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Dr Cathy Slack - Aston University. Birmingham, , GB

Dr Cathy Slack Dr Cathy Slack

Lecturer & Research Scientist in Biosciences | Aston University


Dr Slack is an expert in models of healthy ageing.



Dr Cathy Slack joined the School of Life & Health Sciences in August 2016 as a Lecturer in Biosciences, after conducting postdoctoral research with Dame Prof. Linda Partridge (Institute of Healthy Ageing, University College London) and Prof. William Chia (MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, Kings College London). Her research background covers ageing biology, cell signalling and Drosophila genetics.

Cathy's current research aims to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms that govern how an animal ages using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system. Current key research topics of interest include: understanding the regulatory networks that control the activity of key proteins within the insulin signalling pathway; exploring the role of energy balance and metabolism in regulating lifespan; and developing pharmacological interventions that extend lifespan and improve life-long health.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Drosophila Genetics


Biological Mechanisms of Ageing


Cell Signalling

Education (2)

Imperial College London: PhD, Genetics 2002

University of Southampton: BSc, Biological Sciences 1998

Affiliations (5)

  • Higher Eduation Academy (FHEA) : Fellow
  • Biochemical Society : Member
  • British Society for Research on Ageing (BSRA) : Member
  • Higher Eduation Academy (SFHEA) : Senior Fellow
  • British Society for Research on Ageing (BSRA) : Secretary

Media Appearances (3)

Social isolation linked to increased inflammation

Medical News Today  


Dr. Cathy Slack, Director of the Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing and Secretary for the British Society for Research on Ageing in the United Kingdom, told Medical News Today: “This is a really interesting — and timely — study. Social isolation and feelings of loneliness have long been correlated with adverse health outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has of course exacerbated issues of loneliness and isolation in older people, as restrictions and lockdowns have limited their social networks even more than during pre-pandemic times.”

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The Science That Could Help You Live to 100



To figure out how to slow (or even stop) ageing, we need to know why our bodies do it in the first place. But biologist Cathy Slack from Aston University, says scientists just aren’t sure yet. “From a purely theoretical perspective, there’s no beneficial reason to age,” she says. We used to think ageing resulted from a buildup of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) which caused molecular damage, but recent research suggests this is unlikely to be the full story.

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Biological vs chronological age: how old are you really?

The Conversation  online


Researchers are developing tests to calculate your true biological age. They claim that such tests can measure how well your body is coping with the rigours of life. But how accurate are these tests and could they somehow be used to predict your future health?

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Articles (5)

Expression and purification of recombinant G protein-coupled receptors: A review

Protein Expression and Purification

2020 Given their extensive role in cell signalling, GPCRs are significant drug targets; despite this, many of these receptors have limited or no available prophylaxis. Novel drug design and discovery significantly rely on structure determination, of which GPCRs are typically elusive. Progress has been made thus far to produce sufficient quantity and quality of protein for downstream analysis.

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Zoledronate extends healthspan and survival via the mevalonate pathway in a FOXO-dependent manner


2020 Increased longevity has not been paralleled by extended healthspan, resulting in more years spent with multiple diseases in older age. As such, interventions to improve healthspan are urgently required. Zoledronate is a nitrogen containing bisphosphonate, which inhibits the farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase (FPPS) enzyme, central to the mevalonate pathway.

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To help aging populations, classify organismal senescence


2019 Globally, citizens exist for sustained periods in states of aging-related disease and multimorbidity. Given the urgent and unmet clinical, health care, workforce, and economic needs of aging populations, we need interventions and programs that regenerate tissues and organs and prevent and reverse aging-related damage, disease, and frailty (1). In response to these challenges, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a comprehensive public-health response within an international legal framework based on human rights law.

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Signal Transduction Pathways in Ageing

Biochemistry and Cell Biology of Ageing: Part I Biomedical Science

2019 It is now widely recognised that ageing and its associated functional decline are regulated by a wide range of molecules that fit into specific cellular pathways. Here, we describe several of the evolutionary conserved cellular signalling pathways that govern organismal ageing and discuss how their identification, and work on the individual molecules that contribute to them, has aided in the design of therapeutic strategies to alleviate the adverse effects of ageing and age-related disease.

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Ras signaling in aging and metabolic regulation

Nutrition and Healthy Aging

2017 Aberrant signal transduction downstream of the Ras GTPase has a well-established role in tumorigenesis. Mutations that result in hyperactivation of Ras are responsible for a third of all human cancers. Hence, small molecule inhibitors of the Ras signal transduction cascade have been under intense focus as potential cancer treatments. In both invertebrate and mammalian models, emerging evidence has also implicated components of the Ras signaling pathway in aging and metabolic regulation.

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