• Dr. Maria De Luca obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Calabria (Italy) working on the study of human genetic variation using high variable DNA markers. During that time she was awarded a European Union Mobility Program fellowship to work in the laboratory of Dr. Julia Bodmer at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London. The goal of the project was to develop a DNA method to discriminate among HLA alleles and apply it to the study of the genetic history of European populations. Dr. De Luca continued her academic training as a postdoctoral fellow at the Italian National Center on Aging working on the identification of genes involved in human longevity by a population genetic approach. She later joined the laboratory of Dr. Trudy Mackay at North Carolina State University where she expanded her research experience in the genetics and analysis of quantitative traits using D. melanogaster as model organism. Dr. De Luca joined UAB in November 2002 initially as a research-track fellow in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health and has held her current position in the Department of Nutrition Sciences since July 2005.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2022 Serum syndecan-4 correlates with blood pressure and cardiovascular parameters but not proinflammatory markers in healthy older womenAging Clinical and Experimental Research.  34:2541-2545. 2022
    2021 Towards an understanding of the mechanoreciprocity process in adipocytes and its perturbation with agingMechanisms of Ageing and Development.  197. 2021
    2021 The angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor lisinopril mitigates memory and motor deficits in a drosophila model of alzheimer’s diseasePathophysiology.  28:307-319. 2021
    2021 Circulating levels of the heparan sulfate proteoglycan syndecan-4 positively associate with blood pressure in healthy premenopausal womenBiomolecules.  11:1-12. 2021
    2021 Extra virgin olive oil phenols vasodilate rat mesenteric resistance artery via phospholipase c (Plc)-calcium microdomains-potassium channels (bkca) signalsBiomolecules.  11:1-12. 2021
    2020 Small extracellular vesicles deliver miR-21 and miR-217 as pro-senescence effectors to endothelial cellsJournal of Extracellular Vesicles.  9. 2020
    2019 Erythropoietin (EPO) haplotype associated with all-cause mortality in a cohort of Italian patients with Type-2 DiabetesScientific Reports.  9. 2019
    2019 Genetic Deletion of Syndecan-4 Alters Body Composition, Metabolic Phenotypes, and the Function of Metabolic Tissues in Female Mice Fed A High-Fat DietNutrients.  11:2810-2810. 2019
    2019 Circulating miR-146a in healthy aging and type 2 diabetes: Age- and gender-specific trajectoriesMechanisms of Ageing and Development.  180:1-10. 2019
    2019 Diagnostic performance of new and classic CSF biomarkers in age-related dementiasAging.  11:2420-2429. 2019
    2019 The role of the cell-matrix interface in aging and its interaction with the renin-angiotensin system in the aged vasculatureMechanisms of Ageing and Development.  177:66-73. 2019
    2018 Age-and genotype-specific effects of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor lisinopril on mitochondrial and metabolic parameters in drosophila melanogasterInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences.  19. 2018
    2018 Genes associated with Type 2 Diabetes and vascular complicationsAging.  10:178-196. 2018
    2017 Reduction of Syndecan Transcript Levels in the Insulin-Producing Cells Affects Glucose Homeostasis in Adult Drosophila melanogasterDNA and Cell Biology.  36:959-965. 2017
    2016 Knockdown expression of Syndecan in the fat body impacts nutrient metabolism and the organismal response to environmental stresses in Drosophila melanogasterBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.  477:103-108. 2016
    2016 Association of the Laminin, Alpha 5 (LAMA5) rs4925386 with height and longevity in an elderly population from Southern ItalyMechanisms of Ageing and Development.  155:55-59. 2016
    2015 Calcineurin Links Mitochondrial Elongation with Energy MetabolismCell Metabolism.  22:838-850. 2015
    2015 Metabolism and successful aging: Polymorphic variation of syndecan-4 (SDC4) gene associate with longevity and lipid profile in healthy elderly Italian subjectsMechanisms of Ageing and Development.  150:27-33. 2015
    2014 Aging and longevity between genetic background and lifestyle interventionBioMed Research International.  2014. 2014
    2014 Increased production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and reduced adult life span in an insecticide-resistant strain of Anopheles gambiae 2014
    2013 Defense traits of larval drosophila melanogaster exhibit genetically based trade-offs against different species of parasitoidsEvolution.  67:749-760. 2013
    2012 Common variants in the LAMA5 gene associate with fasting plasma glucose and serum triglyceride levels in a cohort of pre- and early pubertal children.Journal of Pediatric Genetics.  1:229-234. 2012
    2012 Nuclear genomic control of naturally occurring variation in mitochondrial function in Drosophila melanogasterBMC Genomics.  13. 2012
    2012 Common variants in the LAMA5 gene associate with fasting plasma glucose and serum triglyceride levels in a cohort of pre-and early pubertal childrenJournal of Pediatric Genetics.  1:229-234. 2012
