Aging is a complex process that happens to all of us. But not everyone ages the same way. Some people as they age start suffering from one or more chronic diseases (e.g. diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's). Others in their 90s, even 100s, are just starting to forget a thing or two but are otherwise pretty healthy. As scientists we wonder why people are aging so differently: is it genetics? Is it the environment?
The good news is that for the last couple of decades the aging field has been asking these types of questions using model organisms and found that aging is a plastic process, meaning that it can be modified. By doing experiments in worms, yeast, flies, and mice they have uncovered multiple biological and biochemical pathways that can be targeted to accelerate or delay aging. This is great news because understanding the molecular mechanisms that cause aging can help us treat age-related diseases. Indeed, aging is considered the biggest risk factor for many chronic diseases.
There are many hallmarks of aging and we are interested in studying a particular aspect of it (for now :)) - how do changes in the communication between intestinal stem cells and the gut microbiome influences health and aging?
If you are interested in these topics and want to do research, collaborate and/or get to know the lab, don't hesitate to contact us.
Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash