Source: Interfolio F180

Michael Petrascheck

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology


Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Skaggs Graduate School of Chemical and Biological Sciences

Research Focus

Old age is accompanied by a deterioration of tissues and organs, increased susceptibility to disease, and an exponential increase in mortality. The last years have seen great progress in unraveling the mechanisms underlying aging. It has become clear that aging is regulated by various genetic pathways which when properly manipulated lead to increases in lifespan. These findings raise the exciting possibility that age related diseases could be treated by targeting aging pathways instead of the disease itself.

To investigate this possibility we have screened for small molecules that extend lifespan in C.elegans. The power of the small molecule approach lies in its enormous flexibility. Small molecules can be tested in cell lines, various model organisms, different models of age related disease, in combination with each other, or in combination with mutations known to affect aging and lifespan. Using life-extending small molecules as probes we can now start to investigate the molecular connection between aging and age-related diseases.


Ph.D. (Molecular Biology), University of Zurich, 2001

Awards & Professional Activities

2011 NIH Director's New Innovator Award
2012 Ellison Medical Foundation: New Scholar in Aging Award
2015 Glenn Award for Biological Mechanisms of Aging
2018 NIDDK R01 DK117872-01, NIH
2018 NINDS R21 NS107951-01, NIH
2019 NIDDK R01 DK117872-01, NIH
2020 NIA R21 AG065710, NIH
2020 Brown Foundation: Healthy Ageing Competition, Joe W. & Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation
2020 NIA R01 AG067331, NIH
2020 NIA R01 AG069206, NIH

Selected Publications

Petrascheck, M.; Ye, X.; Buck, L. B. A High-Throughput Screen for Chemicals that Increase the Lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 2009, 1170, 698-701.

Petrascheck, M.; Ye, X. L.; Buck, L. B. An antidepressant that extends lifespan in adult caenorhabditis elegans. Nature 2007, 450, 553-556.