Aging research comes of age

Nature Methods

As money pours into aging research, the field can combine its many methods to home on what underpins aging. Approaches differ, but researchers share the desire to not overpromise quick-fix anti-aging methods.

“Finally, finally,” says Vera Gorbunova, a biologist and geroscientist at the University of Rochester, where she co-directs the Rochester Aging Research Center and runs a joint lab with Andrei Seluanov. It’s taken decades for aging “to be recognized as a legitimate area of research,” she says.

A funding surge is transforming aging research, says bio-gerontologist Steve Horvath, who has moved from a UCLA faculty post to Altos Labs in Cambridge, UK. Aging research has become a mature, dynamic field with promising results, and it’s attracting bright minds.

This is letting researchers be more expansive and delve deeper, with tools including ’omics approaches, to design and do more stringent experiments that put discoveries on solid ground. Expanded study sizes can provide more generalizable results. The financial boost enables, he says, “a more ambitious, more precise exploration of the mechanisms of aging.”