Aging sensory systems

NAISS 2024/5-345


NAISS Medium Compute

Principal Investigator:

Francois Lallemend


Karolinska Institutet

Start Date:


End Date:


Primary Classification:

10203: Bioinformatics (Computational Biology) (applications to be 10610)

Secondary Classification:

30105: Neurosciences

Tertiary Classification:

30108: Cell and Molecular Biology



As we age, our senses become less sharp and deteriorate, with negative impacts on our body integrity, motor behavior, social interactions and working conditions, but also on cognitive processing, and dementia. A growing understanding of the aging process indicates that, instead of being programmed to die, organs age because they accumulate a series of minor faults (reflected in epigenetic and transcriptomic changes) in their cells. Therefore, to understand how sensory organs and function can be restored or improved in old individuals, it is essential to uncover the root mechanisms underlying aging-associated deterioration of the different cell types it contains. By reducing multiple sensory systems (somatosensory, auditory and vestibular systems) to their constituent cell types, and applying a high throughput, high resolution single cell analysis of their chronological molecular changes across lifetime, we will uncover unique but also common molecular and spatial signatures of the aging peripheral sensory systems and provide strategies for sensory system rejuvenation. Moreover, analyzing cell-type-specific aging clocks in well-known health-span paradigms (calorie restriction and physical training) will help to identify new, specific means to counter age-related sensory decline.