The Science of Healthspan

Research TeamThe 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.


 

2 Responses to The Science of Healthspan

  1. mjafari says:

    Hi Nathan,
    I just saw your note. Please email me at mjafari@uci.edu if you are still interested in joining my lab.
    Thank you,
    Mahtab Jafari

  2. Nathan James says:

    Hello,
    My name is Nathan James. I am a third year pre-medical biological science student and I saw the opportunity in your laboratory to research the effects of natural products on aging, lifespan, and healthspan. I was recently fortunate to have attended a symposium featuring UCLA Professor and Researcher, Dr. David Walker, in which Dr. Walker discussed his research on the understanding of molecular and cellular mechanisms of aging and what kind of research is being done to learn how to counteract these mechanisms using the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. This was incredibly interesting to me.

    I have worked with liquid chromatography in general chemistry as well as in the S-STEM internship program at West Los Angeles College. In addition to liquid chromatography, I can also perform column chromatography in order to separate natural products from plants. For a project at WLAC I extracted capsaicin from chile peppers. I have also taken a biotechnology class in which I gained useful research skills: bacterial transformation, isolation of DNA (from bacteria), agarose gel electrophoresis (to analyze DNA fragments), restriction digests, PCR amplification of DNA (and purification), and isolation of genomic DNA. I find it rewarding to research things that will improve the lifespan and healthspan of people, and I would love to be part of your team.

    Sincerely,
    Nathan James
    Student I.D. 61163495

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