Professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging
Identifying molecular hallmarks of aging to guide the development of anti-aging therapies
Simon Melov, PhD, who heads the Institute’s Genomic Core, explores the role of the energy-making units inside cells, the mitochondria, which produce a chemical fuel that powers the cell’s work but which also release damaging “free radicals’’ that are linked to disease. The Melov lab studies proteins that help the mitochondria detoxify free radicals and tracks the decline of function in mitochondria that comes with age. Other research interests include the age-related bone disorder osteoporosis, age-related heart disease, the role of methylation in the aging human genome, and developing molecular techniques to better understand single cell changes with age. In a landmark study, Melov and collaborators showed that the more vigorous pattern of gene expression found in young adults could be partially restored in older adults who followed an strength training exercise program for 6 months. The Melov lab looks for broader genetic fingerprints of aging by surveying the patterns of gene activity in various animals, including human beings, mice, and the nematode worm C. elegans.
Melov received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of London in the UK. He held positions at Emory University in Atlanta and at the University of Colorado in Boulder before joining the faculty of the Buck Institute as an associate professor in 1999.