Dr. Jan Van Deursen has accomplished a great deal. Using a mouse model in which the p16Ink4a gene, which controls cell division, was deleted, he was the first to demonstrate that aging could be sped up. Identifying these cell cycle regulators highlights their significance in aging and cancer. And he was instrumental in creating the first targeted medication for leukemia, which is today used to treat people with the condition.
To what end does Jan Van Deursen dedicate himself to his daily work?
Dr. Jan Van Deursen is driven by his love of research and the chance to improve people’s lives. He hopes his studies may lead to breakthroughs in cancer therapy and other areas where aging populations are a growing concern.
Dr. Jan Van Deursen says you should never give up if you want to be an entrepreneur or run a firm. In addition, he suggests they collaborate with upbeat people who share their vision.
Dr. Jan Van Deursen has accomplished a great deal.
Dutch-born In 1965, Dr. Jan Van Deursen joined the human race. With a Ph.D. in molecular genetics from the University of Amsterdam, he left school in 1992. Dr. van Deursen looks at the molecular mechanisms involved in cell death and aging. In particular, his research group has looked into how shifts in protein abundance might initiate cell death and tissue senescence.
These studies have led to the development of anti-aging drugs that inhibit the activity of these proteins. As an additional note, Dr. Jan van Deursen was instrumental in establishing the anti-aging drug manufacturing company Unity Biotechnology. Clinical trials for the first osteoarthritis drug, UBX0101, have begun. To relax, Van Deursen cycles and skis when he’s not busy being a husband and father of three
Senescent cells accumulate in several organs and tissues of aging organisms, including humans. It was previously believed that these senescent, or “zombie,” cells were innocuous; however, Jan van Deursen and his team found that eliminating senescent cells from mice dramatically enhances their lifespan and prevents the onset of many age-related illnesses. Jan van Deursen co-founded Unity Biotechnology in 2011, intending to create effective therapies for geriatric diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart or renal failure, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and macular degeneration.
Unity Biotechnology went public in 2018, trading under the ticker symbol “UBNT” on the NASDAQ. Jan van Deursen has maintained his pioneering attitude and commitment to fill serious gaps in treating the elderly by creating new pharmaceuticals.
The discovery that so-called “zombie cells” speed up aging and age-related illnesses in mice led to the founding of Unity Biotechnology by Jan Van Deursen’s team. The major goal was to find and develop drugs with the level of specificity needed to destroy these cells in humans. Clinical trials with drugs with this potential to treat age-related illnesses are presently underway, which is encouraging. It’s great that a dozen other companies are engaged in similar efforts. Therapeutic application of the concept for age-related illnesses has shown promise in preclinical models, and its application to humans could dramatically improve the well-being of the elderly.
In the years to come, we look forward to witnessing additional development made in this field by Dr. Jan Van Deursen.