Jan Vijg

Jan Vijg Link to laboratory: http://www.einstein.yu.edu/faculty/11318/jan-vijg/

How will your research contribute to extending healthy human life?

By gaining more insight into the molecular basis of aging we should be able to better develop interventions to promote healthy aging and longevity

What were the major breakthroughs made by your laboratory or companies?

We were the first to develop mouse models for detecting somatic mutations and show that mutations accumulate during aging in a tissue-specific manner. More recently, we demonstrated that we can use next-generation sequencing to characterize the landscape of somatic mutations in humans and other animal species

Can your research be commercialized in the future and is there any way to invest in this research today?

The mouse models that we developed already serve as mammalian systems in genetic toxicology testing and our current assay systems for measuring somatic mutations in humans will hopefully serve as biomarkers in human risk assessment, to measure possible exposure to radiation and other DNA damaging agents and as biomarkers of aging

In your opinion, what are the most promising companies contributing to longevity research today?

I think that current companies focusing on longevity are too early. We first need to know more about the molecular basis of aging

Do you think there will be significant breakthroughs in longevity research in the next decade?

Yes, I think we will very soon understand the primary causes of aging, which will then serve as a rational basis for developing interventions

Do you think it is a good time for iVAO to get into longevity business and invest in biotechnology in general?

Yes, but it is important to position themselves carefully and first scout the entire landscape

Can you say a few words about the upcoming conference in St. Petersburg? What are your expectations?

My expectations are very high based on the accelerating pace of aging research, especially in Russia