Biology of Ageing

The Max-Planck-Institute for Biology of Ageing (MPI-AGE) aims to unravel the molecular, physiological and evolutionary mechanisms underlying the ageing process. As we age, many of our body functions decline, often accompanied by the development of complex and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases. Our mission is to understand how we can intervene to mitigate or even prevent these age-related diseases and pave the way for a healthier ageing. Currently, much of the research at the institute focuses on three topics: the molecular genetics of ageing, the study of the ageing brain, and the role of mitochondria in ageing processes. In addition, research groups are investigating how DNA repair and nutrient sensing influence ageing.

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To understand these processes, the institute currently conducts work on four different model organisms: worms, fruit flies, turquoise killifish and mice. The studies on model organisms are in the long term to be linked with comparative studies in humans. To this end, we are examining samples from patients in the clinic and conducting studies on long-lived families.
Host researcher Joris Deelen focuses on the identification of the genetic mechanisms underlying healthy ageing and extended lifespan in humans. Moreover, the Deelen group aims to establish novel human ageing studies in Cologne to identify and validate biomarkers of healthy ageing.