Department of Biology
B.S., San Diego State University
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Biology, Aging, T-Cell Changes
Professor Hector Valenzuela's current research involves the study age-related changes in T cell differentiation and function. There are many reports that have documented T cells changes in the elderly. However, it still remains unclear why these cellular changes occur and how they influence the many functions of the immune response. During his graduate training, his laboratory established a cell system that accurately mimics T cell aging in vitro. This model system will be used to explore the age-related changes that affect T cells. Valenzuela's overall goals can be divided into two parts: 1) to determine the mechanism for memory T cells senescence and 2) to study the effect that memory T cell exhaustion has on the immune system.