Vittorio Sebastiano
Vittorio Sebastiano - PhD
AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty - 2017
Vittorio Sebastiano

Vittorio Sebastiano - PhD

Assistant Professor - Stanford University
California, USA


AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty - 2017

Transient reprogramming for efficient cell-autonomous reversal of age-associated phenotypes

Dr. Sebastiano is working to develop a system that can lead to the partial or total reversal of aging effects at the cell, tissue, and organ system level. This is known as rejuvenation.

Dr. Sebastiano’s approach is based on the technology of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming. iPSC’s are stem cells derived from skin or blood cells that have been reprogrammed back into an embryonic-like, pluripotent state. That means they can give rise to many different cell types, enabling the development of various types of human cells needed for therapeutic purposes.

Remarkably, iPSC’s and cells derived from them display a more youthful nature than the original somatic cells. However, these derivation procedures are still being developed for lab use and cannot be applied in a live organism, in which iPSC’s spontaneously form tumors. Dr. Sebastiano’s preliminary work shows that inducing just the early reprogramming events can erase many of the aspects of cellular age in multiple human cell types without losing their identity.

Building on this work, Dr. Sebastiano’s team will investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms that drive age reversal and establish a restoration of functionality for tissues. They hope to transition the technology for direct application in the body.  Their work could help to restore youthful capabilities and functionality to aged organisms, including humans.

View all grantees for AFAR Research Grants for Junior Faculty in 2017

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