Our goal is to provide high-quality resources for research on the biology and genetics of ageing that take advantage of the modern information age. The genomic revolution, in particular, has made it possible to study ageing at the genome-wide level. We aim to create computer-based resources that allow easy storage, automation, and the development of complex models. Ultimately, we would like our work to help understand the genetic basis of human ageing and longevity and develop interventions to extend life and preserve health.
Our History and Team
The Human Ageing Genomic Resources (HAGR) is an interdisciplinary project started in circa 2002 at the Ageing and Stress Group, led by Olivier Toussaint, of the University of Namur (FUNDP) in Namur, Belgium, and later continued in George Church's lab at Harvard Medical School. HAGR's project leader is João Pedro de Magalhães, formerly at the University of Namur and Harvard Medical School, and presently head of the Genomics of Ageing and Rejuvenation Lab at the University of Birmingham. Currently, HAGR is located in the senescence.info website.
Steven Austad, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, is AnAge's expert mammalogist and curator. Vadim Fraifeld and Arieh Budovsky, of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, are curators for GenAge's list of ageing-related genes in model organisms and for GenAge's list of genes analyzed for their possible association with human longevity. George Church is the Principal Investigator in our project to develop genomic resources for the naked mole-rat, which also involves other collaborators.
HAGR has an Advisory Board consisting of world-renowned researchers with complementary expertise in ageing/longevity, genetics and genomics, evolutionary biology and systems biology.
Steven Austad, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Vadim Fraifeld, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Richard Faragher, University of Brighton
Alex Freitas, University of Kent
David Gems, University College London
Tom Kirkwood, Newcastle University
Many people contributed their knowledge, opinions, and/or data to this project, and we express our gratitude to the many biologists cited as personal communications in AnAge. We thank Jamie Gillooly, Van Savage, and Andrew McKechnie for supplying us with data prior to publication, as well as Robert Ricklefs and the late Marvin Jones for useful insights. AnAge took research and staff from the Ernst Mayr Library. Attila Csordas, of the European Bioinformatics Institute, helped develop GenAge's tool to search multiple genes. Further thanks to Matt Kaeberlain, Fabian Bastin, Jason Stajich, Domingos Magalhães, and everyone of the Linux and Perl/BioPerl communities for their invaluable assistance.
HAGR is currently funded by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council grant, and was previously funded by Wellcome Trust.
Although HAGR had no other direct funding sources when we started this project, our work was initially supported by grants from the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, Portugal and the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique, Belgium. We also acknowledge past support of the European Social Fund through the III Quadro Comunitário de Apoio and by the National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, through its Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science program (to George Church). Our work to develop genomic resources for the naked mole-rat is funded primarily by a grant from the Ellison Medical Foundation to George Church and also a grant from the European Commission (FP7) to João Pedro Magalhães. Our project to develop a portal of age-related changes is funded by a grant to João Pedro de Magalhães from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, though this project is independent from HAGR.
About the Figures
On HAGR's main page, lamin A/C (PDB: 1IFR) was used to generate the protein image on the left side bar. Lamin A/C and the DNA structure in the genes section were rendered using PyMOL. The GenAge page has an image of a human with a DNA shadow that was obtained from the U.S. Department of Energy Genome Programs as well as a composite image using pictures from the GenAge section on model organisms. The picture of C. elegans is used with permission from the copyright holders Juergen Berger and Ralf Sommer, Max-Planck-Institute for Developmental Biology, Tübingen, Germany. The picture of a fruit fly was taken by André Karwath and the picture of S. cerevisiae was taken by Maxim Zakhartsev and Doris Petroi, International University Bremen, Germany. In the LongevityMap, the picture of the old couple was taken by Jonel Hanopol.
The species section uses a number of images from Wikimedia Commons: an opossum by Cody Pope, a red panda by Bernard Landgraf, an Eastern gray squirrel by Diliff, a lion by yaaaay, a barbary macaque by Christopher Buttigieg, a squirrel monkey by Luc Viatour, a black-crowned night heron by Calibas, a white-breasted nuthatch by Mdf, a flamingo by Aaron Logan, a blue jay by Mdf, a green sea turtle by Mila Zinkova, a knight anole by Ianaré Sévi, and an European tree frog by Christoph Leeb.
In the main page of the software section, the menus employ a camel image from O'Reilly and a mortality curve made with the sample data from the demographic analysis. Lastly, the figure in the delta projects uses DNA microarray images.
It is impossible for us to keep up with our databases and tools by ourselves. We need help from other researchers. Comments, suggestions, ideas, and bug reports are welcome. Besides, we are always looking for more curators to help in our efforts. Please contact us:
João Pedro de Magalhães
Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease
William Duncan Building, Room 281
University of Liverpool
6 West Derby Street, Liverpool L7 8TX
Phone: +44 151-7954517
E-mail: aging#liverpool.ac.uk (# = @)