Stanford School of Medicine

Chemical & Systems Biology We explore how regulatory circuits control cells and organisms


Seminar: Dan Gottschling

Posted by CSB Department on December 13, 2013

Speaker: Dan Gottschling, Ph.D.

Title: “Organelle deterioration with age: The limits of an interconnected cellular system.”

Abstract: The majority of prevalent non-infectious diseases are associated with age. While there is a general consensus that accumulation of cellular damage is the basis for this decline, a molecular mechanism for what actually causes aging in any organism remains elusive. We recently overcame a key limitation in the study of aging by developing a technique called the Mother Enrichment Program (MEP) that allows us to isolate and examine large populations of synchronously aged cells. This has allowed us to consider the ageing process in light of a fundamental property of biological systems – interconnectivity between tissues, cells, organelles, metabolic pathways, genes, and individual molecules. By approaching the study of aging through the lens of interconnectivity, we have identified several linked causal events in the aging process.  These include a reduction in vacuole acidity with age, which in turn leads to a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential in turn causes dysfunction of a number of mitochondrial processes including biosynthesis of key enzymes involved in DNA replication and repair. We have found that this leads to nuclear genome instability – a relatively late age-associated phenotype. Through continued study of this model system we hope to fully dissect the cellular aging process at a systems level.

Time: Friday, December 13, 2013   12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Location: Munzer Auditorium

Contact: Marisol Urbano ‒ 650-725-5091 ‒ urbano@stanford.edu