Portrait of Dr Jennifer Tullet

Dr Jennifer Tullet

Senior Lecturer in Biogerontology

About

Jenny joined the University of Kent in 2014 after conducting postdocs with Prof David Gems (UCL) and Prof Keith Blackwell (Harvard). She obtained her PhD from Imperial College London under supervision of Prof Malcolm Parker. Her background covers ageing biology, transcriptional regulation and C. elegans genetics. At Kent, Jenny combines her research in these topics with undergraduate teaching and postgraduate supervision.

Research interests

Ageing is a major risk factor for many diseases but research shows that it is possible to modulate the ageing process to improve health and increase lifespan. The Tullet lab is interested in understanding the molecular detail underlying ageing and age-related health. This knowledge could eventually allow us to improve the ageing process and relieve some of the suffering associated with it.
It is difficult to study ageing in humans due to the time scales involved so, scientists use simpler organisms such as worms, flies and mice. Our work uses the nematode worm C. elegans to understand the ageing process. This amazing, tiny worm (1mm long) lives for 3 weeks in the laboratory and has been vital to our understanding of ageing. It is possible to extend its lifespan either by changing its genetic makeup or by altering the environment in which it is grown. Importantly, interventions that extend lifespan also tend to protect against age-related pathologies so, we are not simply extending lifespan but also improving the quality of late-life health.
The molecules we study are also present in mammalian cells. So, by studying their effects on lifespan in worms, we will eventually be able to use this information to design interventions to slow ageing and improve the late-life health of humans.
See External lab home page for more details. 

Teaching

Undergraduate

  • BI501 Gene expression and its control
  • BI600 Research project 
  • BI644 Biology of Ageing  

Supervision

MSc-R projects available for 2019/20

Understanding the molecular basis of longevity
My lab has Masters by research projects on offer which explore the molecular basis of the ageing process. We have extensive experience with several molecules known to be import for regulating lifespan (the transcription factor SKN-1/Nrf, RNA Polymerase III and AMP activated protein kinase). Projects in my lab will focus on the function of one or more of these molecules and will be personally designed to accommodate both the interests of the applicant and the laboratory as a whole. Additional research costs: £1200

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