Biobank and Biomarkers

Individuals may have large variations in the way they are aging: while some are frail, develop sensory impairments and may suffer from chronic diseases, others remain highly active with sharp senses and absence of diseases. Despite its importance, the heterogeneity of the aging process in humans is still poorly understood. Our group is interested in understanding the biological processes that favorize a long and healthy life.

Research suggests, that Centenarians are able to reach their exceptional longevity due to the development of some form of resilience. In fact, some Centenarians are spared from deadly diseases and can markedly postpone the apparition of chronic illnesses to a very old age, compared to the normal population. Other Centenarians seem to be able to better live with chronic diseases, whereas a few of them even escape these diseases completely. However, our precise understanding of the physiological and molecular changes occuring during aging especially in Centenarians is still lacking. The aim of this national study in different cantons and language regions (German, French, Italian speaking) is to further identify broad markers of longevity in the swiss population.

To define biological molecules that are associated with aging, we will first perform a global monitoring of the molecular profiles. Blood and saliva samples from centenarians will be collected from the participant of the SWISS100 study and evaluated using “omics” technology. Control groups consisting of healthy/younger individuals (mean age 45 years) and geriatric patients (mean age 85 years) will be used to determine biomarkers differences. Then a comprehensive analysis of the differences between the pathways comparing our three groups will allow the identification of novel biological function involved in the aging process (e.g., genes and proteins levels associated with inflammation, metabolism, immune response and oxidative stress markers).

The findings of this study will allow to identify novel biological parameters and improve our understanding on how ageing can lead to the appearance of chronic diseases, as well as their early detection. This may be important for promoting well-being and quality of life and how to adapt service providers’ care accordingly.

If you have any additional questions or require further clarification, please, do not hesitate to send an email.

(French or English) : Flavien Delhaes, Flavien.Delhaes[at]
(German) : Karl-Heinz Krause, karl-heinz.krause[at]
(Italian) : Stefano Cavalli, swiss100[at]