INVESTIGATING THE WHOLE AGEING PROCESS
Through their research with mice, flies, and worms, our directors professors Adam Antebi, Nils-Göran Larsson and Linda Partridge have made fundamental discoveries into the biology of the ageing process. The complementarity of expertise in their departments enables them to investigate organismal ageing processes, and to identify genes and mechanisms that cause ageing and that can ameliorate its effects.
Department Antebi | Molecular Genetics of Ageing
All animals develop through successive stages of life and have life spans that are determined by genome and environment. By studying the model genetic system of Caenorhabditis elegans we aim to unravel phyletically conserved regulatory features of the life plan and life span. These studies have led us to the discovery of a C. elegans steroid hormone receptor signaling pathway that regulates developmental timing as well as longevity, suggesting that developmental clocks impact the life span and that biological time can be modulated.
Department Langer | Mitochondrial Proteostasis
Mitochondria are dynamic metabolic organelles that participate in cellular signaling and adapt to varying physiological demands. The activity of mitochondria declines with age and a dysfunction of these organelles is associated with numerous age-associated diseases, raising the question: how do mitochondria influence cell fitness and ageing? In order to understand the role of mitochondria in ageing and age-associated disease, the department seeks to define molecular mechanisms that preserve mitochondrial function with age and allow the dynamic adaptation of the mitochondrial proteome in a cell- and tissue-specific manner. Projects focus on the function of mitochondrial proteases that are emerging as central regulators and orchestrate complex interactions of mitochondria with their cellular environment.
Department Larsson | Mitochondrial Biology
Mitochondria, the "power-houses" of the cell, play an essential role in the ageing process. Once their function deteriorates, cells start to age. Mutations of the mitochondrial genome and mitochondrial dysfunction has furthermore severe effects on an organism's health. Yet, we still have very little understanding of the basic processes in mitochondria and what protects their genome from becoming unstable. Therefore, we focus on understanding mitochondrial function.
Department Partridge | Biological Mechanisms of Ageing
We aim to discover genes and mechanisms that determine the rate of ageing and that are conserved in evolution, and hence are of relevance to humans. In particular, we focus on nutrition and on the signaling pathways that sense nutrients: the insulin/IGF/TOR pathway. We investigate the signaling mechanisms at work, the biochemical processes that are altered to slow ageing, and the mechanisms by which ageing acts as a risk factor for ageing-related neurodegeneration.
The MPI for Biology of Ageing will host up to ten Research Groups, each headed by a younger scientist. It is planned that they will come from a range of areas in biology of ageing research and will complement each other as well as the existing expertise in our institute.
If you are interested in contributing to our research activities as a junior group leader please have a look at our open positions.
The research activities of our scientists are supported by state-of-the-art core facilities. These provide access to latest technologies such as bioinformatics to analyse and synthesise complex biological data, transgenic services and mass spectrometry / proteomics.