Advisory Board

Professor Jan Gruber

Jan Gruber, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Division of Science, Yale-NUS College, a collaboration between Yale University and the National University of Singapore, and Assistant Professor in Department of Biochemistry, NUS. Before his appointment, he was a Senior Research Fellow between 2010 and 2013 and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Neurobiology and Ageing Programme at the Centre for Life Sciences (CeLS), National University of Singapore (NUS).

Jan initially worked on biomarkers of oxidative damage and their clinical application as well as effects of antioxidants, but soon he wanted to explore biological aging in the laboratory, so he founded the Caenorhabditis elegans (nematode worm) aging laboratory at the NUS Centre of Life Sciences.

Jan was the principle investigator of the study published in the peer-reviewed international journal Developmental Cell on October 2018 titled Drug Synergy Slows Aging and Improves Healthspan through IGF and SREBP Lipid Signaling, which reported that giving the microscopic worm Caenorhabditis elegans a mixture of pharmaceutical drugs both increases its lifespan and delays its rate of aging. These drugs — which included rapamycin, rifampicin, Psora-4, allantoin, and metformin — were chosen because previous animal model studies found they interact with proteins and extend lifespan. Now, scientists discovered that pairing two of these drugs extended the lifespan of the worms, and combining three doubled their lifespan.

From 1995 to 1998, Jan studied physics at the RWTH-Aachen University in Germany before earning Part III of the Mathematical Tripos (MASt) at the University of Cambridge in UK.

From 1999 to 2004, he was a graduate student in the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Department of Biochemistry at Oxford University. He earned his Master’s degree of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics in 2000. Jan worked on cell division cycle control, protein-protein interaction characterization, and rational drug design.

In 2004, he earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. During his Ph.D. work, he also developed and implemented functionality for CCP4mg, a widely used molecular graphics package. CCP4mg enables macromolecular visualization, scientific illustration, and structure-based drug design.

In addition to teaching and mentoring students in the laboratory, Jan has lectured at NUS since 2007 on free radical biology and medicine, evolutionary and molecular aspects of aging, and clinical biomarker analysis. He has also been involved in teaching students critical evaluation of primary literature.

He regularly hosts attachment, visiting, outreach and international project students. In addition to teaching and training students of all levels and from diverse backgrounds, in aging and general biochemical and laboratory techniques, Jan regularly supervises and co-supervises Ph.D., honors, and interdisciplinary attachment students.

Read Yale-NUS researchers discover drug cocktail that increases lifespan.

Read the news report about the discovery in Combination of Drugs Extends Lifespan of C. elegans at, Cocktail Of Drugs Could Extend Healthy Lifespan And Delay Aging at, and Experimental Drug Cocktail Yields Greatest Lifespan Extension Ever Seen in Animals at ScienceAlert.

His papers include:

Read The Role of Mitochondrial Non-Enzymatic Protein Acylation in Ageing. Visit his LinkedIn profile, his Google Scholar page, and his Yale-NUS homepage. Read the list of his publications at ResearchGate.