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Finding New Therapies

Developing new treatments for aging-associated diseases needs basic scientific research.

Only by identifying the molecular processes that trigger the pathogenesis of a disease can we find research approaches to give us a new understanding of age-associated disorders. CECAD’s vision entails scientists and clinicians working together to develop new therapies for aging-associated diseases. In the past, neurologists have dealt with dementia, cardiologists with heart disease, and oncologists with tumors. CECAD’s interdisciplinary approach means that scientists are now looking for shared causes of age-associated disorders. Their goal is to find a central mechanism involved in the aging process that would allow scientists and medical professionals to intervene successfully.

Research for new therapies: Spotlight on translation
Translational research is one of CECAD’s key focus areas, enabling the rapid transfer of promising research findings into clinical practice. Together with the Center for Clinical Studies, the Translational Platform links scientists engaged in basic biological research with clinicians and is the partner for successful cooperations with biotech companies.

Successful projects
One example of a life-prolonging metabolic mechanism is a decrease in the activity of the insulin-like growth factor IGF1. A reduction in IGF1 activity increases the lifespan of many animals. Whether this knowledge can be transferred to humans is currently under investigation at CECAD. Based on research findings, a clinical study is already successfully underway to determine whether targeted calorie restriction prior to heart surgery can protect renal function. The study will also determine if this diet reduces the number of older patients who require dialysis following the operation. Restricted calorie intake apparently induces a state of stress that reduces the body’s sensitivity to extrinsic insult for a short period of time. This method might help not only to protect the kidneys but also other organs from functional impairment during surgery.

Cutting-edge technology
The latest technologies in Core Facilities allow CECAD’s scientists to analyze complex biomolecules, gain in-depth understanding of genetic and molecular networks, and perform high-resolution imaging of processes in physiology and cell biology during the course of their research. With all this on offer, Core Facilities contribute greatly to the success of CECAD’s key research projects and generate new information in both scientific and clinical research.