I study biology across lifespans to understand one of the most challenging questions of biology “Why does biological aging occur?” Cellular aging is highly complex, involving multiple mechanisms at different levels. Starting at the molecular level in the nucleus, several other cellular processes such as transcriptional/translational and metabolic regulation, and pathways such as recycling of organelles, maintenance of cytoskeletal structure, nutrition sensing and mitochondrial homeostasis, are all connected to each other to regulate cellular aging. Each regulatory system receives information from every other system, resulting in an intricate interplay of regulation, controlling the aging of the cell. This intrinsic complexity of aging remains a significant challenge to understanding how aging is caused. By combining computational and experimental approaches on different aging models, I am trying to understand the interaction and synergism between different processes regulating cellular aging. Understanding these connections is likely to be important in developing effective interventions against the molecular and cellular processes that can delay the onset of multiple age-related diseases and prolong healthy lifespans.
Alaattin Kaya completed his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2008-2010) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School (2010-2013). He then completed his postdoctoral studies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School in 2017. Before joining the VCU Department of Biology in September 2019, he spent two years as a Junior Faculty Member in Division of Genetics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School since August 2017.