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Dr Cathy Slack

Supervisor Details

Cathy Slack

Contacts Details

Dr Cathy Slack

School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick

Research Interests

Improvements in healthcare over the last 100 years have resulted in dramatic increases in life expectancy worldwide. This has resulted in a global shift in demographics with more people living to increasingly older ages. While this is a significant achievement, it also means that increasingly more people live long enough to suffer from multiple age-related diseases. And that is because increased age is the major risk factor for a range of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration. This presents society with new challenges because as the number of older people in the population increases so does the incidences of age-related disease.

But what if we were to consider such age-related pathologies as symptoms of one common underlying indication, ageing itself? Could we develop therapeutic interventions that target ageing itself to alleviate its effects, thereby prolonging health well into old age?

Ageing has long been considered an inevitable consequence of life. However, recent scientific advances have revealed that it has an underlying biological process, influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Research using laboratory organisms such as worms, flies and mice, has shown that remarkably similar interventions can extend lifespan and delay the adverse effects of ageing across different species. This striking evolutionary conservation indicates that these simple organisms will provide beneficial insights into human ageing.

​Our research aims to further understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern how an animal ages using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system.

Scientific Inspiration

During my career, I have been inspired by individuals who use their platforms to mentor and support more junior scientists as they develop – a good example is Prof. Dame Carol Robinson who champions women in science.

Research Groups

Cells & Development

Project Details

Dr Slack is the supervisor on the below projects:

Dr Slack is also co-supervisor on a project with Dr Andre Pires da Silva.

Previous Projects

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