To begin with a riddle:
This thing all things it devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down
What is the answer? Time.
At the end of the day all things fall apart, and yet, life goes on. Some biological information persists, recognizable across a billion years of evolution. All living organisms die, and yet some organisms persist with lifespans orders of magnitude longer than others. Bristlecone Pine, Hydra, Bowhead Whale, Humans, Dogs, Mice.
What genomic factors constrain lifespan? To what extent can the phenotype of aging be rewritten, to what extent is aging irreversible?
Stephan Baehr began his research career in the DeAngelis lab at the University of Utah, studying age-related human disease. Baehr is currently researching molecular mechanisms of change over time in the Lynch lab with the Center for Mechanisms of Evolution, at Arizona State University.
Biology B.S., University of Utah 2014.