Einstein researchers share $9 million grant to find anti-aging therapies
"Aging is arguably the key risk factor for the most common diseases that afflict us, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, most types of cancer and Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases," says Jan Vijg, Ph.D., professor and chair of genetics and the Lola and
Rather than study age-related diseases, says Dr. Vijg, "We're focusing on the genetic differences between healthy centenarians and people with no family history of extreme longevity, looking for rare genetic variants that account for the centenarians' longevity. Once we pinpoint the beneficial effects that these novel gene variants are causing, we'll be in a position to develop drugs that mimic those effects and, ideally, help people attain longer, healthier lifespans."
The first of the three projects funded by the grant will be led by
Novel gene variants found in the first project will then be introduced into the genomes of mice, to evaluate whether the gene variants yield benefits in animals that are relevant for late-life human health. Knowledge gained from finding "longevity variants" in people and validating them in animals will culminate in the third project: developing and testing small molecules aimed at duplicating the positive physiological effects produced by the longevity gene variants.
Keywords for this news article include: Pharmaceuticals, Therapy, Genetics, Risk and Prevention,
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