Rescheduled FLI Colloquium with Andreas Beyer: Systems biology of aging


In his talk at the FLI on February 8, systems biologist Professor Andreas Beyer from the CECAD cluster of excellence in Cologne will provide evidence that the reliability of RNA synthesis (the genetic information carrier ribonucleic acid) decreases with age.


Jena. The efficiency of biomolecular processes declines with age, which is a major contributor to age-related physiological changes. These changes have widespread consequences for the transcriptome (all genes that are transcribed from DNA into RNA at a given time) and the proteome (all proteins at a given time) of the cell and thus require a systems-level approach.

In his talk, Andreas Beyer presents evidence that the quality of RNA synthesis decreases with age. The elongation speed (process for elongating molecules) of RNA polymerase II increases with age, which in turn leads to an increase in errors in the RNA’s sequence and changes in splicing (an important step towards RNA maturation). Reversing these changes of the Pol II elongation rate extends lifespan in worms and fruit flies.

His research group further investigated the changes in the regulation of transcription during aging in humans. Surprisingly, the team did not find a global decline in transcriptional coupling between genes. While the co-regulation of genes interacting within specific cellular processes was largely unchanged, the transcriptional coupling between different cellular processes steadily declined in all tissues. These results show that the molecular coordination within basic cellular functions remains mostly intact in aging cells, while the coordination between different processes becomes more and more out of balance.

Andreas Beyer is a professor at the Institute of Genetics of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Cologne and a member of the CECAD (Cluster of Excellence Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases) as head of the research group "Cellular Networks and Systems Biology". His team analyzes the aging process in the human body and in model species by monitoring the activities of all genes in an organism simultaneously. In doing so, it uses and develops computational approaches to study age-associated changes in molecular networks.


Title of Talk:Systems biology of aging
When:Thursday, February 8, 2023, 3:00 pm
Where:Seminar room “Nucleus”, main building (FLI 1), Beutenbergstraße 11, Jena
Host:       Dario Valenzano (Group leader Evolutionary Biology / Microbiome-Host Interactions in Aging)

The colloquium will be a hybrid event. Details for accessing the session will be provided before the colloquium takes place. For external guests: Please contact for details.