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Portrait of Nick van Bruggen, Ph.D.

Nick van Bruggen, Ph.D.

Fellow, Human Imaging

The aim of translational research is to identify therapeutic opportunities from our basic science discoveries that will slow the rate of aging and advance medicines to treat human disease.


Translational research seeks to gain an in-depth mechanistic and scientific understanding of the aging process through an integrated analysis of the complex physiological systems and their regulatory functions. The focus of Nick’s research group is to understand the pathophysiological consequences of the decline in physiological regulatory mechanisms and how this loss of adaptive homeostasis contributes to the functional decline that underpins the aging process. Identifying these key mechanisms at the cellular and tissue levels and applying these learnings to the analyses of the complex mammalian systems (including large human cohorts, see references below) is central to identifying potential targets and pathways suitable for therapeutic intervention. This approach requires the integration of innovative techniques from cellular studies to whole organisms and requires, for example, advanced biophysical techniques for non-invasive in vivo studies that can provide an in-depth physiological understanding at the level of the whole organism.

Nick brings more than 25 years of drug development experience from his time at Genentech, where he pioneered the use of Biomedical Imaging for preclinical and clinical drug discovery and development (from magnetic resonance to positron emission and optical imaging).

  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Nottingham
  • B.S. in Medicinal Chemistry, University College London