Committed to advancing discoveries in the science of aging and longevity, Leonard Guarente is recognized for his impactful contribution in identifying sirtuins, a group of related proteins that slow aging in model organisms and mitigate aging and diseases in mammals. Critically, he showed that sirtuins are NAD-dependent protein deacetylases. This finding links the protein acetylation with metabolism and aging and indicates that sirtuins mediate the benefit of calorie restriction on health and longevity. More recently, the Guarente lab has shown that the genetic activation of the mammalian sirtuin SIRT1 mitigates major diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease, in appropriate murine models.
Novartis Professor Guarente is currently the director of the Paul F. Glenn Lab for the Science of Aging at MIT.