Lynne Cox receives award for Ageing Research

Professor Lynne Cox was presented with an award from the US-based Glenn Foundation for Medical Research at an event at the House of Lords on 27 October 2014.

The Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging will help to support exciting research carried out by DPhil student Hayley Lees who is jointly supervised by Lynne Cox and Alison Woollard in the Department of Biochemistry.

Hayley's project has been to develop a worm model of the human premature ageing Werner syndrome. These worms have marked genomic instability and age prematurely. In her most recent work, she has highlighted potential molecular targets for therapeutic intervention that may improve health in later life.

The prestigious Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Ageing, given over the past eight years to many leading labs in the field, provides Professor Cox with $60,000 support for her research.

Professor Cox's lab is one of only a few UK labs to have been nominated for the award. She believes that Hayley's presentation of the work in the US in the summer of 2013 helped to raise its profile. Hayley spoke at the American Aging Association scientific meeting after winning the best early career talk at the annual scientific meeting of the British Society for Research on Ageing.

Delighted by the award, Professor Cox commented: "We're in very good company and very pleased to have been awarded the prize. It has come at a critical time in the project and will enable us to continue to pursue Hayley's most recent research findings."

At a time when no UK charity is supporting research into the basic biology of ageing, the event at the House of Lords brought together scientists, philanthropists and policy makers to encourage funds to be channelled into this important area.

Representatives from the British Society for Research on Ageing, the American Federation for Aging Research and the Glenn Foundation were present at the occasion. They hope to highlight opportunities for collaborations between UK and US funders to boost the research area.

Professor Cox said: "We want to get more funding into the causes of ageing as this will lead to a better understanding of the diseases of ageing like Alzheimer's. By discovering fundamental principles from biological research, this will underpin novel treatment for such diseases."

She added that, in the addition to the worm work, her lab also focuses on understanding ageing at the cellular level. "We use human cell culture to explore the rate of normal cell ageing and whether it can be modified by drugs. We want to develop this into a system where we look at neuronal ageing and the impact of drugs on Alzheimer's Disease, with the aim of moving the work towards clinical trials."

See more photos from the event.

Find out more about the Department of Biochemistry.

4 November 2014

Lynne Cox (left) and Hayley Lees with the Glenn Award

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