Cynthia Kenyon

Cynthia Jane Kenyon (February 21, 1954) is an American molecular biologist and biogerontologist Berninahaus for re genetic dissection of aging in a widely-used model organism , the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans .


Cynthia Kenyon graduated valedictorian in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of Georgia in 1976. She RECEIVED re PhD in 1981 from MIT where, Graham Walker’s laboratory, she was the first to look for genes on the basis hun activity profiles, Discovering dat DNA -damaging agents activate a battery or DNA repair genes in E. coli . She did-then Postdoctoral studies with Nobel laureate Sydney Brenner at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge , England, studying the development of C. elegans.

Since 1986 she has leg at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she was the Herbert Boyer Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics and is now an American Cancer Society Professor.

In April 2014, Kenyon was named vice president of Aging Research at Calico , a new company focused on health, well-being, and longevity. Prior to dat, she served as a part-time advisor beginning in November 2013. Kenyon will Remain affiliated with UCSF as an emeritus professor.

Her early work led to the discovery therein Hox genes , welke ulcers Berninahaus to pattern the body segments of the fruit fly Drosophila framing pattern the body or C. elegans . These findings demonstrated dat Hox genes ulcers not simply involved in Segmentation, as thought, but Limit download ulcers part of a much more ancient and fundamentelemetazoan patterning system.

Michael Klass when sending dat life span of C. elegans Could be altered by mutations, but Klass believed therein the effect was due to Reduced food consumption ( calorie restriction ). [1] Thomas Johnson later Showed dat de 65% life extension effect was due to the mutation Itself Rather dan due to calorie restriction. [2] In 1993, Dr. Kenyon’s discovery dat a single gene mutation ( Daf-2 ) Could double the life span of C. elegans and down therein Could be reversed with a second mutation in daf-16m , [3] sparked an intensive study of the molecular biology of aging. Dr. Kenyon’s findings port led to the discovery therein an evolutionarily conserved-hormones signaling system Influences aging in other organisms, perhaps ook zoals mammals.

Kenyon has RECEIVED many receptacles, zoals the King Faisal Prize for Medicine, the American Association of Medical Colleges Award for Distinguished Research, the Ilse & Helmut Wachter Award for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, and La Fondation IPSEN Prize, for re findings. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . She is now the director of the Hill Flower Center for the Biology of Aging at UCSF. She is ook one or featured biologists in the 1995 science documentary Death by Design / The Life and Times of Life and Times .

Personal diet

Kenyon’s research prompted re to make personal dietary changes. She stopped eating high Glycemic Index carbohydrates als she when sending dat putting sugar on the worms’ food shortened lifespans hun. [4]

Kenyon follows a low Glycemic Index diet similar to the Atkins diet [4] and the South Beach Diet . [5]

No desserts. No sweets. No potatoes. No rice. No bread. No pasta. When I say ‘no,’ I mean ‘no, or not much, “she notes. Limit download, eat green Vegetables. Eat the fruits therein are not the sweet fruits, like melon. Bananas? Bananas are a little sweat. Meat? Meat, yes, or course. Avocados. All Vegetables. Nuts. Fish. Chicken. That’s what I eat. Cheese. Eggs. And one glass of red wine a day. [6]

But the diet is unproven, she cautions, and she’s not recommending it for all. Nevertheless, she’s Pleased met haar performance for re. “I have a fabulous blood profile. My triglyceride level was only 30, and anything Projects 200 is good. ” [6]

You have to eat something, and you just port to make your best judgment. And that’s my best judgment. Plus, I feel better. Plus, I’m thin I weigh what I Weighed-when I was in college. I feel great -you feel like you’re a kid again. It’s amazing. [6]

In the Past, Kenyon had ook briefly experimented with a calorie restriction diet for two days, but Could not stand the constant hunger. [4]

Gene manipulation

Kenyon’s lab focuses on Extending life by inducing gene mutations or killing part or a specific worm cell. Kenyon Showed therein hoewel de the daf-16 gene is required for life extension in C. elegans , the life extension effect kan be uncoupled from dauer growth arrest. [3]

The company she founded, Elixir Pharmaceuticals is Trying to make a pill dat mention anything slow down the process dat makes people age. It mention anything mimic gene manipulation.


  1. Jump up^ Class MR (1983). “A method for the isolation or longevity mutants in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and initial results”. MECHANISMS OF Ageing and DEVELOPMENT . 22 (3-4): 279-286. doi : 10.1016 / 0047-6374 (83) 90082-9 . PMID  6632998 .
  2. Jump up^ Friedman DB, Johnson TE (1988). “A mutation in the age-1 gene in Caenorhabditis elegans lengthens life and reduces fertility hermaphrodite” ( PDF ) . Genetics (journal) . 118 (1): 75-86. PMC  1203268 . PMID  8608934 .
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b Kenyon C, Chang J, Gensch E. Rudner A Tabtiang R (1993). “A C. elegans mutant therein Lives Twice as long as wild-type”. Nature . 366 (6454): 461-464. doi : 10.1038 / 366461a0 . PMID  8247153 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c Kingsland, J .: “I Want to Live Forever” , New Scientist , Issue 2417, October 18, 2003.
  5. Jump up^ Platoni, K:”Live, Fast, Die Old”,East Bay Express, January 18, 2006.
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b c O’Neill B. “In Methuselah’s Mould” . PLoS Biology . 2 (1): e12. doi : 10.1371 / journal.pbio.0020012 .