AGENTS will focus on nutrient sensing and the role it plays in the ageing process, we aim to address the priority area of “healthspan and quality of life in old age”. Ageing is an inevitable and progressive process characterised by accumulation of functional deficits across multiple organ systems. Studies in model organisms have shown that dietary (energy) restriction is one of the most effective interventions for extending lifespan and for maintaining better health during ageing. In addition, several genes and pathways have been identified that are associated with greater lifespan. Although there is compelling evidence from animal models, in humans the situation is more complex and much less well understood. Although genotype is an important influence on human ageing, interactions with environmental factors including social structure, culture and lifestyle are pivotal in determining the ageing trajectory. Importantly, obesity accelerates the ageing process and drives development of many common age-related diseases. To advance understanding of human ageing and healthspan, it will be essential to pursue investigations at many length scales from single cell biology up to population science. However, research on human ageing is hampered by the lack of interdisciplinary communication between researchers in these fields.
The philosophy of the network will be to engender collaboration across multidisciplinary fields with the aim to generate the following outcomes:
- The creation of a supportive multidisciplinary environment which will facilitate cross fertilisation of ideas.
- Development of multidisciplinary reviews and white papers in the area of nutrient sensing and ageing.
- Development of at least one large scale grant application in the area of cross disciplinary nutrient sensing and ageing and 2 project grant applications over the period of 24 months.