In centuries past, adventurers have searched for the Fountain of Youth fable to reverse the effects of aging and thereby turn back the march of time on the body. Little did they know that the answer was not to be found in a journey across the seas to mythical lands, but through a journey in science and the study of how cells are impacted by the things we do and the environment around us.
This was the journey taken by the late Professor Paolo Sassone-Corsi until he passed away unexpectedly in July 2020 at the age of 64. By all accounts he was a brilliant scientist. He was the director of the Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism at UC Irvine.
Epigenetics researchers study how human behaviors and the environment can cause changes in the way genes work.
Estée Lauder established a relationship with Professor Sassone-Corsi when he worked alongside the company to discover how skin is affected by discoveries made in epigenetics, circadian rhythms and MicroRNA. Indeed, Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair face serum which promises to diminish the appearance of aging, benefitted from the work of Sassone-Corsi.
To honor Sassone-Corci, Estée Lauder is creating a research Fellowship at UCI, building on the foundational collaboration between the company and the professor.
The Fellowship will provide for Ph.D candidates to research the molecular mechanisms behind cell aging. The Fellowship will be granted annually to first generation students or talented Ph.D researchers in epigenetics, with financial need.
Applications for the Fellowship begin in spring 2023 for the 2023-2024 academic year.
“This fellowship is in honor of Paolo and the collaboration between our labs and demonstrates our commitment to his work and the brilliant students who will continue to deepen our understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind aging,” said Nadine Pernodet, Ph.D., senior vice president, biosciences, at the Estée Lauder Companies.
In a statement on Oct. 24, Dr. Michael J. Stamos, dean of the UCI School of Medicine said “We look forward to the deeply impactful discoveries that will take shape through the Estée Lauder Epigenetics Fellowship,”
Paolo Sassone-Corci was born in Naples, and joined UCI as a Donald Bren Professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry, School of Medicine in 2006.