In the early 1990s, most scientists did not think that aging was subject to active regulation by the genes. In this talk about discovering a genetic control circuit for aging, Cynthia Kenyon discusses how results from her lab showed that a single mutation in the daf-2 gene caused the tiny roundworm C. elegans to live twice as long as normal. This gene encodes a hormone receptor that regulates lifespan not only in worms, but in flies, mammals and possibly humans as well.
Cynthia Kenyon graduated valedictorian in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Georgia in 1976. She received her PhD from MIT in 1981, where, in Graham Walker’s laboratory, she was the first to look for genes on the basis of their expression profiles, discovering that DNA damaging agents activate a battery of DNA repair genes… Continue Reading