Gordon Lithgow, Ph.D. on Protein Aggregation, Iron Overload & the Search for Longevity Compounds

Posted on April 7th 2017 (almost 3 years)

Dr. Gordon Lithgow is a professor of gerontology at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. The topic of conversation in this episode is especially focused on Dr. Lithgow's work with C. elegans, which a tiny nematode worm he uses to interrogate questions involving the aging process and lifespan extension.

"Of course, proteins misfold during heat shock. And, as a result, these defense systems are actually acting against the normal aging process which is also the misfolding of proteins." - Dr. Gordon Lithgow Click To Tweet

Discussed in this episode:

  • The role that protein aggregation plays in the aging process and neurodegenerative diseases
  • How heat stress activates genetic pathways, including heat shock proteins, in worms and humans that lower protein aggregation and extend lifespan in worms.
  • How too much iron can lead to protein aggregation and how vitamin D can prevent it.
  • A program, directed by Gordon, called the Caenorhabditis Intervention Testing Program which tests potential longevity compounds that may extend the lifespan of several different species of worms. This serves as a broad, early exploration that may potentially help us to find ways to enhance human longevity as well.

Learn more about Dr. Gordon Lithgow

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