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Today, we have an interview with Dr. Vera Gorbunova, who talks about the current understanding of the mechanisms of longevity and genomic stability in exceptionally long-lived mammals and how this knowledge might be used to create therapies to extend healthy human lifespan.

Dr. Vera Gorbunova is an endowed Professor of Biology at the University of Rochester and a co-director of the Rochester Aging Research Center. Her research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of longevity and genome stability and on the studies of exceptionally long-lived mammals. Dr. Gorbunova earned her B.Sc. degrees at Saint Petersburg State University in Russia and her Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Dr. Gorbunova pioneered the comparative biology approach to studying aging and identifying the rules that control the evolution of tumor suppressor mechanisms, which depend on the species’ lifespan and body mass.

 

 

While she is known for her work in investigating the role of sirtuins in maintaining genomic stability, the focus of her research has more recently been on the longest-lived rodent species, the naked mole rat. During the interview, she talks about her work with this animal, which does not appear to age and lives for decades while other rodents do not.

Dr. Gorbunova identified high molecular weight hyaluronan as the key mediator of cancer resistance in the naked mole rat. This animal also enjoys highly efficient protein synthesis as well as a superb DNA damage repair system and, thus, a stable genome. Together, these things appear to support longevity, and she believes that we can learn how to increase our healthy lifespan by studying them.

We hope that you enjoy this interview, and we would like to thank Dr. Gorbunova for taking the time to talk with us.

 

About the author
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Elena Milova

As a devoted advocate of rejuvenation technologies since 2013, Elena is providing the community with a systemic vision how aging is affecting our society. Her research interests include global and local policies on aging, demographic changes, public perception of the application of rejuvenation technologies to prevent age-related diseases and extend life, and related public concerns. Elena is a co-author of the book “Aging prevention for all” (in Russian, 2015) and the organizer of multiple educational events helping the general public adopt the idea of eventually bringing aging under medical control.
About the author

Steve Hill

Steve serves on the LEAF Board of Directors and is the Editor in Chief, coordinating the daily news articles and social media content of the organization. He is an active journalist in the aging research and biotechnology field and has to date written over 500 articles on the topic as well as attending various medical industry conferences. In 2019 he was listed in the top 100 journalists covering biomedicine and longevity research in the industry report – Top-100 Journalists covering advanced biomedicine and longevity created by the Aging Analytics Agency. His work has been featured in H+ magazine, Psychology Today, Singularity Weblog, Standpoint Magazine, and, Keep me Prime, and New Economy Magazine. Steve has a background in project management and administration which has helped him to build a united team for effective fundraising and content creation, while his additional knowledge of biology and statistical data analysis allows him to carefully assess and coordinate the scientific groups involved in the project. In 2015 he led the Major Mouse Testing Program (MMTP) for the International Longevity Alliance and in 2016 helped the team of the SENS Research Foundation to reach their goal for the OncoSENS campaign for cancer research.
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