Alexander A. Soukas, MD, PhD
Photo: Alexander Soukas






Elected 2020

My laboratory in the Center for Genomic Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School studies the molecular underpinnings of aging, obesity and diabetes. The lab has a central goal of broadening our understanding of fundamental changes that occur within the cells of our bodies as we age and leveraging this understanding into new strategies to promote healthy aging. We use genetic and genomic discovery approaches in the invertebrate roundworm C. elegans to identify changes that contribute to aging-associated decline and shorten lifespan. We then translate findings to mammals and ultimately determine if it is possible to reverse problematic aging-related changes in humans. Major findings by the lab include uncovering the mechanism by which the world’s most commonly used drug for type 2 diabetes, metformin, blocks the growth of cancer and extends lifespan, and defining how cells in our bodies optimally rid themselves of damaged components to promote healthy aging and reduce the impact of aging-associated diseases such as heart attack and stroke.