A variety of research was presented, with four themes amongst the most interesting:
1. Role of rapamycin in preventing inflammation
Rapamycin (more technically known as the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)), has long been examined in aging since it is a protein that regulates a range of cellular behavior including growth, proliferation, motility, and survival. Initially hoped to be useful in treating cancer, rapamycin later turned out not to kill tumors due to systems biology; when mTOR is given and the TOR pathway is knocked out, the ERK pathway is upregulated instead.
However new research presented by Remi-Martin Laberge (Buck) shows that there is hope for rapamycin in the context of inflammation prevention.
2. Role of recently discovered SIRT7 in oncogenesis
Matt Barber (Stanford) presented work regarding a recently discovered SIRT (Silent Information Regulator) protein. SIRT7 is a chromatin-associated protein and site-specific histone H3 K18 deacetylase.
3. Enhanced stem cell therapies
Randy Ashton (Berkeley) showed research regarding the increased ability to dopaminergiacally pattern hESCs to facilitate regenerative therapies for Parkinson’s disease.
4. Protein homeostasis and proteasome activity necessary for long lifespan
Brett Robison (Buck) presented work suggesting that normal proteasome function is required for full lifespan in yeast.