Aging is greatly influenced by quality-control processes that keep the materials inside our cells in proper shape and function. One of these processes is called autophagy, which means “self-eating”. This cellular recycling process can digest damaged components to provide new and better parts for the cell. Autophagy plays important roles in many age-related diseases and has been directly linked to aging. In our laboratory, we use the microscopic soil-dwelling round worm C. elegans to understand how autophagy is linked to aging and disease. In this seminar, I will discuss our progress on understanding how autophagy is regulated during normal aging and how it may promote a long and healthy lifespan.
Dr. Hansen is an Associate Professor at Sanford, Burnham, Prebys Medical Institute.
The twenty-second Cserr Lecture is given in memory of Helen F. Cserr, Ph.D., a distinguished scientist and researcher who worked at the MDI Biological Laboratory for twenty summers. Dr. Cserr’s brilliant mind, the high quality of her research, her ability to attract top-notch students, and her consummate graciousness made her an invaluable member of the MDI Biological Laboratory community. The Laboratory appealed to Dr. Cserr at many levels as well: the richness of the collaborations formed with other scientists, the natural beauty, and, most of, all the usefulness of the marine models she found for studying the topic which most interested her: the blood-brain barrier.