Aging is the largest risk factor for disease in developed countries. At the Buck Institute, researchers from many disciplines work together under one roof to understand the aging process and its link to chronic disease. Our goal is to develop therapies to treat disease and slow the aging process. Both our physical and cultural environment supports the free flow of information and rapid scientific advancement. We have no departmental boundaries. Bureaucracy is kept to a minimum.
The Buck Institute’s Interdisciplinary Research Consortium on Geroscience exemplifies our approach to tackling a complex biomedical problem that is unlikely to yield to traditional investigative techniques. Funded by a prestigious “Roadmap” Grant from the National Institutes of Health, this new field of Geroscience includes molecular genetics, biochemistry, cell biology, chemical biology, cancer biology, Alzheimer’s disease research, endocrinology, invertebrate aging, nutrition, bioenergetics, Parkinson’s disease research, molecular epidemiology, Huntington’s disease research, ischemia (stroke), proteomics, human embryonic stem cells, genomic stability and statistics, among others. Over the coming years the Buck Institute hopes to attract researchers from fields as disparate as physics, anthropology, engineering and mathematics, many of whom may have no background in Geroscience and may not initially think of themselves as researchers in this new field.
The Buck Institute is also developing a unique program in Regenerative Medicine and Aging. Our initial queries are three-fold: why do aging tissues lose their capacity to regenerate, why do stem cells fail to function as one gets older, and how do tissues change during aging such that they no longer support normal regenerative processes.