Institute of Genetic Medicine



Work on ageing research in the Institute of Genetic Medicine covers a range of research areas.

We put particular emphasis on:

  • the genetic mechanisms that lead to cardiovascular disease in later life
  • the effects of mutations in mitochondrial DNA on the ageing process and susceptibility to chronic disease
  • the genetics behind longevity and how aspirin might protect older people from colon cancer

Our research

The staff listed below are involved in age-related research in the following areas:

Dr Lyle Armstrong - understanding the epigenetic control of stem cell differentiation and the molecular mechanism behind the ageing process using cellular reprogramming
Professor Sir John Burn - cancer prevention research addressing simple and cheap methods to prevent colorectal cancer, one of the major causes of death and disability in old age. The different responses of the colon to aspirin in the old compared to younger people will be a focus for future research as part of the cancer prevention programme CAPP.
Dr Bill Chaudhry and Professor Deborah Henderson - cardiomyocyte turnover in the normal and cardiomyopathic zebrafish heart and developmental origins of late onset vascular pathologies
Professor Heather Cordell - analysis of genome-wide association study (GWAS) data to determine genetic predictors of longevity and related phenotypes
Dr Joanna Elson - the mechanism by which a single somatic mutation can come to dominate a cell's mtDNA population. The spectrum of somatic mtDNA mutations seen in ageing cells, and their effect on cellular function, as well as how this mutational spectrum differs in different cells types.
Professor Rita Horvath - investigation of late-onset inherited neurodegenerative diseases
Professor Majlinda Lako - application of pluripotent stem cells to understand, model and treat age-related diseases
Dr Andrew Owens - cardiac fibrosis and its association with atrial fibrillation in the ageing heart
Professor Ioakim Spyridopoulos - how ageing of stem cells and the immune system affect cardiovascular disease