The median age of the human population is considerably increasing and with it the number of patients affected by age-related disorders. Aging-associated diseases are very diverse and range from neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular disorders to cancer, among others. Many of the mechanisms that control aging have also dramatic effects on tumorigenesis, like telomere attrition, genomic instability, metabolic and proteomic changes, epigenetic changes and stem cell maintenance. Interestingly, many mechanisms that are responsible for a loss of physiological function during aging are causing a gain-of-function in cancer, promoting aberrant cell division. Despite clear correlation between aging and cancer, the underlying common mechanisms and their distinct effects on the cellular level are still insufficiently understood and need further investigations.
My research aims to establish an in vitro model of induced aging and investigate the transition to malignancy.