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Grantee in the News: Matt Kaeberlein on Implications of Animal Longevity for Human Lifespan in Popular Science

Mar 26
2018

Grantee in the News: Matt Kaeberlein on Implications of Animal Longevity for Human Lifespan in Popular Science View MoreBACK

On March 19, 2018, Popular Science highlighted the insights of 2007 Glenn Foundation for Medical Research Breakthroughs in Gerontology (BIG) Award recipient Matt Kaeberlein, Ph.D.

The article, “Look to large bodies to understand long life spans,” focuses on possible reasons different species have very different lifespans. Often larger animals live longer due to having to fend off less predators.  However, there are exceptions such as the quahog clam that lives to 500 years old.

Dr. Kaeberlein explains how the long lifespan of smaller animals is partially due to the length of their telomeres. “There’s evidence that telomeres in some bats—which have the longest life spans of any mammal relative to their body size—do not shrink with age. And long-lived clams and naked mole rats seem to be particularly good at keeping their proteins from misfolding.”

Later in the article, his research on whether rapamycin can extend healthspan is highlighted.  Dr. Kaeberlein is currently testing rapamycin through the Dog Aging Project.

“We’re doing this in large dogs for the very reason that large dogs age faster than small dogs,” he says. “We can actually assess whether something like rapamycin can improve heart function or improve cognitive function in a pet dog in a few years, whereas in a human that might take a decade.”

Read the full article here.


Matt Kaeberlein, Ph.D. is a Co-Director of the University of Washington Medicine Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, for which AFAR serves the Nathan Shock Centers Coordinating Center.

Dr. Kaeberlein is also Director of the University of Washington Healthy Aging and Longevity Research Institute.





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