Cynthia Kenyon is well known for her work with anti-aging in the C.elegans model. Through generation of mutants she was able to elucidate a cell signaling pathway responsible for the aging process. This pathway implicates insulin and IGF1. She found that inhibition of insulin/IGF1 increased the lifespan of C.elegans dramatically. Interestingly this hormone signaling system can also modulate the aging response in a variety of organisms including insects to mammals. This study has motviated many people to watch their sugar and starch intake.

Biographical Information.
Cynthia Kenyon

Cynthia Kenyon. From Lab Website:

After graduating from the University of Georgia in 1976 with degrees in chemistry and biochemistry, she pursued a PhD at MIT. It was here that she was the first to look for genes based on their expression profile, which then enabled her to discover DNA repair genes that were activated by DNA damaging agents. She then moved to the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, where she completed a post-doc under Sydney Brenner looking at the development of C.elegans. She then joined the University of California, San Francisco in 1986 where she still works today.

During the course of Dr. Kenyon's research career she has been awarded a variety of honors including the Herbert Boyer Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, American Cancer Society Professor, US National Academy of Sciences member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences member, Institute of Medicine member, former president of the Genetics Society of America, and Director of the Hillblom Center for the Biology of Aging at UCSF.


Dr. Cynthia Kenyon has an extensive number of publications with work in aging and its modulation, genes induced by DNA damage, C. elegan cell behavior, C.elegan cell migration, and C. elegan cell pattern formation.

While her 1993 paper in Nature (A C. elegans mutant that lives twice as long as wild type. ) is often referenced in relation to her work, she has continued to provide a number of intriguing publications by notable science journals.

Potentially Useful Articles Include:


Article: Could a hormone point the way to life extension? Cynthia Kenyon. elife. 2012;1:e00286. doi: 10.7554/eLife.00286. Epub 2012 Oct 15.

Review: The first long-lived mutants: Discovery of the insulin/IGF-1 pathway for aging. Cynthia Kenyon. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 366, 9-16 (2011).

Paper: Regulation of the Caenorhabditis elegans longevity protein DAF-16 by insulin/IGF-1 and germline signaling. Kui Lin, Honor Hsin, Natasha Libina, and Cynthia Kenyon. Nature Genetics 28(2), 139-145 (2001)

Resources: Cynthia Kenyon Lab Website:

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