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Nicole Noren Hooten
Title: Senior Associate Scientist
Office(s): DNA Repair Unit
Phone Number: 410-454-8558
Email Address:


Dr. Nicole (Nikki) Noren Hooten graduated magna cum laude from East Carolina University.  She earned her PhD under Dr. Keith Burridge in the Cell and Developmental Biology Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During her graduate work she studied how cell adhesion receptors signal to the actin cytoskeleton. After graduation, she worked on receptor tyrosine kinase signaling in breast cancer cells in Dr. Elena Pasquale’s laboratory at what is now called the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, CA.  She joined the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health as a Staff Scientist in Dr. Evans' laboratory in 2008. Throughout her career she has won several awards including the Burnham Institute’s Fishman Award for Career Development and the NIA Women in Science Excellence in Scientific Research Award.

Research Interests/Portfolio

Currently, in the Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Science, Nikki uses an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to study how oxidative stress, post-transcriptional mechanisms and other pathways contribute to health disparities, aging and age-related diseases.  Recently, she has been interested in utilizing extracellular vesicles as non-invasive biomarkers of aging and age-related diseases and further understanding how various age-related diseases alter extracellular vesicles cargo and function. She poses these questions in the context of human aging through her work with the Healthy Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity Across the Life Span (HANDLS; study. HANDLS is a longitudinal, interdisciplinary, epidemiologic study that aims to investigate whether race and socioeconomic status influence health status and age-related health disparities. Click here for a full list of Dr. Noren Hooten’s publications.

Selected publications

Noren Hooten N., McFarland M.H., Freeman D.W. Mode NA, Zonderman AB, Evans MK. Association of Extracellular Vesicle Protein Cargo with Race and Clinical Markers of Mortality. Sci Rep 9, 17582 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41598-019-53640-1


Noren Hooten N. and Michele K. Evans. Age and poverty status alter the coding and noncoding transcriptome. Aging (Albany NY). 2019 Feb 17;11(4):1189-1203. doi: 10.18632/aging.101823.


Tajuddin SM, Hernandez DG, Chen BH, Noren Hooten N, Mode NA, Nalls MA, Singleton AB, Ejiogu N, Chitrala KN, Zonderman AB, Evans MK. Novel age-associated DNA methylation changes and epigenetic age acceleration in middle-aged African Americans and whites. Clin Epigenetics. 2019 Aug 19;11(1):119. doi: 10.1186/s13148-019-0722-1.


Freeman DW*, Noren Hooten N*, Eitan E, Green J, Mode NA, Bodogai M, Zhang Y, Lehrmann E, Zonderman AB, Biragyn A, Egan J, Becker KG, Mattson MP, Ejiogu N, Evans MK. Altered Extracellular Vesicle Concentration, Cargo and Function in Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes. 2018 May 2. pii: db171308. doi: 10.2337/db17-1308.

*contributed equally

Dluzen DF*, Noren Hooten N*, De S, et al. Wood WH 3rd, Zhang Y, Becker KG, Zonderman AB, Tanaka T, Ferrucci L, Evans MK. Extracellular RNA profiles with human age. Aging Cell. 2018;e12785.

*contributed equally

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