Anne Brunet, PhD
Professor of Genetics
Regulation of aging
Abstract: We are interested in understand aging based on the integration of model organisms with diverse lifespans. Using the short-lived worm C. elegans, we are identifying pathways involved in delaying aging in response to external forces such as availability of food and sex. We previously showed that modulations of specific metabolic signaling pathways as well as regulators of stable chromatin states lead to lifespan extension. We also made the surprising discovery that lifespan extension can be inherited in a transgenerational epigenetic manner. We are also interested in using vertebrate models to address complex questions about aging in cells absent in worms, such as adult regenerative stem cells. We have started by examining the role of metabolic signaling pathways and FOXO transcription factors in neural stem cells and cognitive function. We are particularly interested in understanding the epigenomic regulation of aging neural stem cells. Finally, we are pioneering the naturally short-lived African killifish as a new model to assess the evolution of lifespan and to identify principles underlying vertebrate aging.
Bio: Anne Brunet is a Professor of Genetics at Stanford University. Dr. Brunet obtained her B.Sc. from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France and her Ph.D. from the University of Nice, France. She did her postdoctoral research training in Dr. Michael Greenberg’s lab at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Brunet is interested in the molecular mechanisms of aging and longevity, with a particular emphasis on the nervous system. Her lab studies the molecular mechanism of action of known longevity genes. She is particularly interested in the role of longevity genes in neural stem cells during aging. Another goal of the Brunet lab is to discover novel genes and processes regulating longevity using two model systems, the invertebrate C. elegans and an extremely short-lived vertebrate, the African killifish N. furzeri. Dr. Brunet has received several grants from the National Institute on Aging. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers, reviews, and book chapters. She has received a number of awards, including the Pfizer/AFAR Innovations in Aging Research Award, a Junior Investigator Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a Glenn Foundation for Medical Research Award, an Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar Award, and the Vincent Cristofalo “Rising Star” Award in Aging Research. She was awarded a Pioneer Award from the NIH Director's fund, an award that supports scientists of exceptional creativity, who propose pioneering and transforming approaches to major challenges in biomedical research.