Award 2019 Recipient
Professor Cynthia Kenyon
Pr. Cynthia Kenyon
Cynthia Kenyon helped to pioneer the field of aging, showing that the aging process is plastic and subject to regulation. Her work with long-lived mutant roundworms stimulated an intensive study of the molecular regulation of aging, and led to the realization that a conserved endocrine network regulates the aging process throughout the animal kingdom. Dr. Kenyon was on the UCSF faculty for many years, and is currently Vice President of Aging Research at Calico Life Sciences, a Google/Alphabet company.
Summary of the presentation to be given on October 21, 2019
Lifespan and aging were once thought to be immutable: we just wear out like old cars. This paradigm has been overturned completely by molecular genetic experiments initiated in the roundworm C. elegans and now extended to many species. Changing specific genes or cells can extend healthy lifespan dramatically while postponing age-related disease. In this lecture, the history of these discoveries and the possibilities they create for the future will be discussed. Promising new research frontiers, such as the immortality of the germ lineage, will be described as well.