Ageing is considered, in humans and organisms used to model their ageing, as a continuous process accompanying a time-dependant increasing mortality risk and associated so-called hallmarks of ageing. Thanks to a tool (Smurf Assay) and theoretical framework (Two phases of ageing – 2PAC) developed by Michael Rera in the past years, initially using the model organism D. melanogaster, this view of ageing can now be challenged and opens novel questions regarding this process.
We can now study ageing as a discontinuous process made of two successive phases separated by a sharp transition, evolutionarily conserved in other drosophila species, nematodes and the zebrafish. Thanks to the ATIP-Avenir grant he obtained in 2018, together with his team they started to characterize the transcriptional signature of each of these two phases as a function of chronological age as well as its conservation in mammals, and outline the ethical questions that our research work raise..
The ADAGIO project now financed by the ANR aims at 1) extending these tools to mammals including humans and 2) characterize the metabolic changes accompanying the late phase of life in order to 3) develop even earlier marker for natural death.
This is, we consider, the essential first steps for creating new, more efficient, anti-ageing pharmacological and genetic interventions.
addendum: two job descriptions will be posted soon for a 24-month postdoc position as well as an 18 months engineer position with a strong expertise on mice and a PhD student contract