'Anti-Ageing: Health or Beauty?' A guest blog by Jorge Ivan Castillo Quan, written for the 2015 Write About Research Competition.
Published: Jul 8, 2015 11:51:04 AM
Dr Marina Ezcurra and Dr Alex Benedetto were both selected to speak at the recent International C. elegans Meeting in Los Angeles (June 24th-28th). The two talks described new breakthroughs in understanding the mechanisms by which age-related pathologies originate in C. elegans, and generated considerable interest. Alex also described a new stress-resistance assay based on death fluorescence, recently discovered in the Gems lab. For details of the C. elegans International Meeting see http://www.genetics-gsa.org/celegans/2015/ More...
Published: Jul 7, 2015 11:01:37 AM
The 65th British Society for Research on Ageing Annual Meeting took place at the Institute of Healthy Ageing on July 1st-2nd 2015. Speakers at the conference included Claudio Franceschi (Bologna), Paul Shiels (Glasgow), Jesus Gil (Imperial), and Avan Aihie Sayer (Southampton). They also included several speakers from the IHA: Lazaros Foukas, who described how ageing can be slowed down in mice by reducing PI3 kinase signalling, Cathy Slack (whose talk was awarded the Korenchevsky Prize) spoke about how Ras signalling controls fruitfly ageing, and David Gems who gave a welcome address, including a discussion of “The ageing-disease false dichotomy”.
For further information about the meeting see http://www.bsra.org.uk/node/842 More...
Published: Jul 7, 2015 10:59:19 AM
Origins of the IHA
Work on the creation of the UCL Institute of Healthy Ageing began in March 2004 and was taken forward by a large team, including a cross-faculty Steering Committee whose membership included Prof Arne Akbar, Prof Ed Byrne, Prof Leon Fine, Prof David Gems, Prof Bob Lieberman, Prof Peter Mobbs, Prof Dame Linda Partridge, Dr Mary Phillips, Prof Mike Spyer, Prof Patrick Vallance and Prof Dominic Withers, with strong support from the UCL Provost, Prof Malcolm Grant.
Development and Governance of the IHA
The Institute of Healthy Ageing replaced the earlier Centre for Research on Ageing in Autumn 2007.
The Institute now hosts the labs of six PI's with numerous funding sources between them including the Wellcome Trust, The Royal Society and the MRC. In addition to the substantial labs of Prof Dame Linda Partridge and Prof David Gems, the labs of the following staff are housed within the IHA in UCL's Darwin Building:
- Dr Daniel Pearce joined the IHA in Autumn 2007, on a tenure track position with an RCUK Fellowship, to set up a new research group working on ageing in haematopoietic stem cells.
- Dr Eugene Schuster, previously of the European Bioinformatics Institute, joined the IHA in January 2008 as an MRC Senior Research Fellow. His research utilises functional genomic approaches to understand long-lived animal models.
- Dr Lazaros Foukas joined as a Lecturer in June 2009 to study the signalling pathways that control mammalian ageing.
- Dr Matt Piper, already a post-doc in the Partridge lab, was awarded his own Fellowship by the Royal Society in August 2011. His work focuses on Dietary Restriction (DR or calorie restriction) - an evolutionarily conserved intervention that extends healthy lifespan.
The activities of the IHA were given a strong boost by a £5.1
million Strategic Award from the Wellcome Trust in 2006 and achieved further success by obtaining a second Strategic Award commencing 2013.
Strategic management of the IHA
A strategic overview of the activities of the IHA is maintained by its Steering Committee. All PI's within the Institute are members of the Steering Committee along with Michael Wright (Executive Officer) and Giovanna Vinti (Laboratory Manager) who together represent the support activities. The Committee meets quarterly to discuss and review the latest research and strategic plans.
Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing
In 2010 Linda Partridge took on an additional role
as a founding director of the new Max Planck Institute in Cologne
dedicated to the biology of ageing. The close links that have since developed between
the IHA and the MPI continue to help strengthen and enliven both institutions.
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