Theme: Humans, the model organism that matters
Date/Time: Aug 19 @14:00
Dr. Nir Barzilai is the founding director of the Institute for Aging Research, the Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging and the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Human Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University (Einstein). He also directs the Longevity Genes Project, a genetics study of over 600 families of centenarians and their children. The participants are all Ashkenazi Jews, a group selected for their genetic homogeneity, which makes it easier to identify significant genetic variations. Dr. Barzilai found that many of the centenarians had very high levels of HDL, or the “good cholesterol.” Dr. Barzilai is also co-founder of CohBar, Inc., a biotechnology company developing mitochondria based therapeutics to treat diseases associated with aging.
Dr. Barzilai discovered several “longevity genes” in humans that were validated by others. These include variants in genes involved in cholesterol metabolism (CETP and APOC3), metabolism (ADIPOQ and TSHR) and growth (IGF1R). These genes appear to protect centenarians against major age-related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and dementia.