Research group Deelen

Genetics and Biomarkers of Human Ageing

Why do some people age more healthily than others? This is the main question we try to address in our research group. To this end, we are studying the genetic mechanisms underlying healthy ageing in humans. We mainly do this by investigating the effect of genetic variants that are unique to long-lived individuals on the functioning of pathways implicated in ageing and/or age-related diseases. Moreover, we try to identify and validate biomarkers of healthy ageing using data from large-scale international collaborations of human studies.


Research Group Leader

Joris Deelen, PhD


Our research is focused on three main aims:

  1. Functional characterization of rare protein-altering genetic variants involved in healthy ageing.
  2. Increase the connectivity between ageing research in model organisms and human cohorts.
  3. Establish human ageing studies in Cologne to determine the efficacy of previously identified biomarkers of healthy ageing in clinical studies.

To address these aims, our lab uses different model organisms (i.e. fruit flies and mice) and cellular models, as well as samples from old human individuals (≥70 years of age).

[ more about our research ]

Selected publications

Third-party funding

  • 2022–2027 | ERC Starting Grant
  • 2022–2026 | Longevity Impetus Grant