Simon Melov, PhD, Professor

Identifying molecular hallmarks of aging to guide the development of anti-aging therapies

Simon Melov, who heads the Institute’s Genomic Core, explores the role of the energy-making units inside cells, the mitochondria, which produce a chemical fuel that powers the cell’s work but which also release damaging “free radicals’’ that are linked to disease. The Melov lab studies proteins that help the mitochondria detoxify free radicals and tracks the decline of function in mitochondria that comes with age. Other research interests include the age-related bone disorder osteoporosis, age-related heart disease, the role of methylation in the aging human genome, and developing molecular techniques to better understand single cell changes with age. In a landmark study, Dr. Melov and collaborators showed that the more vigorous pattern of gene expression found in young adults could be partially restored in older adults who followed an strength training exercise program for 6 months. The Melov lab looks for broader genetic fingerprints of aging by surveying the patterns of gene activity in various animals, including human beings, mice, and the nematode worm C. elegans.

Dr. Melov received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of London in the UK. He held positions at Emory University in Atlanta and at the University of Colorado in Boulder before joining the faculty of the Buck Institute as an associate professor in 1999.

Media Expertise
Dr. Melov welcomes media inquiries on the following subjects:
Genetics of aging, aging and exercise, antioxidants and aging.
Phone: 415-209-2068
Administrative Lab Coordinator: Shelly Jennings
Phone: 415-209-2002

“Efforts to extend healthspan by delaying the aging process are moving from ‘impossible’ to ‘inevitable.’ The Buck Institute is uniquely positioned to play a pivotal role in this new area of medicine.”

Simon Melov, PhD


Recent Publications


Michael C Velarde, Marco Demaria... Judith Campisi "Pleiotropic age-dependent effects of mitochondrial dysfunction on epidermal stem cells." Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 112:33 10407-12


Luigi Fontana, Brian K Kennedy... Simon Melov "Medical research: treat ageing." Nature 511:7510 405-7
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