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Judith Campisi

biochemist: Biosciences

Media contact: Dan Krotz, 510-486-4019,


Judith Campisi has received international recognition for her contributions to understanding why age is the largest single risk factor for developing a panoply of diseases, ranging from neurodegeneration to cancer. Her highly acclaimed research integrates the genetic, environmental and evolutionary forces that result in aging and age-related diseases, and identifies pathways that can be modified to mitigate basic aging processes.

Dr. Campisi also makes significant contributions to understanding why aging is the largest single risk factor for developing cancer. She is widely recognized for her work on senescent cells -- older cells that have stopped dividing -- and their influence on aging and cancer.   Senescence occurs when cells experience certain types of stress, especially stress that can damage the genome.  The senescence response helps prevent cancer by blocking damaged cells from multiplying.  But there is a trade off - the lingering senescent cells may also cause harm to the body.  The Campisi lab found evidence that senescent cells can disrupt normal tissue functions and, ironically, drive the progression of cancer over time.  Senescent cells also promote inflammation, which is a common feature of all major age-related diseases. 

Dr. Campisi is collaborating with many other research groups at the Buck Institute to examine other suspected influences of senescent cells on other diseases of aging.  Her research is shedding light on anti-cancer genes, DNA repair mechanisms that promote longevity, molecular pathways that protect cells against stress, and stem cells and their role in aging and age-related disease.

Awards and Memberships

Two MERIT awards from the US National Institute on Aging

Awards from the AlliedSignal Corporation, Gerontological Society of America, American Federation for Aging Research

The Longevity Prize from the IPSEN Foundation

In the News

Lab Researchers Star on PBS


Postdoctoral training in cell cycle regulation and cancer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

at Harvard Medical School

PhD, Biochemistry, State University New York at Stony Brook

BS, Chemistry, State University New York at Stony Brook


last updated: 2017-08-04 10:31:33