Basic Biology of Aging at the University of Washington

Functional Assessments Core


This Core provides a range of functional assays that are highly relevant to studies of aging and healthspan including Cellular Function; Animal Physiology and Function; and Pathology.


Cellular Function:
We provide subsidized access to flow cytometry, cell sorting, confocal image cytometry and laser capture microdissection instrumentation and techniques to allow investigators to assess cellular function and physiology in studies of the basic biology of aging and to purify subsets of cells so that their molecular characterization (including functional genomics) can be more accurately performed. These services include:

  • Multiparameter cytometric assays to monitor physiological changes during aging, cell injury, apoptosis and necrosis.
  • Cytometric assay of cell cycle and proliferative survival
  • Quantitation of Gene Activity using a range of fluorescent protein reporters
  • Measuring changes in immune cell subsets with age.
  • Assays of senescence, DNA damage and DNA repair.
  • Assessment of telomere length and attrition by confocal microscopy, flow cytometry and qPCR. The latter method has proven to be widely applicable; it has high reproducibility (CV <7%), made possible in part by use of a Corbett Research Rotogene thermocycler.

Please contact Peter Rabinovitch for further information.

Animal Physiology and Function:
We provide to facilities and expertise to conduct a comprehensive range of tests to help Center investigators evaluate animal health and healthspan by measuring the functional status of various organ and physiological systems that are important in the health/physiological performance of an animal and that are shown to change with age in mice and humans. These include:

  • Ultrasound scanning
  • Ultrasound echocardiography.
  • Quantitative magnetic resonance (QMR) Body composition measurement
  • Rotarod performance
  • Grip strength
  • Physical activity
  • Running wheel
  • Treadmill
  • Barnes water tread maze
  • Passive avoidance
  • Fear conditioning
  • Indirect calorimetry

Please contact Warren Ladiges for further information

We provide subsidized access to expertise for comprehensive pathological analyses of mice used in studies of the biology of aging, including genetic, dietary or pharmacologic interventions. These data provide (a) morphological diagnoses of all tissues (b) grades for neoplastic and non-neoplastic lesions (c) summary measures of disease burden including the prevalence and severity of both neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases, total disease burden, comorbidities; (d) the possible effect of pathological lesions on overall survival and healthspan; and (e) the probable cause or causes of death.

Please contact Piper Treuting for further information 


Peter Rabinovitch, Director, provides expertise on cellular assays, including flow and imaging cytometry.

Warren Ladiges is a DVM with extensive experience in use of murine models and functional studies of mice in aging research.

Piper Treuting provides expert pathology assessment in murine models.