Ageing and Longevity

During the ageing process various biological changes occur that are associated to an increasing risk of disease and mortality. The research line aims at the identification of mechanisms that play a central role in the ageing process. Therefore, we investigate which functional variations in genes contribute on one site to mortality and morbidity in the general population and on the other site to the possibility to survive to very old ages.


The research is performed in the Leiden 85+ Study (a longitudinal cohort study of subjects over 85 year of age as compared to a young control group), in the Leiden Longevity Study (subjects older than 90 years with siblings of equal ages and their children). The research concerns a genome wide scan in the “Leiden Longevity Study” and a more specific candidate gene association approach using candidate genes involved in lipid metabolism, insulin signaling pathways and the inflammatory/stress response. In addition, it is investigated whether parameters can be identified in blood that may be associated to longevity and may be biomarkers for ageing. Such parameters especially involve patterns of gene expression, serum proteins and metabolites.

Scientific collaborations

The research is performed in close collaboration with the Department of Gerontology (LUMC), the RIVM and diverse laboratory in Europe and is financially supported by IOP-genomics, EU and industry.

For further information have a look on the Molecular Epidemiology website