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.