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Targeting PI3K to promote healthy ageing

44 months
Approved budget:
Dr Troy Merry
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Lay summary
New Zealanders are now living on average 10 years longer than we did in 1980. Ageing is associated with an increased incidence of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancers, neurodegenerative and heart diseases. Unfortunately, the age of onset of these diseases has not substantially increased, meaning that we are living longer in an unhealthy state. As a consequence our quality of life is reduced and dependence on health care services is increased. The most effective intervention to delay the development of age-associated diseases is a chronic reduction in food intake. This is thought to reduce signals sent by the hormone insulin following a meal, and as a result improve our metabolism and resistance to stress. In this proposal we will determine whether a drug that blocks aspects of insulin signalling can effectively mimic food restriction and improve our metabolism and health in old age.