sabato 26 settembre 2015

Ricercatore Valter Longo - Researcher Valter Longo

Valter D. Longo (born October 9, 1967) is an American biogerontologist and cell biologist known for his studies on the role of starvation and nutrient response genes on cellular protection aging and diseases and for proposing that longevity is regulated by similar genes and mechanisms in many eukaryotes. He is currently a professor at the USC Davis School of Gerontology with a joint appointment in the department of Biological Sciences as well as serving as the director of the USC Longevity Institute.

Originally from Genoa, Italy, Valter Longo attended the University of North Texas[1] majoring in Biochemistry.

In 1992 he joined the laboratory of "calorie restriction" pioneer Roy Walford at UCLA where he studied calorie restriction and aging of the immune system. He completed his PhD work in Biochemistry studying antioxidant enzymes and anti-aging genes under Joan Valentine at UCLA in 1997 and his postdoctoral training in the neurobiology of Alzheimer's Disease under Caleb Finch at the University of Southern California. Since 1997 he has been a faculty member at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center.

In his 1997 doctoral thesis he described a new way to study aging in S. cerevisiae (chronological life span) and described in parallel with the work of others in C. elegans the first aging regulatory pathway which, in yeast, involved Ras, adenylate cyclase and protein kinase A, protective transcription factors and antioxidant enzymes.[2][3] In 2001, he led the USC team that discovered that inhibition of the growth stimulating Mammalian target of rapamycin/S6 kinase pathway by deletion of the SCH9 gene caused a 3-fold life span extension in yeast.[4] Analogous genes including adenylate cyclase, PKA, Tor and S6K were recently shown to also regulate aging in mice. In 2008 the Longo laboratory showed that inactivation of the Tor-S6K and Ras-PKA pathways is responsible for a major portion of the effects of calorie restriction on life span and together with calorie restriction causes a 10 fold life span extension.[5]

The Longo laboratory also showed that the inhibition of IGF-1 and of the aging promoting pathways by starvation can be exploited to protect normal cells and mice but not cancer cells from chemotherapy (Differential Stress Resistance, DSR).[6][7][8] Preliminary studies in humans suggest that the DSR effect may be applicable to cancer patients.[9]

In 2011, Longo in collaboration with the group of endocrinologist Jaime Guevara-Aguirre in Ecuador, demonstrated that the aging promoting effect of the IGF-1, Tor-S6K, Ras and PKA pathways on aging is potentially conserved in most eukaryotes by reporting that a human population with deficiencies in IGF-1, Ras, PKA, and Tor displays a major reduction in genes that promote aging as well as a very low incidence of cancer and diabetes.[10][11][12][13]

Longo, a leading force in the formation of USC's Biology of Aging program as well as the director of the USC Longevity Institute,[14] also launched the USC Davis School of Gerontology's first study-abroad program, a summer class in the nutrition and genetics of aging in Italy.[15]

In 2011, he was profiled on Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman for his longevity-related research.[16]


Vincent Cristofalo Rising Star Award in Aging Research, American Aging Association, 2013
PO1 Program Project in the Biology of Aging of Aging and Cancer, 2011
Nathan Shock Lecture Award, National Institute on Aging, NIH, 2010[17]
Alzheimer's Association Research Award, 2002
National Institute on Aging Career Development Award in Neuroscience, 2001

Potential conflicts of interest
Valter Longo is a founder of a L-Nutra Inc., a company that markets food supplements.[18]

Selected publications
Fasting vs dietary restriction in cellular protection and cancer treatment: from model organisms to patients[19]
Fasting Cycles Retard Growth of Tumors and Sensitize a Range of Cancer Cell Types to Chemotherapy[20]
Fasting and cancer treatment in humans: A case series report[21]
Prolonged Fasting Reduces IGF-1/PKA to Promote Hematopoietic-Stem-Cell-Based Regeneration and Reverse Immunosuppression[22]
Low Protein Intake Is Associated with a Major Reduction in IGF-1, Cancer, and Overall Mortality in the 65 and Younger but Not Older Population[23]
Media appearances[edit]
In 2011, he was profiled on Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman for his longevity-related research.[24]

Also in 2011 he was featured in the French documentary on fasting The Science of Fasting[25] by Thierry De Lestrade and Sylvie Gilman.

In August 2012 he was featured in the BBC2 Horizon documentary Eat, Fast & Live Longer[26] by Michael J. Mosley.

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