    2011 Association of a common LAMA5 variant with anthropometric and metabolic traits in an Italian cohort of healthy elderly subjectsExperimental Gerontology.  46:60-64. 2011
    2010 Age- and diet-specific effects of variation at S6 Kinase on life history, metabolic, and immune response traits in drosophila melanogasterDNA and Cell Biology.  29:473-485. 2010
    2010 A conserved role for syndecan family members in the regulation of whole-body energy metabolismPLoS One.  5. 2010
    2010 Systems genetics analysis of body weight and energy metabolism traits in Drosophila melanogasterBMC Genomics.  11. 2010
    2008 Genetic variation in a member of the laminin gene family affects variation in body composition in Drosophila and humansBMC Genomic Data.  9. 2008
    2007 Mapping genetic polymorphisms affecting natural variation in Drosophila longevityMethods in Molecular Biology.  371:307-320. 2007
    2007 Methods for nutrigenomics and longevity studies in Drosophila effects of diets high in sucrose, palmitic acid, soy, or beefMethods in Molecular Biology.  371:111-141. 2007
    2006 Polymorphism in the transcription factor 7-Like 2 (TCF7L2) gene is associated with reduced insulin secretion in nondiabetic womenDiabetes.  55:3630-3634. 2006
    2006 Putative contributors to the secular increase in obesity: Exploring the roads less traveledInternational Journal of Obesity.  30:1585-1594. 2006
    2006 Phenotypic Variation and Natural Selection at Catsup, a Pleiotropic Quantitative Trait Gene in DrosophilaCurrent Biology.  16:912-919. 2006
    2005 Drosophila nutrigenomics can provide clues to human gene-nutrient interactionsAnnual Review of Nutrition.  25:499-522. 2005
    2005 Drosophila nutrigenomics can provide clues to human gene-nutrient interactionsAnnual Review of Nutrition.  25:499-522. 2005
    2005 Mapping quantitative trait loci affecting variation in drosophila triacylglycerol storageObesity.  13:1596-1605. 2005
    2003 Dopa decarboxylase (Ddc) affects variation in Drosophila longevityNature Genetics.  34:429-433. 2003
    2002 Sex-specific longevity associations defined by tyrosine hydroxylase-insulin-insulin growth factor 2 haplotypes on the 11p15.5 chromosomal region (vol 36, pg 1663, 2001)Experimental Gerontology.  37:607-608. 2002
    2002 Centenarians in good health conditionsArchives of gerontology and geriatrics. Supplement.  35:209-217. 2002
    2001 Sex-specific longevity associations defined by Tyrosine Hydroxylase-Insulin-Insulin Growth Factor 2 haplotypes on the 11p15.5 chromosomal regionExperimental Gerontology.  36:1663-1671. 2001
    2001 Measuring the genetic influence in modulating the human life span: Gene-environment interaction and the sex-specific genetic effectBiogerontology.  2:141-153. 2001
    2001 HLA class I in three West African ethnic groups: Genetic distances from sub-Saharan and Caucasoid populationsHLA.  57:128-137. 2001
    2001 Mitochondrial DNA haplogroups and APOE4 allele are non-independent variables in sporadic Alzheimer's diseaseHuman Genetics.  108:194-198. 2001
    2000 Genes and longevity: Lessons from studies of centenarians 2000
    2000 Inflamm-aging. An evolutionary perspective on immunosenescenceAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences.  908:244-254. 2000
    1999 Genes, demography, and life span: The contribution of demographic data in genetic studies on aging and longevityAmerican Journal of Human Genetics.  65:1178-1193. 1999
    1999 Mitochondrial DNA inherited variants are associated with successful aging and longevity in humans 1999
    1999 p53 Codon 72 polymorphism and longevity: Additional data on centenarians from continental Italy and Sardinia [4]American Journal of Human Genetics.  65:1782-1785. 1999
    1999 p53 variants predisposing to cancer are present in healthy centenarians [2]American Journal of Human Genetics.  64:292-294. 1999
    1998 Age-related changes of the 3'APOB-VNTR genotype pool in ageing cohortsAnnals of Human Genetics.  62:115-122. 1998
    1998 Age-related changes of the 3′APOB-VNTR genotype pool in ageing cohortsAnnals of Human Genetics.  62:115-122. 1998
    1998 Gene/longevity association studies at four autosomal loci (REN, THO, PARP, SOD2)European Journal of Human Genetics.  6:534-541. 1998
    1996 Allele frequency distributions at seven DNA hypervariable loci in a population sample from Calabria (Southern Italy)Gene geography : a computerized bulletin on human gene frequencies.  10:135-145. 1996
    1996 HLA class I and II study in an Orcadian populationHuman Immunology.  47:O265-O265. 1996
    1996 HLA class I and class II alleles in three sympatric West African ethnic groupsHuman Immunology.  47:O259-O259. 1996
    1996 Identification of HLA-B*44 and HLA-B*45 alleles using a nested ARMS-PCR methodHuman Immunology.  47:P29-P29. 1996
    1995 DYS19, D12S67, and D1S80 polymorphisms in population samples from southern Italy and Greece 1995
    1993 Rapid identification of VNTR alleles of the human thyroid peroxidase gene by PCR: A study in a population sample from south ItalyGenomics.  17:796-798. 1993
    1993 The first genetic marker detected in the promoter region of the thyroid peroxidase gene by single‐strand conformational polymorphism analysisHuman Mutation.  2:418-419. 1993

