Aging – A worldwide concern

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Online Talks and Q&A Session 
Language: English
Alter: 16+
When: 24. September 2021, 18:00 – 19:00
Where: online
Speaker: 3 PhD students from the MSCA Doctoral Program ARDRE

This MSCA doctoral program (GA No 847681) deals with the aspects of Aging, Drugs and Regeneration. Young PhD students represent these 3 aspects:

Aging Research (Univ. Prof. Dr. Pidder Jansen-Dürr, Institute for Biomedical Aging Research, University of Innsbruck)
Thanks to the progress performed in the medical field since the last decades, the life expectancy increased. Despite the progress, people still age due to the natural aging process, a process that is inevitable. Aging is a multifactorial process that is determined by genetic and environmental factors. It can be considered as a dynamic process marked by not only the appearance of wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity but also a progressive decline in the functions of organs, which can lead to the development of age-associated diseases as cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. All this seems hopeless and unfortunate; however, our lifestyle – as nutrition, physical activity, stress or environment conditions with pollution or climate – has a significant impact on our way to age. For example, performing caloric restriction without malnutrition is an anti-ageing intervention. Beneficial effects of this intervention in normal weight humans and of weight loss interventions in over weight and obese humans have been shown. These interventions lead to a reprogramming of adipose tissue physiology, postpone apparition of age-related diseases and extend a healthier lifespan. Understand this reprogramming in the adipose tissue and be able to control it would be finding the Holy Grail!

Drug Research (Ferenc Török, Prof. Dr. Jörg Striessnig, Department of Pharmacy, Pharmacognosy, University of Innsbruck)
Aim of the presentation is to provide a basic yet informative picture regarding the drug research from ancient times until nowadays’ methods including cutting-edge technologies such as computer-driven molecular modeling and further various techniques used by word-leading professionals or PhD students from the University of Innsbruck. In the first part of the presentation a historical retrospective shall be provided, afterwards technologies from current times used by PhD students of the ARDRE PhD school would be introduced as an appetizer for young researcher candidates.

Regeneration Research – Model organisms for regeneration studies (Alessandro Pennati, Marion Lechable, Institute of Zoology, University of Innsbruck)
Regeneration is the ability of a living organism to re-build a missing part after injuries. This process can be applied to cells, organs or even to the whole-body scale, and is widely found in nature. Regeneration studies have increasingly impact nowadays, especially in the fight against aging, renewal of organs and stem cells. Thus, researchers are taking advantage from the nature with the hope to reiterate this process in human cells. Some of the organisms with these high regenerative capacities are studied since decades. For instance, the freshwater polyp Hydra, commonly known as the many-headed monster from Greek mythology, is able to regenerate its whole-body after being cut in two pieces. When it comes to the Zebrafish, the latter can regenerate most of its organs after injuries. Other organisms with regeneration capacity are Tunicates with some species able to rebuild parts of the body and others capable of whole body regeneration. Principle mechanisms as well as model systems for regenerative studies, Hydra, Zebrafish and Tunicates, will be presented.

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