The duration of a cell’s life relies in great part on the cell’s ability to maintain its critical cohort of proteins in their functional state.

—Richard Gardner

Maintenance and repair of proteins and organelles

Much of the research into aging processes is aimed at learning how biological systems respond to the stresses and damage that are believed to contribute to the effects of age. Researchers are seeking to uncover and understand how cells recognize damaged cellular components – the damage that accumulates in organelles, the specialized structures within cells, and in the protein molecules that are responsible for cell integrity and virtually all cellular functions.  These elaborate and highly tuned quality control mechanisms appear to decline or malfunction as cells and organisms age. The discovery of strategies to boost the activity of these inherent repair and maintenance processes, and thus stave off age-associated cellular dysfunction, is a very active and promising component of the research supported by the Ellison Medical Foundation.