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”.
About IRB Barcelona
Created in 2005 by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia) and University of Barcelona, IRB Barcelona is a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence, a seal that was awarded in 2011. The institute is devoted to conducting research of excellence in biomedicine and to transferring results to clinical practice, thus improving people’s quality of life, while simultaneously promoting the training of outstanding researchers, technology transfer, and public communication of science. Its 27 laboratories and eight core facilities address basic questions in biology and are orientated to diseases such as cancer, metastasis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and rare conditions. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 employees and more than 30 nationalities. It is located in the Barcelona Science Park. IRB Barcelona is a CERCA center, and a member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).