    Research Overview

  • Dr. De Luca’s research efforts are focused on the identification of conserved genetic pathways that regulate metabolic homeostasis and life span. The main objective of her research is to provide new models for human obesity and age-related metabolic diseases.
  • Teaching Activities

  • NTR420 - Nutritional Genetics (Fall Term 2015)
  • NTR420 - Nutritional Genetics (Fall Term 2016)
  • NTR420 - Nutritional Genetics (Fall Term 2017)
  • NTR420 - Nutritional Genetics (Fall Term 2018)
  • NTR420 - Nutritional Genetics (Fall Term 2019)
  • NTR420 - Nutritional Genetics (Fall Term 2020)
  • NTR420 - Nutritional Genetics (Fall Term 2021)
  • NTR420 - Nutritional Genetics (Fall Term 2022)
  • NTR636 - Scientific Methods (Spring Term 2010)
  • NTR636 - Scientific Methods (Spring Term 2011)
  • NTR636 - Scientific Methods (Spring Term 2012)
  • NTR636 - Scientific Methods (Spring Term 2013)
  • NTR636 - Scientific Methods (Spring Term 2014)
  • NTR636 - Scientific Methods (Spring Term 2020)
  • NTR636 - Scientific Methods (Spring Term 2021)
  • NTR698 - MR Lev Non-Thesis Research (Fall Term 2011)
  • NTR699 - Master's Level Thesis Research (Spring Term 2012)
  • NTR699 - Master's Level Thesis Research (Spring Term 2014)
  • NTR699 - Master's Level Thesis Research (Summer Term 2014)
  • NTR736 - SCIENTIFIC METHODS (Spring Term 2013)
  • NTR736 - Scientific Methods (Spring Term 2011)
  • NTR736 - Scientific Methods (Spring Term 2012)
  • NTR736 - Scientific Methods (Spring Term 2013)
  • NTR736 - Scientific Methods (Spring Term 2014)
  • NTR736 - Scientific Methods (Spring Term 2019)
  • NTR736 - Scientific Methods (Spring Term 2020)
  • NTR747 - Molecular Bio/Nutrition Sci (Spring Term 2020)
  • NTR798 - Doc Level Non-Dissertation Res (Fall Term 2007)
  • NTR798 - Doc Level Non-Dissertation Res (Spring Term 2008)
  • NTR798 - Doc Level Non-Dissertation Res (Summer Term 2008)
  • NTR798 - Doc Level Non-Dissertation Res (Summer Term 2013)
  • NTR798 - Doc Level Non-Dissertation Res (Summer Term 2014)
  • NTR799 - Doc Lev Dissertation Research (Fall Term 2008)
  • NTR799 - Doc Lev Dissertation Research (Fall Term 2009)
  • NTR799 - Doc Lev Dissertation Research (Spring Term 2009)
  • NTR799 - Doc Lev Dissertation Research (Summer Term 2009)
  • Education And Training

  • Istituto Nazionale di Riposo e Cura per Anziani, Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • North Carolina State University Genetics, Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Biology, University of Calabria 1997
  • Bachelor's Degree in Biology, University of Calabria 1992
  • Full Name

  • Maria Deluca