Advisory Board

Professor Marco Demaria

Marco Demaria, Ph.D. is President of the International Cell Senescence Association (ICSA), Associate Professor in Cellular Ageing at the Medical Faculty of the University of Groningen, Associate Professor and Group Leader of the Laboratory of Cellular Senescence and Age-related Pathologies (Demaria laboratory) of the European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing, and Cofounder at Cleara Biotech.

Marco is interested in unraveling molecular and cellular mechanisms during aging, age-related diseases, and cancer, using different types of cellular and in vivo models. His goal is to identify new therapeutic approaches to build more efficient therapies to limit pathology and extend the healthspan. Particularly, his focus relies on interfering with mechanisms of cellular aging, also defined as cellular senescence, by using genetic, pharmacological, and nutraceutical approaches.

The goal of his Demaria laboratory is to define the conditions and phenotypes that determine whether a senescent cell covers beneficial or detrimental functions. The laboratory is developing the following projects, with the support of many collaborators and funding schemes:

  • Molecular characterization of senescence heterogeneity. He is comparing different types of senescent cells in order to understand the variability of the senescence phenotype.
  • Role of senescent cells during disease. He is studying the behavior and contribution of senescent cells to cancer and other age-related pathologies in both mice and humans.
  • Clearance of senescent cells. He is studying the mechanisms that determine the elimination of senescent cells in vivo. In particular, his lab is focusing on the activation of anti-apoptotic pathways and the role of the immune system, and how these regulations are altered during aging and disease. Moreover, he is studying the potential toxicities of reaching senolysis for tissue repair and regeneration.
  • Lifestyle effects on induction of cellular senescence. He is analyzing how diet and exposure to UV radiation contribute to the accumulation of pro-diseases senescent cells.
  • Pro-senescence therapies to improve tissue repair. He is screening different genetic and pharmacological approaches to identify strategies to promote senescence in the context of acute tissue damage in different tissues.

In the long-term, his laboratory aims to develop novel pharmaceutical and nutraceutical interventions to reduce the detriment or improve the benefit of different senescent cells with the goal to improve health and longevity.

Read Pharmacological CDK4/6 inhibition reveals a p53-dependent senescent state with restricted toxicity.

Marco earned his Bachelor’s Degree of Science and Master’s Degree of Science in Molecular Biotechnology in 2005 and 2007 from the University of Turin. Through his internship between 2004 and 2007, he worked on gene expression profiling in cancer. He continued his internship at the Medical University of Vienna at the Institute of Pharmacology where he did work on cooperation of transcription factors during tumorigenesis before his Ph.D. studies.

Marco earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine at the University of Turin, Italy, in 2011 under the supervision of Professor Valeria Poli with a focus on transcriptional regulation in cancer metabolism. In Professor Poli’s lab, he worked on the effect of chronic inflammation and cellular metabolism on tumor progression and he characterized the role of the transcription factor STAT3 as a master regulator of cancer cell survival and metabolism.

Read From the nucleus to the mitochondria and back: The odyssey of a multitask STAT3.

In 2012, he became Consultant for UNITY Biotechnology working on discovery and pre-clinical studies of senolytic agents. In 2014, he became Contributing Editor for the Journal of Postdoctoral Research.

During his postdoctoral studies, between 2012 and 2015, Marco joined the laboratory of Professor Judith Campisi at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, California USA, in the summer of 2010. At the Campisi lab, he developed tools and models to analyze senescent cells in vivo and characterized the biological functions of senescent cells in tissue repair, cancer, and aging. He has characterized a new transgenic mouse model for the study of senescence in vivo, and demonstrated that senescent cells accumulate and persist during aging and under genotoxic stress, where they contribute to disease. However, he has also demonstrated that sub-populations of senescent cells cover positive roles during tissue repair.

Read Aging and Cancer: a Long-Term Relationship.

He also became interested in therapeutic approaches to target senescent cells to improve healthspan. He joined the University of Groningen and the European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing (ERIBA) in September 2015 as Assistant Professor and Group Leader of the Cellular Senescence and Age-related Pathologies laboratory.

In 2017, Marco was Scientific Advisor for Deep Knowledge Life Sciences, advising for potential investments in early-stage biotech companies aimed at tackling aging and age-related diseases and also Independant Consultant at GLG (Gerson Lehrman Group), helping healthcare firms to identify potential new strategies to extend healthy aging.

Read Study Shows Chemotherapy Induces Cellular Aging, Which Promotes Side Effects, Cancer Relapse.

In 2018, Marco cofounded the startup company, Cleara Biotech, devoted to developing anti-senescence drugs.

His research is focused on identifying novel mechanisms and biomarkers associated with senescent cells. His laboratory also has a strong interest in characterizing the pro-disease functions of senescent cells induced during aging and by anti-cancer therapies. A major goal of his is to exploit these findings for the development of rejuvenating interventions.

Read High dietary protein and fat contents exacerbate hepatic senescence and SASP in mice and Prognostic implications of cellular senescence in resected non-small cell lung cancer.

In 2014, Marco earned his Certificate of General Nutrition from the University of California in Berkeley.

He is former Academic Editor of the Public Library of Science (PLOS ONE) and of Nature Research. Currently, he serves as Academic Editor for Aging Cell and Frontiers in Oncology. Read Cellular Senescence: Methods and Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology, 1896).

Marco regularly gives talks and speaks about his work. He was invited to the Akademiliv Medical Hill Seminar, Karolinska Institutet BioNut Seminar, EACR (European Association for Cancer Research Conference, and the Ageing Seminar at Universidade D Coimbra.

View Heterogeneity in Senescence: from Mechanisms to Interventions with Prof Marco Demaria.

Read Simple Detection of Unstained Live Senescent Cells with Imaging Flow Cytometry and Senescence and cancer — role and therapeutic opportunities. Read Regulation of Survival Networks in Senescent Cells: From Mechanisms to Interventions, The Quest to Define and Target Cellular Senescence in Cancer, and Killing Senescent Cells as a Novel Method to Eliminate Nevi – KILNEV.

Visit his LinkedIn profile, Work page at ERIBA, University profile, Live Forever Club profile, Google Scholar page, Loop profile, and Research Gate profile. Follow him on his Lab page, Elsevier, Sciprofiles, ORCiD, and Twitter.