Prof. Dr. Rochelle Buffenstein


Prof. Dr. Rochelle Buffenstein

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Prof. Rochelle Buffenstein did her PhD in Zoology in the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She has pioneered the use of the naked mole-rat as a model of exceptional bio-gerontological interest. She was a Senior PI in Calico, where she determined the molecular mechanisms used in nature to modulate both species lifespan and healthspan. Currently, she is a visiting professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she is using multidisciplinary mechanistic approach to specifically examine why some mammals age extremely rapidly, exhibiting  pronounced deleterious changes in all aspects of their biology, and how other species can maintain physiological function and disease-free good health for a larger proportion of their long-lifespans. Elucidating these mechanisms may lead to therapeutic targets to retard the aging process and delay the onset of age associated disability and diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Selected publications:  

• Naked mole-rat mortality rates defy gompertzian laws by not increasing with age Ruby, J.G., Smith, M., Buffenstein, R. eLife, 2018, 7, e31157 

• Gene expression defines natural changes in mammalian lifespan Fushan A.A., Turanov A.A, Lee S.-G., Kim E.B., Lobanov A.V., Yim S.H., Buffenstein R., Lee S., Chang K.-T., Rhee H.f, Kim J.-S.f, Yang K.-S. Aging Cell, 2015, 14 (3) pp. 352-365 

• Life and death: Metabolic rate, membrane composition, and life span of animals Hulbert, A.J., Pamplona, R., Buffenstein, R., Buttemer, W.A. Physiological Reviews, 2007, 87(4), pp. 1175–1213 

The ISYNC conference is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG.