Where Ideas grow

i3S team funded by American Progeria research foundation

Following the recent discovery of a cell rejuvenation compound, published in the scientific journal EMBO Reports in May, the research group led by Elsa Logarinho was awarded a grant from the Progeria Research Foundation (PRF), USA, in the category "research projects for the treatment of progeria".

Progeria is a rare disease of premature aging in children. Without the discovery of new treatments, children with progeria will die of heart disease in their teens. With this funding from the PRF, to the amount of USD150 thousand, the i3S research team now sees the conditions to «start the pre-clinical validation of the first pharmacological strategy of cellular rejuvenation based on the correction of genomic instability, a characteristic that is the basis of premature aging of patients with progeria», explains Elsa Logarinho, leader of the i3S research group "Aging and Aneuploidy".

Over the next two years, the researcher stresses, this i3S team will "study the mechanism of action of this pharmacological strategy using cells isolated from patients with progeria, characterize the pharmacokinetic properties of the compound and test the effect of the treatment on the animal model disease, with particular focus on cardiovascular diseases, which determine the premature mortality of this pathology. The objective is to validate this compound as an anti-aging therapy".

The Progeria Research Foundation (PRF) was created in 1999 with a mission to find the cause, treatments and cure for progeria. Each year, under the scrutiny of an international medical research commission, competitive research projects are selected from among hundreds of proposals. “This award is an honor for me and the whole team and we are optimistic that we will contribute to the advancement in this area, not only allowing a significant improvement in the health of patients, but also promoting a new therapy against natural aging”, underlines Elsa Logarinho.

Leslie Gordon, co-founder and Medical Director of PRF, expresses hope in the work developed at i3S: "We are extremely excited about the research work of Elsa Logarinho and look forward to the new discoveries of her team in understanding, treating and curing children with Progeria".