Determining the mechanisms regulating immune-directed clearance of senescent cells to promote healthy ageing
Dr Catarina Henriques
University of Sheffield
As we age, we develop chronic diseases that diminish our quality of life. The number of people over the age of 65 is set to double over the next 50 years and we urgently need to develop effective therapies to improve health and prevent chronic illness in older people. A major medical problem associated with ageing is that the different tissues in our bodies become damaged over time. A major reason for this is the accumulation of old or senescent cells. It is likely that, as we age, our immune system becomes defective in its ability to clear senescent cells from tissues and if we could understand this process, we might be able to put it right.
My work will determine which immune cells are responsible for clearing senescent cells and whether they are impaired by ageing. Importantly, I will determine the reasons behind this and devise a strategy to promote the clearance of senescent cells in aged, damaged tissues.
The ultimate aim of my work is to discover new ways to stimulate our natural immune system to clear senescent cells, promoting healthy long life.