Sergiy Libert
Sergiy Libert - MS, PhD
AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty - 2015
Sergiy Libert

Sergiy Libert - MS, PhD

Assistant Professor - Cornell University
New York, United States


AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty - 2015

Genetic determination of the rate of aging and susceptibility to disease of aging in different breeds of dogs

An organism’s rate of aging is partially encoded genetically. Dr. Libert and his team aim to identify genes that can be modified in order to extend lifespan and protect against age-associated diseases in mammals. To do so, the team will utilize a diversity of breeds of Canis familiaris (domestic dog), which has never before been attempted.

Dogs present an excellent model to study aging because they have a similar physiology to humans and they naturally develop similar age-related disorders, including various cancers and cognitive impairments. Due to breeding efforts, dogs have the widest range of physiological parameters, including longevity. Finally, dogs and humans share the same environment and life routines, making the possible findings in this model organism the most relevant to human health.

Dr. Libert’s group will compare gene expression in tissues and cells from dogs that have long lifespans and those with short lifespans, as well as from those that are predisposed to certain diseases of aging and those that are resistant to those diseases. Such comparison will generate a list of candidate genes that might be responsible for setting the rate of aging and impacting susceptibility to age-associated diseases, such as cancer and neurodegeneration. The genes identified in this manner will guide the development of therapies that might slow the progression of aging and combat classical diseases of aging.

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