Institute of Healthy Ageing


Dr John Labbadia

Dr John Labbadia


D 326
Darwin Building
Gower Street


  • David Phillips Research Fellow
    Genetics, Evolution & Environment
    Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL


The ability to preserve proteome integrity is essential for the long-term health of all cells. Numerous physiological and environmental conditions promote protein misfolding and damage, which can result in the appearance of protein aggregates. This is often referred to as a loss of protein homeostasis (proteostasis), and is highly detrimental. Therefore, cells have evolved a network of highly conserved protein quality control and stress response pathways that cooperate to prevent the appearance and persistence of misfolded and damaged proteins across the cell.

My lab uses the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans to understand how signals that promote growth, development, and reproduction early in life, influence proteostasis across tissues. Using a combination of molecular biology, genetics, and high-throughput methods, we study the impact of these pathways on ageing and disease susceptibility. Our ultimate goal is to identify new targets that can be manipulated pharmacologically to improve long-term human health. 

Award year Qualification Institution
2017 FEL
Molecular Biology and Genetics
University College London
Post Doctoral Qualification
Molecular Life Sciences Research
Northwestern University
2011 PhD
Doctor of Philosophy
Molecular Biology and Genetics
King's College London
I received my PhD in 2011 from King’s College London, where I worked in Gill Bates’ laboratory to understand how protein quality control pathways are dysregulated in Huntington’s disease. In 2012, I was awarded an ALS Association post-doctoral fellowship to establish an independent research programme in the laboratory of Rick Morimoto, at Northwestern University, USA. While there, I adopted the small nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system to determine the basic mechanisms that underlie changes in protein homeostasis during ageing. In 2017, I moved to UCL to start my laboratory, supported by a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship. My group currently combines genetics, high-throughput approaches, and molecular biology, to find pathways that regulate protein homeostasis with age, thereby identifying novel targets to promote healthy human ageing.