Daniel E. L. Promislow

Creative Research Medal 2005

Daniel Promislow studies the genes and gene networks that affect aging. Most researchers study one or two single genes that influence aging. Dr. Promislow is interested in the possibility that hundreds or even thousands of genes may affect this trait. In the past few years, the new field of systems biology has shown us that complex traits may be influenced by whole networks of interacting genes and proteins. These networks look much like the combination of large hubs and small spokes that make up airline networks. Using yeast as a model, Dr. Promislow discovered that genes that affect aging are more ‘hub-like’ with many more connections than genes not involved in the aging process. His findings are changing the way the scientific community understands and studies aging, providing a new and powerful method to study the many interconnected genetic factors that cause aging.

Allen J. Moore, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Manchester, calls Dr. Promislow “a pioneer,” while Cynthia Kenyon, a member of the National Academy of the Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, said that his blending of unique and sometimes disparate ideas with state-of-the-art genomics results in “extremely powerful” research. Dr. Promislow is a Rhodes Scholars. In 2004, he was named an Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar in Aging.