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Dr. Vladimir Titorenko

Associate Professor


Dr. Vladimir Titorenko Dr. Vladimir Titorenko

Dr. Vladimir Titorenko, an Associate Professor in Concordia’s Department of Biology, wants to understand how molecular processes within living cells determine longevity of the entire organism.

His research team is trying to answer the age-old questions: what is old age is and how do we age? Is old age the final stage of a developmental program or merely the result of a lifelong accumulation of unrepaired cellular and molecular damage?

Studying baker’s yeast as a model for the mechanism of human cellular aging, Titorenko and his team found that aging is a little bit of both. His recent work has documented that aging yeast cells accumulate damage over time, but they do so by following a pattern laid down earlier in life by diet as well as the genes that control lipid metabolism and the dynamics of cell structures such as mitochondria, the power plants of cells. Thus, old age is the final stage of both a developmental program and the result of a lifelong accumulation of unrepaired cellular and molecular damage.

To determine whether aging could be manipulated by a therapeutic drug, Titorenko and his research team developed a life-span assay (assays are a quantitative measurement of small or large molecules and proteins) for a large-scale screening of multi-compound chemical libraries. Their assay identified five groups of novel anti-aging small molecules that significantly delayed yeast aging by remodeling lipid metabolism and activating stress response-related processes in mitochondria.

Titorenko and his team now use these small molecules as research tools to investigate the mechanisms of longevity in human cells cultured in a test tube. Titorenko hopes that in the future these novel anti-aging small molecules can be used as possible pharmaceutical agents for age-related disorders that affect lipid metabolism such as heart disease, chronic inflammation and diabetes.

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