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Extension of Healthy Life by Killing Off Senescent Cells

Tue 27th

12:40 - 13:00

There has been a big increase in human lifespan observed in the last decades but no corresponding extension of healthspan, which results in a massive population of elderly people suffering from a vast range of diseases. Common factors to all age-related diseases are tissue degeneration and chronic inflammation. These morbid characteristics are largely considered to be caused by a specific type of aged cells that are genetically reprogrammed to release molecules inflicting damage on their neighbours. Induced by stress, they become resistant to cell death and stop dividing and producing new cells.

The clearance of these cells, called senescent cells, from tissues and organs has dramatic regenerative effects and leads to rejuvenation of physiological function and extension of healthspan in old animals. This intervention improves viability on molecular, cellular, tissue and organismal level in mice after chemotherapy and even normal ageing.

We are investigating whether pathfinder cell microvesicles, a unique class of extracellular vesicles, which are previously shown to have tissue regenerative effects, are able to kill off the senescent cells by activating cell death genes.

Maria Marinova

Molecular & Cellular Biology

College of MVLS

A proud Slytherin, running on coffee and gin.


The pursuit for cutting edge science has brought me from Glasgow to California and back again, occasionally stopping by in Germany for a couple of months. I had a number of lab experiences ranging from evolutionary genomics and pharmacology to biochemistry and structural biology in order to find a suitable area and avoid the existential crisis when I have to choose what to do with my life after I graduate. That didn't work out as intended but I am now set on doing a PhD in the anti-ageing field. This decision was inspired by my absolute terror of getting old.


I try to share my love for science because science is awesome (it's like magic but real). I volunteer in science communications and public engagement as a STEM ambassador and I'm involved with Girl Geeks and NHS Health Carers.


Apart from being a nerd, I am a freelance photographer, massive movie geek and dark chocolate enthusiast.


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