Understanding the biology of aging and longevity

We seek to answer the most challenging biological questions of our time — how humans age and can we develop interventions to allow people to live longer, healthier lives.

Approach

Since our founding, Calico’s approach to understanding the biology of aging and age-related diseases has remained the foundation of our efforts

Focusing on both basic research and the translation of our discoveries into new interventions that can help people live healthier, and maybe longer, lives

Taking a long-term approach, understanding that breakthroughs are made possible through persistent efforts over time

The convergence of biology and technology, coupled with a long-term perspective and funding

Employing an interdisciplinary approach, harnessing advanced technologies and computing, to accelerate discoveries. Inventing new methods when existing technology and approaches do not meet our needs

Collaborating with external organizations, including other biopharmaceutical companies and academic institutions, to buoy our efforts

Calico Stories

Understanding how yeast age

Calico scientists in our yeast biology labs, along with the computing and technology groups, are collaborating closely on a long-term project to invent new...

Basic research

We hire scientists with a broad range of skills and experiences and encourage them to collaborate freely

Our Basic Research group features Principal Investigator-led labs working to understand the biological pathways of aging and disease — efforts that are accelerated by advanced computing and technology that are at or beyond the state-of-the art.

Small labs, big collaboration

Our research efforts are designed to fuel intellectual freedom and creativity. Ours is a bottom-up approach. Labs at Calico are small and we encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary research at every turn.

Biology that matters

Scientists in our basic research labs are working to understand how experimental organisms age by observing the aging process at the whole organism, organ/tissue and cellular level. Through these research efforts, Calico scientists work to understand the biological underpinnings of aging by studying organisms such as yeast, C. elegans (worms), mice and naked mole-rats. And our researchers, especially our computational biologists, are digging deep into large available human genetic data sets to inform our efforts.

Technology

Our research is powered by technology

We like to think of it as beyond state-of-the-art. At Calico, our technology labs work hand-in-hand with scientists throughout the company, advancing hypotheses on how specific technologies and know-how can help answer a research question at the depth required to advance the field.

 

If existing technology does not help us answer a research question, then we’ll invent something new. Scientists and engineers in our technology labs are not bound by the questions of others. Our labs seek out their own experiments and big questions and are encouraged to build and harness new technologies and tools that can support the entire scientific community.

 

See how two scientists in our microscopy lab invented a new microscope.

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Automation

Building customized robots to perform tasks efficiently and fast

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Biochemistry

Purification and characterization of recombinant and native proteins

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Flow Cytometry

Techniques for multiparameter characterization and sorting of cells

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Genomics

Using advanced genomic technologies to create high quality nucleic acid data

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Mass Spectrometry

Systems-level analysis of proteins, post-translational modifications, lipids and metabolites

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Microscopy

Faster, gentler, higher-resolution biological imaging

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Physiology

Developing preclinical models with deeper understanding of disease pathophysiology

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Pharmacology

Pharmacodynamic and efficacy models, PK/PD correlation and pharmacological research

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Preclinical Imaging

Non-invasive imaging to understand changes in physiology and identify biomarkers

Computing

Answering the big questions requires iterating between theory and experiment

Biology is becoming an informatics field

The amount of scientific data being generated by new high-throughput technologies far outpaces the ability to interpret it. Our Computing team works closely with our R&D colleagues to understand which data that we create may generate the most impactful hypotheses, design experiments to test these hypotheses, and to interpret, learn and generate more hypotheses that help us understand aging better.

 

We use advanced computing to answer meaningful biological questions. We aim to accelerate scientific discovery by collaborating closely with our colleagues to build infrastructure, develop software, advance technology and invent new methods and algorithms.

Freedom to explore, technology to lead the way

Our team of machine learning experts, software engineers and data scientists bring quantitative rigor to the study of aging and age-related disease. We’re interpreting large sets of genotype and phenotype data from model organisms and humans to identify new insights into how we age; we’re using machine learning and advanced computer vision to analyze images generated by our various research labs; and we’re using computing to measure genomic, metabolic and physiological traits to observe and better understand the changes that occur as an organism ages — just to name a few of our ongoing efforts.

 

See how members of the Computing team use Cell Painting and machine learning to identify gene perturbations from an image.

Partnering with Calico

Why collaborate with Calico

We are different by design. Calico combines the focus and drive of a start-up with the resources and world class R&D capabilities of the leading biotechnology companies. Partnering with Calico, therefore, provides a different type of collaboration ⁠— a mindset focused on tackling big, complex scientific questions, scientists who enjoy the opportunity to explore new avenues of research, and a culture that supports collaborative efforts.