Here's a snippet from a press release from Mayo Clinic's pneumatic email tubes about a research grant for the Rochester campus to study aging.
Of course, $3 million is not a big number when it comes to Mayo Clinic research, but every little bit helps. Heh.
Mayo Clinic has been awarded a $3 million grant from the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research to establish the Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for Senescence Research. The grant will support the laboratories’ mission of exploring how age-related diseases and disorders are affected by aging cells and how eliminating these senescent cells can improve and extend life span.
Jan van Deursen, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Mayo Clinic …, will serve as laboratory director.
“This grant will allow us to investigate the identity and the properties of senescent cells that accumulate with aging and at sites of age-related pathologies, as well as the potential therapeutic effects of their clearance,” van Deursen says. The Glenn Laboratories at Mayo Clinic will work with the Mayo Clinic Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging….
Dr. van Deursen is researching the drivers of aging and looking for interventions that delay age-related disease and dysfunction. His concept is that aging and age-related diseases are caused at least in part by aging cells that accumulate in tissues and organs. These senescent cells have lost the ability to divide in response to various stimuli that increase the risk of malignant cell transformation, and they affect the functionality of other cells. The critical barrier to determining whether and how cell senescence causes aging and age-related disease has been the lack of a method to selectively remove them.
This study opens an entirely new field of research that is expected to lead to the development of drug-based strategies that will clear senescent cells in humans. Once available, these strategies hold the promise of delaying, preventing, or reverting a range of age-related diseases, leading to a longer, healthier, more independent quality of life.