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Awards at California Institute of Technology

Seymour Benzer, Ph.D.
California Institute of Technology
Life extension genes in Drosophila
1998 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Animals with longer lifespan usually have higher resistance to stress. The extended-lifespan Drosophila mutant methuselah resists all three different stresses tested, heat, starvation, and paraquat, an oxygen free radical generator. This suggests a molecular approach to identifying genes which are up-regulated by all three stresses, as candidates... (more)

Bruce Hay, Ph.D.
California Institute of Technology
Apoptosis
1998 New Scholar Award in Aging

Apoptosis is a genetically regulated form of cell death which is critical for the normal development and adult function of multicellular organisms. Inappropriate activation of apoptosis also contributes to the neuronal cell loss associated with acute brain injuries such as stroke, and in age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Proteases play multiple roles... (more)

Giuseppe Attardi, M.D.
California Institute of Technology
Aging-dependent Large Accumulation of Mutations at Specific Sites in Human Mitochondrial DNA Control Region
2000 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Recently, the use of a novel approach for specific detection of heteroplasmic mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has surprisingly revealed high copy point mutations (present in up to 50% of mtDNA) at specific positions in the control region of human fibroblast mtDNA from normal old, but... (more)

Seymour Benzer, Ph.D.
California Institute of Technology
Mitochondrial swirls, a link between oxidative stress and aging in Drosophila
2002 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

One of the characteristics of aging is progressive deterioration of muscle function. We will study this phenomenon using the fruit fly, Drosophila, as a model organism. Drosophila flight muscle is among the most metabolically active tissues in any organism. Its mitochondria, the source of energy production,... (more)

Harry B. Gray, Ph.D.
California Institute of Technology
Misfolding and Aggregation of Alzheimerís and Parkinsonís Polypeptides
2004 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

Approximately 10% of individuals over age 65, and nearly half of those over age 85, suffer from Alzheimerís disease. Parkinsonís afflicts 1% of people over age 60 and the risk of contracting the disease increases with age. Currently, approximately 4.5 million Americans have Alzheimerís, and more than 1 million suffer from... (more)

Alexander Varshavsky, Ph.D.
California Institute of Technology
Lifespan Extension: Overexpression Strategies in the Mouse and Yeast
2004 Senior Scholar Award in Aging

The work by my laboratory at the California Institute of Technology is about understanding bits and pieces of the following large problem: how and why cells destroy their own proteins? A related problem is to understand the consequences of having protein destruction machines in every cell of the body for the emergence of... (more)