We study the biology of aging using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model. It has been known for some time that reduced dietary intake extends lifespan in organisms as diverse as yeast, invertebrates and mammals. Recent studies aimed at understanding these phenomena have uncovered conserved genetic pathways utilized by diverse species that appear to regulate aging. These cellular and organismal genetic pathways regulate metabolic processes in response to aspects of the environment such as nutrient availability. It is quite likely that metabolic state and its regulation by genes in these pathways, can significantly affect life-span.
Our lab is focused on understanding the influence of genes and gene-products on the aging process.