PhD defence A. (Ashley) van der Spek

On 29 October 2021, A. van der Spek will defend her PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Genetic and Metabolic Studies of Aging, Depression and Sleep in the General Population’.
Promotor

Prof.dr.ir. C.M. van Duijn

Co-promotor

Dr. N. Amin

Date
Friday 29 Oct 2021, 13:00 - 14:30
Type
PhD defence
Space
Senate Hall
Building
Erasmus Building
Location
Campus Woudestein
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On 29 October 2021, A. van der Spek will defend her PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Genetic and Metabolic Studies of Aging, Depression and Sleep in the General Population’.

Human life expectancy has increased significantly during the past 200 years and is expected to increase even further. Consequently, a shift in the distribution of the population towards older age can be observed, the process known as population aging. Although considerable progress has been made in aging research, it is far from understood how aging leads to pathology and disentangling the underlying molecular mechanisms may lead to possibilities to intervene in the aging process. Therefore, in this thesis I have investigated the association of genetic variants and metabolites in blood with aging and age-related outcomes by making use of a multi-omics approach and data from cohort studies across the world.

The studies included in this thesis resulted in the identification of promising genetic variants, genes, and metabolites associated with age-related outcomes. I was on one hand able to elucidate long suspected relationships, such as the role of ATM in telomere length and the association of hippurate with depression, and on the other hand I discovered new findings such as the relation of omega-6 fatty acids with telomere length. 

The findings of this thesis contribute to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in age-related outcomes. The presented findings will provide targets for earlier diagnosis, new treatments and new prevention strategies for age-related diseases to improve healthy aging.

The public defence will take place at the Senate Hall, 1st floor Erasmus Building, location campus Woudestein. The ceremony will begin exactly at 13.00 PM. In light of the solemn nature of the ceremony, we recommend that you do not take children under the age of 6 to the first part of the ceremony.

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