Laboratory for Ageing Research

About us

Why do our bodies decline as we grow old? Why does ageing cause disease? Can we slow aging or even reverse it? The answer to these questions underlies nearly all non-communicable disease process. The past two decade have seen an explosion in understanding the biology of ageing. By tackling these questions, we aim to develop medicines that may one day prevent and/or treat diseases of old age, with a single therapy. Our ultimate goal is to allow people to live healthier, disease-free lives.

We focus on genes (e.g. sirtuins) and small molecules (e.g. NAD+ agonists) that mimic exercise and calorie restriction, a diet that slows the pace of aging in animals. We use mouse models to test genes and small molecules for their ability to protect against common age-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, infertility, and type II diabetes. We also look at strategies to slow or reverse the pace of accelerated ageing that affects cancer survivors, who suffer the long-lasting side effects of chemotherapy treatment. 

At the cellular level we study cellular metabolism, mitochondrial function, neuroprotection, cellular senescence and transposon activity. Expertise in the lab ranges from enzymology and biochemistry, using model systems including C. elegans, rodents and cell based studies.

Team

Grants & Funding

“Translating new advances in oncofertility”: A/Prof Robert Gilchrist, Dr Lindsay Wu, Prof Johan Smitz, Prof Teresa Woodruff, Prof William Ledger, Dr Kirsty Walters. NHMRC Project Grant, $808,340 (2018-2021).

“Preserving ovarian function during chemotherapy and old age”: Lindsay Wu, NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (RD Wright Biomedical Fellowship), $425,048 (2017-2020)

“Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) raising agents for improving oocyte quality”: Hayden Homer, David Sinclair, Lindsay Wu, NHMRC Development Grant APP1122484, $445,827 (2017-2019)

“Female reproductive health preservation by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and Sirtuin2 (SIRT2)”: Hayden Homer, David Sinclair, Lindsay Wu, NHMRC Project Grant APP1103689, $410,983 (2016-2018)

“New drugs to prevent premature ageing and side effects of chemotherapy”: Lindsay Wu, David Sinclair, NHMRC Development Grant APP1093643, $559,713.50 (2015-2017)

“Calorie restriction mimetics for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma”: Lindsay Wu, Early Career Fellowship, Cancer Institute NSW, $586,000 (2014-2016). 

Donations

We were fortunate to be funded at our founding by the Claire Peyton bequest to UNSW. 

Students

  • Abhirup Das, PhD (Stanford)
  • Myung Jin Kang (PhD candidate)
  • Ashley Wong (PhD candidate)
  • Jonathan Ho (PhD candidate)
  • Lynn-Jee Kim (PhD candidate)
  • Dave Listijono, MBBS (PhD candidate)
  • Catherine Li (PhD candidate)
  • Safaa Cabot (honours student)
  • Timothy Chalmers (honours student)