Ryo Higuchi-Sanabria is a postdoctoral fellow working in the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Dillin at the University of California, Berkeley. He completed his Ph.D. from Columbia University in the laboratory of Dr. Liza Pon, where he studied how asymmetric cell division of cellular components, such as mitochondria and protein aggregates, contribute to the aging process in budding yeast.
As a postdoctoral fellow in the Dillin lab, Ryo continues to work on aging, but now focuses on how cellular stress responses impact the aging process and vice versa. It is well understood that stress hastens aging; however, the knowledge of how aging affects our capacity to deal with stress is less widespread. It turns out that the capacity to deal with stress loses function during the aging process in most organisms, and Ryo’s studies focus on how preventing this deterioration of stress responses during aging can positively impact organismal health and lifespan. Specifically, his studies currently revolve around understanding the impact of the stress responses dedicated to preserving the quality of the mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, and actin cytoskeleton on aging.
Ryo received the NRSA F32 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the NIA in 2016 and the AFAR-Glenn Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2019 to support his postdoctoral research. He received the K99 Pathway to Independence Award in 2020 to pursue his research, further understanding the impact of cellular quality control machineries on stress and aging. He is currently on the faculty market (2020-2021) to secure a position to continue his research, hoping to merge his research focuses to study communication between organelles and how their stress response machineries may be tied together to impact organismal health and aging.