The Science of Healthspan

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The ultimate goal of the Jafari Research Group is to add healthy years to human life!


 Recent Publications:

January 2016
The impact of green tea polyphenols on development and reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster

December 2014
Extension of Drosophila lifespan by cinnamon through a sex-specific dependence on the insulin receptor substrate chico. Experimental Gerontology

July 2014
Green Tea Polyphenols Extend the Lifespan of Male Drosophila melanogaster While Impairing Reproductive Fitness

May 2013
Extension of Drosophila lifespan by Rhodiola rosea through a mechanism independent from dietary restriction


Why extend lifespan and improve healthspan?

Slowing the aging process delays the progression of diseases resulting from aging such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. The ultimate goal of our work is to improve healthspan and add healthy years to human life.

Why work with the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) to study anti-aging?

  • The fruit fly is an established model system to study aging
  • We share about 75% of our disease genes with fruit flies
  • 50% of fly protein sequences have mammalian homologs
  • Fruit flies have been used to study and identify drug targets for several human diseases
  • Fruit flies mimic many aspects of human physiology

Over the past 10 years, using fruit flies as as our model system, we have developed an algorithm and a number of bioassays to identify compounds that increased lifespan as well as improve healthspan.

Why work with plants and botanical extracts?

While some studies have shown that plants and botanical extracts such as Rhodiola rosea and Rosa demascena may impact age-related diseases, there are large gaps in the human knowledge about the mechanisms through which these natural products modulate aging. Our research hopes to bridge that gap in knowledge.


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