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Alexander Kulminski



   (919) 684-4962

   Erwin Mill Building
Room A106, Box 90420
2024 W. Main St.
Durham, NC 27708-0420

Alexander Kulminski

Associate Research Professor in the Social Science Research Institute


My major research interests stem from my desire to understand determinants of long and healthy life. My current research focuses on genetic and non-genetic factors influencing health, aging, and life span emphasizing the life course approach and specific properties of phenotypes that make our bodies vulnerable to diseases in late, i.e., post-reproductive, life. The original training and fifteen-year experience in the fields of physics and mathematics and fifteen-year experience in aging, health, and longevity research prepared me as multi- and interdisciplinary researcher.

I used this expertise to examine the role of systemic processes in an aging organism characterized by a composite measure, called an index of cumulative deficits or deficit index, in health, well-being and survival. These studies showed that the deficit index is a robust marker of human health, biological age, and survival chances. Most recently, I was engaged in the development and implementation of an innovative concept of the life course genetics in association studies. This concept is motivated by experimental evidences from genetics, gerontology, demography, and epidemiology, among the other disciplines, and by evolutionary theory. The results of my research show that the life-course approach in genetics of age-related traits is critical for our understanding of genetic origin of health span and life span, and for translation of genetic discoveries to health care.


Ph.D. (Physics and Mathematics), Institute of Physics, Belarus Academy of Sciences (1991)

Selected Publications

  • He L., Culminskaya I., Loika Y., Arbeev K., Bagley O., Duan M., Yashin A., Kulminski A. (2017) Causal effects of cardiovascular risk factors on onset of major age-related diseases: A time-to-event Mendelian randomization study. Experimental Gerontology.   [ doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2017.09.019 ]   [ PMID: 28964830 ]
  • Kulminski A., Land K., and Yashin A. (2016) Indices of Cumulative Deficits. In: Yashin A., Stallard E., and Land K. (Eds.) Biodemography of Aging: The Search for Determinants of Healthy Life Span and Longevity. Springer: Dordrecht. Chap.7:163-186.   [ doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-7587-8 ]   [ ISBN: 978-94-017-7587-8 ]
  • Kulminski A., Yashin A., Culminskaya I., Land K., and Ukraintseva S. (2016) The Complex Role of Genes in Diseases and Traits in Late Life: An Example of the Apolipoprotein E Polymorphism. In: Yashin A., Stallard E., and Land K. (Eds.) Biodemography of Aging: The Search for Determinants of Healthy Life Span and Longevity. Springer: Dordrecht. Chap.7:163-186.   [ doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-7587-8 ]   [ ISBN: 978-94-017-7587-8 ]
  • Kulminski A., Loika Y., Culminskaya I., Arbeev K., Ukraintseva S., Stallard E., and Yashin A. (2016) Explicating heterogeneity of complex traits has strong potential for improving GWAS efficiency. Scientific Reports. 6:35390.  [ doi: 10.1038/srep35390 ]   [ PMID: 28964830 ]   [ PMCID: PMC5064392 ]
  • Kulminski, A., Kernogitski Y., Culminskaya I., Loika Y., Arbeev K.G., Bagley O., Duan M., Arbeeva L., Ukraintseva S.V., Wu D., Stallard E., and Yashin A.I. (2017) Uncoupling associations of risk alleles with endophenotypes and phenotypes: Insights from the ApoB locus, lipids, myocardial infarction, and survival. Aging Cell. 1:61-72.  [ doi: 10.1111/acel.12526 ]   [ PMID: 27683205 ]   [ PMCID: PMC5242299 ]
  • Kulminski AM., Culminskaya I., Loika Y., Kernogitski Y., Arbeev KG., Loiko E., Arbeeva L., Bagley O., Duan M., Yashkin A., Fang F., Kovtun M., Ukraintseva SV., Wu D., and Yashin AI. (2016) Pleiotropic Associations of Allelic Variants in a 2q22 Region with Risks of Major Human Diseases and Mortality. PLoS Genetics. 12(11):e1006314.   [ doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006314 ]   [ PMID: 27832070 ]   [ PMCID: PMC5104356 ]
  • He L., Kernogitski Y., Kulminskaya I., Loika Y., Arbeev K. G., Loiko E., Bagley O., Duan M., Yashkin A., Ukraintseva S.V., Kovtun M., Yashin A.I., and Kulminski, A. M. (2016) Pleiotropic Meta-Analyses of Longitudinal Studies Discover Novel Genetic Variants Associated with Age-Related Diseases. Frontiers in Genetics. Chap 7:179.   [  doi: 10.3389/fgene.2016.00179 ]   [ PMID: 27790247 ]   [ PMCID: PMC5061751 ]
  • Kulminski, A.M. (2013) Unraveling genetic origin of aging-related traits: evolving concepts. Rejuvenation Research. Chap.4:304-12.   [ doi: 10.1089/rej.2013.1441 ]   [ PMID: 23768105 ]   [ PMCID: PMC3746287 ]
  • Kulminski, A., Arbeev K., Culminskaya I., Arbeeva L., Ukraintseva S., Stallard E., Christensen K., Schupf N., Province M.A., and Yashin A.I. (2014) Age, Gender, and Cancer but not Neurodegenerative and Cardiovascular Diseases Strongly Modulate Systemic Effect of the Apolipoprotein E4 allele on Lifespan. PLoS Genetics (1):e1004141.   [ doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004141 ]   [ PMID: 24497847 ]   [ PMCID: PMC3907310 ]
  • Kulminski, A., Culminskaya I., Arbeev K., Ukraintseva S., Stallard E., Arbeeva L., and Yashin A.I. (2013) The role of lipid-related genes, aging-related processes, and environment in healthspan. Aging Cell. Chap 2:237-46.  [ doi: 10.1111/acel.12046 ]   [ PMID: 23320904 ]   [ PMCID: PMC3602307 ]