Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Extending Healthy Lifespan by Manipulating Cell Competition

Tatsushi Igaki, Ph.D. | Kyoto University
Competition Sponsor: Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development
Awardee Year: 2020

This study aims to establish the methodology for extending healthy lifespan and keeping youthfulness by manipulating the phenomenon called ‘cell competition’. Cell competition is a form of cell-cell interaction whereby normal ‘healthy’ cells eliminate their neighboring low-fitness or harmful cells by actively killing them. In this study, we will first elucidate the molecular mechanism of cell competition during aging process of fruit fly Drosophila and then establish the methodology to artificially manipulate cell competition, thereby trying to establish the way to manipulate animal aging. This study is innovative because it focuses on the unique property of cell competition and tries to establish a novel way of extending healthy lifespan by enhancing cell competition-mediated elimination of harmful cells from the animal. Enhancement of cell competition would increase survival/adaptive activity of normal cells; thus it would be able to establish aging suppressor without having any side effect. Given that cell competition prolongs lifespan in Drosophila and its machinery is evolutionarily conserved in mammals, its application to humans would provide an innovative strategy to extend healthy lifespan.

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View this project poster, first displayed at the 2021 Global Innovator Summit.

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