Dario Riccardo Valenzano is a Max Planck Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, Germany. He studied Biology and Neuroscience in Italy at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, and after a postdoc in Genetics at Stanford University in the laboratory of Dr. Anne Brunet, in 2013 he established his research group in Cologne. His research is focused on understanding how evolution shapes life history traits (development, sexual maturation, aging) in vertebrates and how aging and longevity affect fitness in wild populations. His group also investigates what is the impact of the commensal gut microbial community on the host’s aging and he is developing strategies to modulate lifespan targeting the gut microbiota. His main model system is the naturally short-lived turquoise killifish (Nothobranchius furzeri), which he started to develop as a novel model organism during graduate school. He devotes his time doing computational work and supervising scientific projects in his lab in Cologne, and once a year he conducts fieldwork in the African savannah, where he studies his favorite fish in their natural habitat.
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