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Rochelle (Shelley) Buffenstein, Ph.D.

Senior Principal Investigator

Shelley pioneered the use of the naked mole-rat as a model of exceptional bio-gerontological interest.

About
Shelley is working to determine the molecular mechanisms used in nature to modulate both species lifespan and healthspan. Using a multidisciplinary mechanistic approach, Shelley’s lab specifically examines why some mammals age extremely rapidly, exhibiting pronounced declines in all aspects of their biology, and how other species can maintain physiological function and disease-free good health for a larger proportion of their long-lifespans. Elucidating these mechanisms may lead to therapeutic targets to retard the aging process and delay the onset of age-associated disability and diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Shelley joined Calico from the Barshop Institute for Aging and Longevity Studies, where she was a professor in the Department of Physiology and track leader for the Biology of Aging graduate program. Her first appointment in the U.S. was in the Department of Biology at the City College of New York where, as a professor,  she was responsible for teaching physiology, and she was also a member of the executive committee. Before that, she taught medical and dental students at the Medical School of the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.