Support is requested for a Keystone Symposia conference entitled Intra- and Intercellular Mechanisms of Aging, organized by Drs. Malene Hansen, Johan Auwerx and Heinrich Jasper. The conference will be held in Vancouver, Canada from February 9-13, 2020. Over the past three decades, studies have highlighted numerous cell-autonomous mechanisms that contribute to organismal aging. Specifically, changes in many genes, pathways, biomolecules and organelles have been shown to affect aging in a number of model organisms in a conserved fashion. However, it has become increasingly clear that these intracellular mechanisms are complemented by cell non-autonomous signaling events to influence aging on a tissue and organismal level. Understanding how an initial deregulation of intracellular functions are likely communicated to other cells, tissues, or organs to thereby impact the lifespan and healthspan of the organism will be key to our understanding of aging and age-related diseases. This conference will focus on intra- and intercellular mechanisms of aging, by highlighting current research on key cell-autonomous mechanisms such as DNA, protein and mitochondrial homeostasis, as well as inter-tissue signaling events relevant to aging and age-related diseases, in particular neurodegenerative disorders.
Aging and age-related diseases constitute increasingly important health issues in our society as the population of elderly people is rapidly growing; however, aging remains a poorly understood process. Insights into the cellular and molecular basis of organismal aging may not only provide knowledge about the fundamental aging process itself, but may also be valuable to combat age-related diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. This conference will promote the continued study of the molecular and cellular basis of aging in multiple organisms which will be necessary to aid in filling the many gaps that still exist in our understanding of how organisms age; such findings may not only improve our basic understanding of the human aging process, but may also help us develop better treatments for age- related diseases.