Steven Austad. “These kinds of studies are a way to quickly identify new genes that might be targets for new drugs to keep people healthy longer.”The dramatic increase in life expectancy over the past century has been a mixed blessing. Humans are living longer than ever before, but their later years are often plagued by debility, pain, or dementia.

Dr. Steven Austad’s research seeks to discover methods to extend the healthy productive years of life and minimize the period of late life debility. His novel approach is to investigate the mechanisms of exceptional resistance to aging processes found in the natural world. For instance, his laboratory has recently discovered that the ocean quahog, a clam species that lives for more than 500 years, possesses exceptionally effective mechanisms for preventing the formation of protein aggregates, the process that is widely thought to underlie Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

This fund supports all aspects of Dr. Austad's research. You can read more about it in UAB Magazine.

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