“I study suspended animation in animals to learn from nature how to improve human therapeutics.”
Ken Storey studies a variety of animals from lemurs to snails that all share the remarkable ability to enter a state of suspended animation for days, weeks or months at a time and to use this dormancy to survive extreme environmental insults—too cold, too hot, too dry, too little oxygen. Ground squirrels are an example, spending months in deep hibernation without eating and with body temperature near 0°C yet arousing unscathed when spring arrives. Storey’s career of more than 1,000 refereed publications has documented the biochemical unity that underlies reversible torpor states across the animal kingdom and his discoveries have identified key metabolic controls that facilitate entry and exit from torpor. These discoveries of the molecular mechanisms that control torpor in nature also provide key insights for medical applications such as improving viability and extending preservation times for donor organs used for transplant therapy.
To view Ken Storey’s full profile, click here.