naked mole rat
Posted on by Dr. Francis Collins
It started simply, with the analysis of a trace element in proteins. It led, through recognizing and following provocative patterns, to one of humanity’s greatest questions: what is the secret to a long life?
This intriguing scientific path, traveled by NIH Pioneer Awardee Vadim Gladyshev, has brought together an assortment of mammals, great and small. It has relied upon a veritable global treasure-hunt, with samples from Russian caves, East African tunnels, and Arctic oceans. It was Gladyshev’s scientific acumen that mapped this path. And it is comparative genomic analysis that provided the vehicle he has used to travel along it – right up to the threshold of new insights into healthier, longer life.