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Portrait of Carmela Sidrauski, Ph.D.

Carmela Sidrauski, Ph.D.

Head of Research

Carmela is an accomplished Principal Investigator who leads Calico’s multidisciplinary aging research organization. She also heads a laboratory dedicated to the study of stress signaling pathways in tissue homeostasis, disease, and aging.


In her role as Head of Research, Carmela oversees Calico’s multidisciplinary research organization. Through the use of advanced technologies and model systems, they are driving forward our mission to understand the mechanisms that control human aging with the goal of using the insights gained to devise novel interventions that extend human health span.

Carmela joined Calico in 2015 as a Principal Investigator and scientific lead of the eIF2B program, a project that she initiated in the Walter Lab at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). While at UCSF, she identified and characterized a potent small molecule that activates the translation initiation factor eIF2B and antagonizes the integrated stress response (ISR). The eIF2B program is now in clinical studies investigating its potential in multiple indications.

Prior to becoming Head of Research, she built up a lab at Calico that continues to pursue the understanding of stress signaling networks in homeostatic and pathological states. The lab uses a variety of techniques, ranging from biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, and genome-scale molecular approaches to unravel the changes that take place in these networks in disease and as we age.

As a graduate student at UCSF, Carmela discovered that Ire1 is a transmembrane kinase and ribonuclease that in concert with tRNA-ligase mediates an unconventional splicing event that triggers the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway in yeast, a conserved mechanism in mammalian cells. This was the beginning of her journey in studying cellular stress signaling responses.

  • Carmela earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UCSF and holds an M.S. in Biology from the University of Buenos Aires