". The research was presented at the virtual meeting of the American Aging Association, held in lieu of the annual meeting due to the COVID-19 crisis.

June 15th, 2020: Paper accepted at GeroScience.

Dr. Pence published a review article in the prestigious journal GeroScience, entitled "Severe COVID-19 and aging: Are monocytes the key?" The paper surveys emerging links between monocytes and macrophages and the cytokine storm characteristic of severe COVID-19. The paper is available open-access at the journal website.

March 10th, 2020: Dr. Pence appointed Associate Editor for Frontiers journals.

Dr. Pence was appointed an Associate Editor for the journals Frontiers in Immunology and Frontiers in Nutrition. He will serve on the board for the Nutritional Immunology section for both journals. He previously served as a Review Editor for both journals from 2017-2020.

December 30th, 2019: Nieman and Pence publish review article.

Dr. David Nieman (Appalachian State University/NCRC) and Dr. Pence published a perspective/review article titled "Exercise Immunology: Future Directions" in the Journal of Sport and Health Science. The paper covers emerging areas including immunometabolism, integrated -omics studies, and microbiome research that are of accelerating interest in the field. The paper is available open-access at the journal website.


November 13th, 2019: Pence and Yarbro present at GSA annual conference.

Dr. Pence and his graduate student, Johnathan Yarbro, both presented posters at the annual conference of the Gerontological Society of America, held in Austin, Texas. Abstracts from the conference are available in a supplementary issue of the society's journal Innovation in Aging.

October 2nd, 2019: Postdoctoral fellow joins the Pence lab.

Russell Emmons, PhD joined the Pence laboratory this month. Dr. Emmons received his PhD from the University of Illinois and previously trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University. He is funded by a university-wide postdoctoral fellow recruitment program and will lead research efforts stemming from our recent American Heart Association-awarded grant.


September 2nd, 2019: Paper accepted at Mechanisms of Ageing and Development.

Our paper titled "Classical Monocytes from Older Adults Maintain Capacity for Metabolic Compensation During Glucose Deprivation and Lipopolysaccharide Stimulation" was accepted for publication in Mechanisms of Ageing and Development. The manuscript was the result of graduate student John Yarbro's thesis project and was published open access. The paper appears in the October issue and is available at the journal website.

August 26th, 2019: M.S. student joins the Pence lab.

New Master's student Christopher Branner joined the Pence laboratory. He is a student in the clinical nutrition program at the University of Memphis and will lead research activities examining plant-derived polyphenols and their effects on immune cell function.


July 17th, 2019: Dr. Pence receives 3-year grant from American Heart Association

Dr. Pence received a Transformational Project Award from the American Heart Association. The 3-year, $300,000 grant will allow Dr. Pence to examine how the regulation of mitochondrial function in macrophages can be used to treat atherosclerosis, a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Co-investigators and consultants on the award include Dr. Liza Makowski (University of Tennessee Health Science Center), Dr. Daniel Raftery (University of Washington), Dr. Robert Read (University of Memphis), and Dr. Thomas Sutter (University of Memphis).

June 24th, 2019: Dr. Pence receives Nathan Shock Center pilot grant

Dr. Pence received a $10,000 pilot grant from the Nathan Shock Center at the University of Washington. The $10,000 grant will allow Dr. Pence to examine metabolic responses during inflammation in monocytes, a key cell in the innate immune system. The project will examine the role of GDF-15, a circulating protein drastically increased during aging, on suppressing immune responses and altering inflammation. The 1-year award will begin July 1st.

June 22nd, 2019: Dr. Pence participates in NIA training course

Dr. Pence was selected to attend the prestigious NIA summer training course on experimental aging research, held June 22nd - 27th at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City. Twenty applicants are selected yearly from junior faculty and senior postdoctoral fellows and receive mentoring and education from senior faculty in geroscience research.

June 1st, 2019: Dr. Pence presents at American Aging Association meeting

Dr. Pence presented a poster entitled "GDF-15 is correlated with monocyte immunosenescence markers" at the Annual Meeting of the American Aging Association in Burlingame, CA.

April 25th, 2019: Dr. Pence receives grant from FedEx Institute of Technology

Dr. Pence received a $10,000 grant from the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis. The project runs from May 1st, 2019 through December 31st, 2020 and will allow the lab to investigate the role of a plant-derived polyphenol on modulating monocyte immunometabolism.

April 24th, 2019: Pence and Yarbro present at OMRF Geroscience Symposium

Dr. Pence and his graduate student, Johnathan Yarbro, both presented posters at the Geroscience Symposium at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City. The symposium was on the topic of "The Role of Inflammation in Aging and Age-Associated Diseases" and featured talks from preeminent scientists from across North America.

March 28th, 2019: Paper accepted at Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Dr. Pence was a co-author on a paper entitled "Firefighting induces acute inflammatory responses that are not relieved by aspirin in older firefighters". The manuscript by Smith et al. will be published in an issue later this year.

February 25th, 2019: Paper accepted at Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise

Dr. Pence was a co-author on a paper entitled "Effects of Exercise on Stress-Induced Attenuation of Vaccination Responses in Mice". The manuscript by Sun et al. will be published in an upcoming issue.


January 19th, 2019: Paper accepted at Immunity & Ageing

Our paper titled "Classical Monocytes Maintain Ex Vivo Glycolytic Metabolism and Early but not Later Inflammatory Responses in Older Adults" was accepted for publication in Immunity & Ageing. The manuscript is published open access and is freely available at the journal website.

© 2019-2020 by Brandt Pence.

  • LinkedIn Clean Grey
  • Research Gate
  • Academia.Edu