Pankaj Kapahi, PhD, Professor

Understanding the role of nutrition and energy metabolism in lifespan and disease

Overall Goals. The overall goal of the Kapahi laboratory is to understand how an organism responds to nutrient status to influence health and disease. We utilize worms, flies and mice as model systems to understand how nutrients influence age-related changes in physiology and disease processes. Using interdisciplinary approaches we are examining the mechanisms by which various organs and the microbiome communicate with each other to influence various physiological processes. We study how various physiological and molecular processes including physical activity, fat metabolism, circadian clocks, advanced glycation end products, calcification and intestinal permeability are influenced by nutrients to impact organismal health and survival. Our work has relevance to a number of age-related human diseases including diabetes, kidney stone formation, intestinal diseases, cancer and obesity. Some of the projects currently being pursued in the lab are described below.

Lab philosophy. Creativity and Collaboration’ We aim to utilize creative approaches to understand the mechanisms by which nutrients influence cellular homeostasis and disease processes. We also strive to develop models for various human diseases that are influenced by nutrient status using invertebrates. We collaborate with multiple groups to undertake interdisciplinary approaches to translate our findings from multiple models including, Drs. Marshall Stoller, Rachel Brem, Judith Campisi, Gordon Lithgow, Simon Melov, Julie Andersen, Arvind Ramanathan, Brad Gibson, Henri Jasper and Richmond Sarpong.

For more information on the Kapahi Lab:

Lab Members

Kapahi Lab Research

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Phone: 415-209-2201

Administrative Lab Coordinator: Chloe Caviness
Phone: 415-209-2233

“Our research will help us understand the molecular basis of the impact of nutrition on aging and age-related diseases in humans.’’

- Pankaj Kapahi, PhD



Recent Publications


Brian M Zid, Pankaj Kapahi... Pankaj Kapahi "Exonuclease EXD2 in mitochondrial translation." Nat. Cell Biol. 20:2 120-122
Hanna Kim, Carles Calatayud... Esther Dalfo "The Small GTPase RAC1/CED-10 Is Essential in Maintaining Dopaminergic Neuron Function and Survival Against α-Synuclein-Induced Toxicity." Mol. Neurobiol. Epub ahead of print
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