Bruce A. Yankner, M.D., Ph.D.

Bruce A. Yankner, M.D., Ph.D.

The Yankner laboratory is interested in the molecular basis of brain aging, cognitive resilience and neurodegenerative diseases.  We have identified stress resistance pathways in nerve cells that can protect against toxic insults including radiation.  We are interested in exploiting these endogenous protective mechanisms for long-term space travel in order to protect the brain and maintain optimal cognitive function and psychiatric stability. Several model systems developed in the laboratory can be used to assess the impact of long-term space travel on aging, brain function and cognitive resilience.


Kang C, Xu Q, Martin TD, Li MZ, Demaria M, Aron L, Lu T, Yankner BA, Campisi J and Elledge SJ. The DNA damage response induces inflammation and senescence by inhibiting autophagy of GATA4.  Science 2015;349(6255)aaa5612.doi:10.1126/science.aaa5612. PMID: 26404840

Lu T, Aron L, Zullo J, Pan Y, Kim H, Chen Y, Yang T-H, Kim H-M, Drake D, Liu XS, Bennett DA, Colaiacovo MP and Yankner BA.  REST and stress resistance in ageing and Alzheimer's disease. Nature 2014; 507:448-54. PMCID: PMC4110979

Loerch PM, Lu T, Dakin KA, Vann JM, Isaacs A, Geula C, Wang J, Pan Y, Gabuzda DH, Li C, Prolla TA and Yankner BA. Evolution of the aging brain transcriptome and synaptic regulation. PLoS ONE 2008;3:e3329. PMCID: PMC2553198

Lu T, Pan Y, Kao S-Y, Li C, Kohane I, Chan J and Yankner BA. Gene regulation and DNA damage in the ageing human brain. Nature 2004;429:833-891. PMID: 15190254