Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health

Olivia Casanueva

Research Summary

Groundbreaking work in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has demonstrated that ageing is not simply a stochastic and progressive decay, but that it is genetically controlled by the longevity pathways. Strikingly, lifespan is highly variable even in genetically identical individuals reared under controlled environmental conditions.

We are interested in finding the mechanisms underlying transcriptional inter-individual variability in genes that modulate lifespan and determining to what extent it explains individual-to-individual differences in the rates of ageing. We are also interested in studying the influence of both stochastic and environmental variability during early life and its long-term effect on health. Dietary restriction (DR), reduced food intake without malnutrition, increases health and function during ageing and protects against ageing-related disease in most organisms. We are interested in understanding how early life nutrition (and DR) can set rates of ageing via epigenetic mechanisms.

Answering these questions requires the development of new technologies that make whole animals centre stage and will have a significant conceptual impact on ageing research and personalized medicine.  

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Latest Publications

Epigenetic inheritance of proteostasis and ageing.

Li C, Casanueva O

Essays in biochemistry
60 1744-1358:191-202 (2016)

PMID: 27744335

Fitness trade-offs and environmentally induced mutation buffering in isogenic C. elegans.

MO Casanueva, A Burga, B Lehner

Science (New York, N.Y.)
335 6064:82-5 (2012)

DOI: 10.1126/science.1213491

PMID: 22174126

Neuronal signaling modulates protein homeostasis in Caenorhabditis elegans post-synaptic muscle cells.

SM Garcia, MO Casanueva, MC Silva

Genes & development
21 22:3006-16 (2007)

DOI: 10.1101/gad.1575307

PMID: 18006691

Germline stem cell number in the Drosophila ovary is regulated by redundant mechanisms that control Dpp signaling.

MO Casanueva, EL Ferguson

Development (Cambridge, England)
131 9:1881-90 (2004)

DOI: 10.1242/dev.01076

PMID: 15105369

At least two receptors of asymmetric acetylcholinesterase are present at the synaptic basal lamina of Torpedo electric organ.

OI Casanueva, P Deprez, T García-Huidobro

Biochemical and biophysical research communications
250 2:312-7 (1998)

DOI: 10.1006/bbrc.1998.9303

PMID: 9753626