Biology of Aging (BIO 546)

2023 Spring
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Alex Lyakhovich,
Click here to view.
Doctoral, Master
Formal lecture,Interactive lecture,Workshop
Interactive,Communicative,Discussion based learning,Task based learning,Guided discovery,Simulation,Other
Click here to view.


The course intends to provide an up-to-date overview of the field of aging and gerontology While all of us intuitively know what the aging is, many basic questions about aging are mysterious. Is aging itself a disease, and can we successfully intervene in the aging process? Or is it a program that one can hack? The course will start with a discussion of aging systems both from the view of biologist but also from the point of view of a system engenderer. We will explore the scientific discoveries made from studies of model organisms, which have led to revelations about the molecular biology of aging. We will look at aging at different angles – from population genetics to the “reliability theory”. The second part of the course will describe methods for studying aging, descriptions of population aging, and theories on how and why we age We are going to understand why older people more likely to experience neurodegenerative disorders, stroke, and cancer and what kind of changes happen at the molecular and cellular levels that are associated with these diseases. The third part of the course provides an in depth discussion of the processes of aging in various body systems. In combination with this we will discuss some medical treatments that can extend the lifespan of organisms as diverse as yeast and primates, and the implications for successfully intervening in age-related diseases. Finally, students will explore biological changes that occur with aging at the molecular and organismal levels and how they can be viewed from the perspectives of various disciplines.


The course intends to provide an up-to-date overview of the biology of aging, one of
the fastest growing scientific disciplines of the 21st century, located at the intersection of
biology, mathematics, computer science and medicine. Students who complete this course (ı) will gain knowledge regarding developmental changes as they occur during the aging process; (ıı) will be able to evaluate current issues related to the aging process; (ııı) will be able to apply the above knowledge in their chosen areas of professional development.


  • Demonstrate knowledge of the aging process from both the human perspective and from the basic processes underlying molecular and organismal aging.
  • Be familiar with the major theories of aging and their development over the past decade.
  • Demonstrate data skills related to the analysis of life expectancy and age-related data sets.
  • Be able to explain several mechanisms of aging using published data and acquired skills.
  • Interpret and retrieve information about aging models and various ways to intervene in aging processes.
  • Be able to provide feedback and critique to classmates presenting published studies in the field.
  • Be able to analyze and evaluate data and make appropriate suggestions for improving other data.
  • Demonstrate written and oral communication skills.


1. Develop and deepen the current and advanced knowledge in the field with original thought and/or research and come up with innovative definitions based on Master's degree qualifications 5

2. Conceive the interdisciplinary interaction which the field is related with ; come up with original solutions by using knowledge requiring proficiency on analysis, synthesis and assessment of new and complex ideas. 4

3. Evaluate and use new information within the field in a systematic approach. 5

4. Develop an innovative knowledge, method, design and/or practice or adapt an already known knowledge, method, design and/or practice to another field; research, conceive, design, adapt and implement an original subject. 4

5. Critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation of new and complex ideas. 5

6. Gain advanced level skills in the use of research methods in the field of study. 5

7. Contribute the progression in the field by producing an innovative idea, skill, design and/or practice or by adapting an already known idea, skill, design, and/or practice to a different field independently. 5

8. Broaden the borders of the knowledge in the field by producing or interpreting an original work or publishing at least one scientific paper in the field in national and/or international refereed journals. 4

9. Demonstrate leadership in contexts requiring innovative and interdisciplinary problem solving. 4

10. Develop new ideas and methods in the field by using high level mental processes such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving and decision making. 5

11. Investigate and improve social connections and their conducting norms and manage the actions to change them when necessary. 5

12. Defend original views when exchanging ideas in the field with professionals and communicate effectively by showing competence in the field. 5

13. Ability to communicate and discuss orally, in written and visually with peers by using a foreign language at least at a level of European Language Portfolio C1 General Level. 4

14. Contribute to the transition of the community to an information society and its sustainability process by introducing scientific, technological, social or cultural improvements. 4

15. Demonstrate functional interaction by using strategic decision making processes in solving problems encountered in the field. 3

16. Contribute to the solution finding process regarding social, scientific, cultural and ethical problems in the field and support the development of these values. 3

1. Develop the ability to use critical, analytical, and reflective thinking and reasoning 5

2. Reflect on social and ethical responsibilities in his/her professional life. 4

3. Gain experience and confidence in the dissemination of project/research outputs 4

4. Work responsibly and creatively as an individual or as a member or leader of a team and in multidisciplinary environments. 5

5. Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English. 5

6. Independently reach and acquire information, and develop appreciation of the need for continuously learning and updating. 5

1. Design and model engineering systems and processes and solve engineering problems with an innovative approach. 2

2. Establish experimental setups, conduct experiments and/or simulations. 2

3. Analytically acquire and interpret data. 2

1. Display knowledge of contemporary issues in molecular biology, genetics and bioengineering and apply them to a particular problem.

2. To develop knowledge and theory by using data and scientific methods in molecular biology, genetics and bioengineering.

3. Display a good command of scientific literature in biology, genetics and bioengineering for developing novel projects, improving the quality of research and products

1. Apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering in computer science and engineering related problems.

2. Display knowledge of contemporary issues in computer science and engineering and apply to a particular problem.

3. Demonstrate the use of results from interpreted data to improve the quality of research or a product in computer science and engineering.

