MDI Biological Laboratory

Meet Our Postdocs: Dilawar Mir, Ph.D.

  • November 4, 2021

Dilawar Mir, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral researcher in the Rogers Lab, working the animal model C. elegans. He focuses on dietary restriction and extending lifespan in the short-lived worm.

The pull of C. elegans drew Dilawar Mir, Ph.D. to the Rogers Lab at the MDI Biological Laboratory for his postdoctoral research. Born and raised in the Kashmir Valley, Mir earned his Ph.D. from Alagappa University in India in 2019. His graduate research focused on understanding host-pathogen interactions in the context of the whole organism; this is where he first encountered the power of C. elegans as a model. Part of Dilawar’s research involved understanding the role translational pathways play in longevity, and following this area of research led him to the work of Associate Professor Aric Rogers, Ph.D.  Joining MDIBL in August 2020, Dilawar now studies genetic variations that extend lifespan, some of which are associated with delaying the onset of age-related diseases including diabetes, cancer, and neurodegeneration.

C. elegans, a microscopic nematode worm, may be a far cry from the incredibly complex human system but this animal model shares a raft of the same mechanisms and pathways with humans. With a life span of around three weeks, studying these pathways in the C. elegans yields faster results for scientists and helps build a better understanding of how longevity may function in people. The end goal is to help humans live in good health for longer, and the wok in the Rogers Lab add one more piece to the longevity puzzle.

Postdoctoral researchers like Dilawar work with their mentor and research group to pursue expertise in a certain subject, develop enhanced skills and research methods, and publish in peer-reviewed journals. This final stage of training benefits the postdoctoral scientist, the research group, and the institution; it’s also key to moving science as a whole forward. An investment of $100,000 per year in a postdoctoral researcher = an investment in the future of science. Much of that support must come from generous independent financial assistance; federal opportunities are few and often require proof of concept and data that the trainee is still working to gather. Our postdocs are very aware of and grateful for the support they receive. “Thank you,” says Dilawar.”For your support of me, of the research and for helping us to progress science.”

If you think the future of science is worth investing in, you can support postdoctoral researchers like Dilawar by donating today! Thank you.