Basic Biology of Aging: Sensory perception and central control of aging in Drosophila

This event has ended.


Scott Pletcher, PhD
Associate Professor
Molecular & Integrative Physiology
University of Michigan

Date & Time

May 5, 2016 at 2:30pm - 3:30pm


Foege N-130


Why Attend?

Sensory perception & central control of aging in Drosophila

In Drosophila, the effects of dietary restriction, which robustly increases lifespan and reduces aging-related disease across taxa, are fast-acting, reversible, and large­ly independent of the energetic content of the food. Indeed, certain characteristic of the diet are apparently “sensed” by the flies independent of their tendency to eat it, and this perception may trigger rapid physiological changes that promoted lon­gevity. More broadly, our laboratory has shown that sensory inputs relate informa­tion about nutrition, conspecifics, and danger to rapidly initiate changes in physi­ology and mortality rate, often within a few days. In this presentation I will present evidence showing that specific set of neurons that are involved in the valuation of individual nutrients in the diet influence aging by either promoting or limiting lifespan, fat deposition, or general vigor in old age. I will also discuss our progress identifying specific neural circuits and deeper brain regions that are important for integrating sensory input and orchestrating organism-wide effects on health and lifespan.

The Basic Biology of Aging seminar series is sponsored by The Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, the Genetic Approaches to Aging Training Grant, and the UW Healthy Aging and Longevity (HALo) Research Institute. The seminar features guest speakers presenting the latest research in the basic biology of aging.