Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Templeton Grant Drukker News

In a project funded by the John Templeton Foundation to the group of Micha Drukker, scientists will produce stem cells from short and long living understudied species to model cellular and organismal lifespan.

The 925K€ project encompasses a new direction to investigate specie-specific lifespan using stem cells. Current theory underscores oxidative damage proportional to body size scaling, selection of traits, lifetime reproductive events, and Hayflick limit as propositions to explain the rate of animal and human ageing. However, many animals, and human organs deviate from these mechanisms, thus the theory of ageing is missing crucial components.

The premise of this project is that mechanisms of stress resilience have been overlooked, and that a promising direction is lncRNA genes that play a central role in protection from cellular stress. A stem cell zoo will be established from long and short living mammals using harmless tissue collection, and differentiation protocols will be used to produce in the lab cell types that are otherwise completely inaccessible, like brain cells of large whales. The project will analyze connections between cellular stress resilience to lifespan. If successful it will pave the road for a new direction in lifespan and ageing theory, and potentially novel drug modalities in ageing associated diseases.

The project includes a collaboration with the lab Bob van de Water on stress response mechanisms and toxicology. Micha will give a public lecture at LiveScience in the Naturalis Biodiversity Center at Leiden on November 3rd at 4PM on this topic and the establishment of an iPS cell zoo for research purposes and promoting biodiversity stem cell banks.

This website uses cookies.  More information.