Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Systematic identification and functional analysis of synergistic small molecule combinations targeting aging

Mohammad Alfatah
, PhD; Frank Eisenhaber, PhD
Competition Sponsor: Ministry of Health and National Research Foundation of Singapore
Awardee year: 2021

The world’s aging population is growing dramatically. Aging is associated with progressive degeneration of physiological integrity, impaired morphological and essential functions. Most importantly, aging is the major risk factor for chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegeneration. The prevalence of age-related diseases affect life quality and threaten a wide range of sectors, such as health care systems and economic growth. We will identify small molecules, both drugs and natural products that target aging. Since aging is controlled by many biological processes, we will identify small molecule combinations that simultaneously target different aging processes. We will identify synergistic combinations targeting aging for effective therapy to increase the healthy lifespan. We will develop a novel “Pair to Pool” (PTP) high-throughput method to identify the small molecule combinations. We will screen small molecules in budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae which is the powerful model system to identify interventions for human post-mitotic cells aging. We will perform functional profiling to identify the mechanism of synergy. We will validate anti-aging effect of synergistic combinations in human cell lines. This project will provide effective anti-aging synergistic combinations and may uncover hitherto uncharacterized genes functions, which is an important goal to understand the biology of complex aging.

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