Senior Capstone Experience by Kylie Peets ’21
Submitted to the Department of Biology
Advised by Dr. Mala Misra
Description: Aging is a major risk factor for some of the most common chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and cancer, yet there is little emphasis on treating aging itself in the medical field. Many anti-aging therapies that target different hallmarks of aging are being developed, but one of particular interest is “partial reprogramming”, a method of partially resetting the epigenetic clock via the expression of Yamanaka Factors. Here, I discuss studies showing that partial reprogramming reverses many aging hallmarks and restores both form and function of a vast array of tissue types including peripheral tissues, sensory nervous tissue such as retinal ganglion cells, and even dentate gyrus cells of the hippocampus that are involved in memory formation in murine mode.