Cellular recycling: role of autophagy in aging and disease

Special visiting scientist seminar

The cytosolic recycling process of autophagy plays an important role in many age-related diseases and has been directly linked to aging, including in the nematode C. elegans where autophagy appears beneficially induced in many conserved longevity models. As a critical process to ensure cellular homeostasis, autophagy is regulated at multiple levels, yet it remains a challenge in the field to understand how the regulation of autophagy is integrated at the cellular and molecular level to ensure health- and lifespan benefits. I will here discuss our progress on understanding the different molecular mechanisms employed by cells and organisms to regulate autophagy in response to stressors such as aging and disease.
Dr. Hansen is a Professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP), a nonprofit research institute in San Diego, California. She obtained her M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Copenhagen University, Denmark, and carried out postdoctoral studies at University of California, San Francisco. In 2007, she started her laboratory at SBP, where she currently serves as Associate Dean for Student Affairs in SBP’s recently accredited graduate program, and as Faculty Advisor on Postdoctoral Training for SBP’s 150 postdoctoral fellows.

Dr. Hansen has been recognized with several scientific awards, including an Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award and a Julie Martin Mid-Career Award from the American Federation of Aging. Her lab is currently funded by two National Institute of Health (NIH) grants. She has published more than 40 research articles, reviews, and book chapters. She serves as a reviewer for multiple scientific journals and for NIH. She is the 2018 co-organizer of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s meeting on Mechanisms of Aging, and is the co-chair for the 2020 Gordon conference on Autophagy.

Dr. Hansen is also the recipient of the 2017 National Postdoc Association Mentor Award, which recognizes a faculty member who has engaged in exceptional mentoring of postdoctoral scholars.