1. To have acquired basic theoretical knowledge and technical infrastructure in the field of cyber security,

2. To have developed a deep experience and understanding on the basic methods and human-induced and techinal weaknesses followed by the existing and future cyber attacks, threats and counterfeiting,

3. To be able to analyze an IT infrastructure comprehensively and to determine risk by monitoring the existing weaknesses and to determine a cyber security strategy,

4. To take the necessary measures to prevent possible costs and destruction during the occurrence of cyber attacks,

5. To be able to use current cyber security software tools and related software for professional purposes

1. Understand the conceptual foundations of analytical methods and techniques for data science

2. Understand the theory and practice of applied information systems by developing the necessary computer software skills

3. Transform high-volume data sets into actionable information format and use statistical data analysis tools to support decision making within the corporate structure

4. Understand and apply quantitative modeling and data analysis techniques to extract information from big data and use these findings to analyze business problems, present results using data visualization tools and report findings

5. Understand data quality, data integrity and data veracity, recognize ethical aspects of business related to intellectual property and data privacy

1. Use advanced Math (including probability and/or statistics), advanced sciences, advanced computer and programming, and advanced Electronics engineering knowledge to design and analyze complex electronics circuits, instruments, software and electronic systems with hardware/software.

2. Analyze and design advanced communication networks and systems, advanced signal processing algorithms or software using advanced knowledge on diff. equations, linear algebra, complex variables and discrete math.

1. Design and model energy systems and processes that will increase efficiency, decrease costs and reduce environmental impact.

2. Develop a basic understanding of the multidisciplinary aspect of energy area and understand the interactions between technical, economic, social and policy aspects.

3. Develop the scientific and technical fundamentals to understand and communicate the working principles of energy systems such as wind turbines, energy storage and conversion devices, electrical power systems, etc.

4. Apply scientific and engineering principles to energy systems for creating innovative solutions to world's energy related problems such as scarce resources, sustainability, energy efficiency and climate change.

5. Interact with researchers from different disciplines to exchange ideas and identify areas of research collaboration to advance the frontiers of present knowledge and technology; determine relevant solution approaches and apply them by preparing a research strategy.

6. Take part in ambitious and highly challenging research to generate value for both the industry and society.

1. Establish a strong theoretical background in several of a broad range of subjects related to the discipline, such as manufacturing processes, service systems design and operation, production planning and control, modeling and optimization, stochastics, statistics.

2. Develop novel modeling and / or analytical solution strategies for problems in integrated production and service systems involving human capital, materials, information, equipment, and energy, also using an interdisciplinary approach whenever appropriate.

3. Implement solution strategies on a computer platform for decision-support purposes by employing effective computational and experimental tools.

4. Acquire skills to independently explore and tackle problems related to the discipline that were not encountered previously. Develop appropriate modeling, solution, implementation strategies, and assess the quality of the outcome.

1. Apply a broad knowledge of structure & microstructure of all classes of materials, and the ability to use this knowledge to determine the material properties.

2. Apply a broad understanding of the relationships between material properties, performance and processing.

3. Apply a broad understanding of thermodynamics, kinetics, transport phenomena, phase transformations and materials aspects of advanced technology.

4. Demonstrate hands-on experience using a wide range of materials characterization techniques.

5. Demonstrate the use of results from interpreted data to improve the quality of research, a product, or a product in materials science and engineering.

1. Develop abstract mathematical thinking and mathematical intuition.

2. Demonstrate a broad understanding of several areas of advanced mathematics and of their interrelations.

3. Have knowledge of the fundamental and advanced concepts, principles and techniques from a range of topics.

4. The ability to tackle complex problems, reveal structures and clarify problems, discover suitable analytical and/or numerical methods and interpret solutions.

5. Analyze problems of the area of specialization, plan strategies for their solution, and apply notions and methods of abstract and/or applied mathematics to solve them.

1. Apply software, modeling, instrumentation, and experimental techniques and their combinations in the design and integration of electrical, electronic, control and mechanical systems.

2. Interact with researchers from different disciplines to exchange ideas and identify areas of research collaboration to advance the frontiers of present knowledge and technology; determine relevant solution approaches and apply them by preparing a research strategy.

3. Take part in ambitious and highly challenging research to generate value for both the industry and society.

1. To have knowledge and experience in the research, design, analysis and development of advanced manufacturing and production systems and the machinery and equipment of these systems

2. Identify product performance and manufacturing processes relationship and optimize process parameters

3. Interpret the resultant data to improve the quality and performance of a product

4. Research and apply manufacturing engineering knowledge on industrial applications

1. Display knowledge of contemporary issues in physics and apply them to specific problems in the field of study.

2. Interpret and criticize newly developed theoretical models and experimental results in a particular field in physics

3. Display a good command of scientific literature in physics for developing novel projects, improving the quality of research and products

4. Apply knowledge of mathematics to analyze experimental results and to solve problems in physics

1. Employ mathematical methods to solve physical problems and understand relevant numerical techniques.

2. Conduct basic experiments or simulations.

3. Analytically acquire and interpret data.

4. Establish thorough understanding of the fundamental principles of physics.


  Percentage (%)
Final 40
Midterm 30
Quiz 30
Assignment 0



9780128162835 (we have 6th Edition in SU information unit, also OK)
Biology of Aging, 2nd Edition, Roger B. McDonald ISBN 9780815345671
Fortunately, or unfortunately, no good textbooks on aging have yet been written.
Therefore, the above handbooks supplement rather than replace the lectures.


All materials for home reading will be provided.

Optional Readings

Short videos will be attached to each lecture for your home watching.
Optional reading can be found at the very end of the lecture slides.