Research

Research

Global prevalence of chronic diseases is increasing and projected to increase substantially over next two decades. Infectious diseases could potentially reduce lifespan by contributing to ageing process and adding miles to the biological clock. However, one of the presently most intriguing and yet most challenging questions in ageing and medicine research is how infections effect on the body, and how such costs eventually lead to organ dysfunction, physiological degeneration, susceptibility to other diseases and senescence. For a long time, chronic diseases have been considered harmless however, recent research rejects this hypothesis by showing that even mild chronic infection is connected with accelerated cellular ageing (telomere degradation) and eventually reduce lifespan (Asghar et al 2015, Science). These findings have changed the notion, how we look upon causes, consequences (and precautions) of mild infectious, activated immune system and degenerative diseases.

However, it is presently not clear how infectious diseases impact the body and how such costs eventually lead to a long-term cost, leading to the organism’s physiological degeneration, organs dysfunction and senescence. My group is specifically targeting these questions in an integrative approach by combining epidemiological, cellular and experimental approaches together with cutting-edge techniques to explore several hallmarks of ageing, including telomere length, telomerase activity, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, epigenetic alteration (DNA methylation and gene transcriptional alterations) and cellular senescence, with clearly set out goals to break new ground in cross-disciplinary area of ageing and infectious diseases. One key target is to understand how different hallmarks of ageing are interconnected with each other and what is their relative contribution in healthy ageing and diseases.

 

 

Projects

 

Ageing: Long-term hidden cost of infection

  • Long-term effect of chronic and repeated malaria infections on cellular ageing: Epidemiological approach.
  • An interplay between inflammation, oxidative stress and cellular senescence in controlled human malaria challenge (CHMI): Experimental approach.
  • Effect of different human pathologies on cellular ageing in different immune cells: Longitudinal prospective studies approach.
  • Biological ageing and allostatic load induced by bacterial and viral infections in experimental murine models: A whole body approach.

 

Effect of physical exercise on cellular ageing: Sport science

 

Cellular ageing in neurodegenerative diseases

  • Association between cellular ageing and Parkinson's disease
  • Association between cellular ageing and intercranial aneurysms