What if we could not only live longer, but also avoid or delay the declines that diminish the quality of our lives as we age? To stave off these declines, we must understand their underlying molecular mechanisms. We are particularly interested in the earliest declines that humans experience, because manipulating these deficiencies could have the greatest impact on human health. While great progress has been made in the identification of general longevity regulators in model systems, most longevity research is focused on late-life phenotypes, such as loss of movement or death. By contrast, early aging has not been as well studied and most phenotypes are observed qualitatively, rather than quantitatively measured.
At the Glenn Center For Quantitative Aging Research at Princeton University, we will focus on the development of tools and techniques to measure phenotypes that change with age. Rather than focusing exclusively on a specific genetic pathway or cell type, the development of new techniques to assess behavioral changes with age in multiple organisms will allow us to not only discover new underlying biology that may be shared throughout evolution, but also to quantitatively assess the effects of chemical treatments or genetic alterations throughout the course of the aging process.