Biological adaptation and ageing (B2A)

Lifespan is rapidly increasing by about 2 years/decade and shows no signs of slowing. Thus, the prevalence of age-ralated frailty, disability and disease is unprecedented and requires a better understanding of the processes underlying ageing to improve quality of life. Biologically, ageing is a complex process, which new theoretical and technological advances are beginning to unravel. The fundamental questions posed by teams of B2A aim toovercome the limitations of our knowledge about ageing and age-related disease in order to develop innovative approaches to combat age-related morbidity and to promote healthy ageing.

Age-related physiological decline is thought to result from decreasing cell-protection mechanisms combined with increasing deleterious phenomena, the effects of which are modified by genetic predisposition and exposure to environmental stressors. 

The B2A teams form a continuum of investigative approaches using animal and cellular models to evaluate basic mechanisms underlying a cell’s response to external stressors and their changes during ageing; and then examine the application of these mechanisms in two organ systems which are critically affected during ageing, the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. 

Five teams of B2A concentrate on core biological processes related to the regulation of cellular stressors, including reactive oxygen species, and how they change throughout life. In addition, 3 teams study mechanisms underlying the development, repair, and ageing of the brain, while 3 others investigate cellular remodeling and stress-responses in the cardiovascular system.