The journal The Scientist has published an interview with Manuel Serrano, ICREA researcher and head of the Cell Plasticity and Disease Lab at IRB Barcelona, about studies into cell aging done in recent years. In the 1950s, the scientist Leonard Hayflick did a series of studies in which he demonstrated that cells enter what is known as a “senescent” state. Initially, the scientific community rejected this concept, considering it irrelevant for living organisms. However, work done in later decades by researchers like Manuel Serrano has revealed the importance of cell senescence. Serrano has observed that when cells are exposed to stress stimuli that would normally lead to some type of cancer, they become senescent as a way to prevent the transmission of the tumour to daughter cells.
Manuel Serrano is an ICREA research professor and head of the Cell Plasticity and Disease Lab at IRB Barcelona. His laboratory receives the support of the Banking Foundation “la Caixa”.