Medicine On The Cutting Edge – An Intervention for Aging? Closer Than You May Think
Kan Cao, Ph.D, is an assistant professor of cell biology and molecular genetics at the University of Maryland. Among her interests are the Hutchinson Gilford Progeria syndrome and human aging. She recently won the prestigious New Scholar in Aging Award from the Ellison Medical Foundation to continue her work on the rare premature aging disease, Progeria.
During her research on this rare genetic disease, she has discovered similarities in the normal aging process. With the help of a compound discovered in the soil of the Easter Islands in the 70’s, Rapamycin (actually a cousin to the popular Z-pak antibiotic, Dr. Cao’s research shows that the death of cells can be delayed by turning on or off the production of certain proteins. A variation of this compound is actually available today and is newly FDA approved for the treatment of certain cancers.