The Research Areas at CECAD

Unraveling the mechanisms of human aging and its associated diseases is a challenging and complex interdisciplinary research project. Many signaling pathways alter during a person’s lifetime and may become the trigger for disease. In its investigation of various aspects of cell aging, CECAD has defined six Research Areas that are exploring the key mechanisms of aging.

  • A: Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Aging and Neurodegeneration
  • B: Disruptions in Protein Metabolism Cause Aging-Associated Diseases
  • C: DNA damage responses in Aging-associated Diseases
  • D: The Aging of Membranes
  • E: Inflammation in Aging-Associated Diseases
  • F: Metabolism in Aging Process, Diabetes and Obesity



Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Aging and Neurodegeneration
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, keeping them supplied with energy. The activity of mitochondria decreases during aging and defects in mitochondria trigger age-associated diseases including neurodegeneration. Research Area A explores the quality control mechanisms that maintain the integrity of mitochondrial processes, and how the disruption of these mechanisms contributes to diseases. read more...


Disruptions in Protein Metabolism Cause Aging-Associated Diseases
Cellular differentiation, developmental processes, and environmental factors challenge the integrity of the proteome in every eukaryotic cell. The maintenance of protein homeostasis, or proteostasis, involves repair and degradation of damaged proteins and is essential for human health. It is commonly thought that age-related impairment of protein quality control affects general proteostasis networks and is involved in age-related pathologies. read more...


DNA damage responses in Aging-associated Diseases
The genome in each cell of the human body is constantly under attack. Over a lifetime DNA damage accumulates and drives the aging process and causes age-related diseases including cancer. Investigators in research area C focus on understanding how DNA repair systems remove the damage and how cells and tissues counteract the detrimental consequences of genome damage. read more...


The Aging of Membranes
Cell membranes are integral to our cells and contain enzymes, receptors and ion channels.
The composition of their building blocks (lipids) changes over the course of a lifetime. Changes in lipid metabolism play an important role in aging-associated diseases such as hair loss, muscle weakness and obesity. Scientists in Research Area D look into why lipid composition in the cells alters over time and the mechanisms that promote aging-associated diseases. read more...


Inflammation in Aging-Associated Diseases
When the immune system is not properly regulated it can cause chronic inflammatory reactions. Prolonged inflammation can trigger aging-associated diseases like cancer, chronic wounds, and type 2 diabetes. Research Area E focuses on the different phenomena associated with inflammation, such as the role of chronic inflammation in tissue and aging, or the link between inflammation and carcinogenesis. read more...


Metabolism in Aging Process, Diabetes and Obesity
Nutrient intake and energy expenditure are controlled by a variety of metabolic and neuronal signaling pathways. Imbalances here can result in diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. The energy-regulating signaling pathways also influence development, growth and the aging process. Scientists in Research Area F work to identify the signaling cascades involved in regulating energy metabolism and explore how their findings might contribute to a longer, healthier life in old age. read more...