As humans, how long will we live, and how long can we live?
Thirty years ago, cutting-edge research showed that a single gene mutation in the worm C. elegans doubled its lifespan. Inspired by this research, the Theory and Practice team asked: as humans, how long will we live, and how long can we live?
To get answers to these enormous questions, we turned to an exceptional scientist and a pioneer in discovering C. elegans' role in the biology of aging. Professor Cynthia Kenyon is the VP of Aging Research at Calico Life Sciences and emeritus professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UC San Francisco. Her groundbreaking research has led to the identification of multiple genes and pathways toward greater longevity. And her lab has continued to make pioneering discoveries, such as finding that neurons respond to environmental clues to regulate lifespan, and that germ cells also have a major role in the control of the lifespan of animals.
Cynthia helps us understand more about the science of aging and what it means in the years and decades to come. We also discussed the latest research on aging: transcription factors, hormones and receptors, and the link between IGF-1 and lifespan. I was particularly struck by her insights on the founding of the aging research field and how she pursued it with such resilience. What convinced her that meaningful developments were possible?
Please tune in to our final episode of the season to hear about Cynthia's transformative research and all that's in store for scientific advancements in aging.