From the beginning of time, people have tried to understand and fight aging, and myths of eternal youth continue to pique our curiosity. Aging is a natural phenomenon that affects the entire physiology of an organism. It is also one of the most intriguing issues of modern biology as it occurs despite numerous complex pathways of maintenance and repair. As chronological age of an organism increases, a number of errors accumulate at different levels of biological organization. The tendency of errors to accumulate and cause downstream problems is met by numerous mechanisms that serve as protectors, correctors and cleaners of cell components. These mechanisms involve a variety of dedicated maintenance functions, including chaperones, reactive oxygen species scavenging enzymes, DNA damage response, etc. It follows that protection and maintenance failure detriments one or more cellular functions, which, in turn, may lead to aging and disease.
The overarching goal of this project is to understand the events that trigger aging and determine life span at the level of pathways involved in RNA and protein quality control. We aim to apply state-of-art genomics, proteomics and imaging methods on model systems Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Caenorhabditis elegans to address the role of the decline in cellular RNA and protein pool function in aging and age-related diseases.