My goal is to add life to your years.
— Leonard Guarente, Ph.D

Leonard Guarente, Ph.D.

Director of the Leonard Guarente lab at MIT, Novartis Professor of Biology

Since 1982, Leonard has led the Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging Research at MIT, where his research has focused on the genetic and molecular basis of aging — first in model organisms and now in mouse models and humans.

“What many scientists have repeatedly demonstrated is that if one increases the activity of sirtuins under these [stress or aging] conditions in the laboratory, health benefits accrue to the animal,” Guarente said. “For example, old mice are less prone to diabetes. This has been repeated across multiple animal species, which underscores that sirtuins will be important targets to promote metabolic health in humans as well.”

Guarente is the Novartis Professor of Biology at MIT. He holds a B.S. from MIT and a Ph.D. from Harvard.


  • Sirtuins and Neurodegeneration. Guarente’s lab is currently focused on understanding how the human brain’s aging transcriptional program works and how it is regulated. Such critical research can pave the way for anti-aging therapeutic strategies for neurodegenerative diseases. Guarente is currently investigating the role of sirtuin levels and also sirtuin polymorphisms in regulating human brain aging rates and neurodegenerative disease risk, as well as looking broadly using unbiased genome-wide strategies.

aging critical publications

  • Wellman AS, Metukuri MR, Kazgan N, Xu X, Xu Q, Ren NSX, Czopik A, Shanahan MT, Kang A, Chen W, Azcarate-Peril MA, Gulati AS, Fargo DC, Guarente L, Li X (2017) Intestinal Epithelial Sirtuin 1 Regulates Intestinal Inflammation During Aging in Mice by Altering the Intestinal Microbiota. Gastroenterology. 153(3):772-786. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro 2017.05.022. Epub 2017 May 26.

  • Zainabadi K, Liu CJ, Caldwell ALM, Guarente L (2017) SIRT1 is a positive regulator of in vivo bone mass and a therapeutic target for osteoporosis. PLoS One. 12(9):e0185236. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185236.

  • Dellinger RW, Santos SR, Morris M, Evans M, Alminana D, Guarente L, Marcotulli E (2017) Repeat dose NRPT (nicotinamide riboside and pterostilbene) increases NAD+ levels in humans safely and sustainably: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. NPJ Aging Mech Dis.;3:17. doi: 10.1038/s41514-017-0016-9.

  • Das A*, Huang GX,*, Bonkowski, MS, Longchamp, A, Li C, Schultz MB, Kim LJ, Osborne B, Joshi S, Lu Y, Treviño-Villarreal JH, Kang MJ, Hung TT, Lee B, Williams EO, Igarashi M, Mitchell JR, Wu LE, Turner N, Arany Z, Guarente L, and Sinclair DA (2018) Impairment of an endothelial NAD+-H2S signaling network is a reversible cause of vascular aging. Cell 173, 74-89.

  • Herskovits AZ, Hunter T, Maxwell, N, Pereira KMK, Whittaker, CA Valdez G, Guarente L (2018). SIRT1 deacetylase and neuromuscular aging in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Aging Cell (2018) e12839.