Monica Driscoll, PhD, is Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She received her A. B. degree in Chemistry from Douglass College of Rutgers University, and earned a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard University, studying molecular and genetic regulation of gene expression in a yeast model system. She pursued postdoctoral studies at Columbia University, where she began her work on the simple animal C. elegans, focusing on deciphering molecular mechanisms of mechanotransduction and necrotic neuronal degeneration. She joined the faculty of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Rutgers University in 1991. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the Genetics Society of America and the Gerontological Society of America. Awards include an NIH Merit Award, appointment to the National Advisory Council on Aging (service completed 2023), Glenn Foundation Award for Research on Biological Mechanisms of Aging, Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar Award and appointment as Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow.

Research Interests

Dr. Driscoll’s research interest is in the fundamental biology of health maintenance with age--the molecular, cellular and organism-wide drivers of healthspan. A focus is on modeling and deciphering neuronal aging and neurodegeneration using the powerful genetic model C. elegans. With a career start on necrotic cell death mechanisms and their molecular underpinnings, she progressed into study of the fundamental processes that can improve and maintain neuronal functionality with age. Current research interests include data-driven testing of potential pharmacological anti-aging interventions in diverse nematode populations, deciphering of the molecular mechanisms by which exercise promotes neuronal and organism health, and defining the basic biology by which neurons manage aggregate and organelle waste to maintain functionality. Another interest is in how the stress of space travel conditions influence health and aging in C. elegans, with a current project focused on the impact of the microbiome on physiology under microgravity conditions at the International Space Station.

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Primary Section

Section 26: Genetics

Secondary Section

Section 24: Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience