RESEARCH GROUP DENZEL
Metabolic and Genetic Regulation of Ageing
Ageing is a complex process that is influenced by an organism's genetic makeup and its environment. Why almost all organisms age is not completely understood, and we know much less about potential ways to decelerate this process. Also, ageing is not only a fascinating biological process - understanding it is of the utmost importance as ageing-associated diseases are becoming more prevalent in increasingly older populations.
Proteins, the molecular machines in all cells, are complex three-dimensional structures that have to reach proper folding states to become functional. A host of support proteins ensure proper protein folding and numerous degradation pathways are in place to ensure protein quality control. This protein homeostasis network becomes faulty during ageing, and the toxic misfolding of proteins causes many ageing-associated diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
In the Denzel lab we are investigating novel pathways that ensure protein quality control. To do this, we employ the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans in genetic screens that reveal novel genetic loci relevant for ageing. In addition, we investigate novel mechanisms in mammalian tissue culture. Finally, we use mouse models of neurodegeneration to test our findings in vivo.
Feel free to visit The Denzel Lab website for further information.