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


Why extend lifespan and improve health span?

Slowing the aging process delays the progression of diseases of aging such as cancer, Alzheimer¹s, and heart disease. The ultimate goal of our work is not to just increase the lifespan but to also increase the health span and add healthy years to human life.

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

  • 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 including Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, and drug abuse
  • Fruit flies mimic many aspects of human physiology such as displaying imbalance after excessive consumption of alcohol!

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 anti-aging
compounds that not only increased the lifespan but also improved the
health span. issue.

Why work with plants and botanical extracts?

While some studies have shown that dietary supplements and botanical extracts may impact age-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative disorders, there are large gaps in the human knowledge about the mechanisms through which these products modulate aging. Our research hopes to bridge that gap in knowledge.



2 Responses to Home

  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:

    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.

    Nathan James
    Student I.D. 61163495

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