Anne Brunet is interested in the molecular mechanisms that govern the longevity of multicellular organisms. During her postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, she found that key decisions about an organism's longevity—such as whether a cell will survive or die—are controlled by a family of factors, termed the FOXO transcription factors. FOXO transcription factors trigger the expression of a program of target genes that regulates the appropriate balance between cell death and survival.
At Radcliffe, Brunet plans to study the molecular mechanisms that regulate organismal longevity. She will conduct experiments aimed at understanding the importance of the FOXO family of transcription factors in the organismal longevity of mammals. She also plans more speculative experiments to test the idea that organismal longevity may be controlled by the central nervous system through the secretion of novel circulating factors. With these studies, she hopes to gain insight into the molecular mechanisms by which organismal life span is regulated—knowledge that may be critical for understanding the age-dependency of several human diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.
Brunet is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. She earned her BSc in molecular biology from the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris and her PhD in cellular biology from the University of Nice. Her honors include an award from the Human Frontier Science Program and the Goldenson-Berenberg Fellowship for postdoctoral training. In 2003, she received the Prix L. LaCaze et A. Policart-Lacassagne for junior scientists from the French National Academy of Sciences.