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Personal profile

Research interests

My main area of research interest is in the chemistry of human ageing.  I use synthetic chemistry to design and evaluate compounds that intervene in and remediate age-related degenerative processes including cellular senescence. I also undertake bioanalytical evaluation of age related changes.

My research is focused on the chemical analysis of, and intervention in, ageing processes. Building on postdoctoral experience in mechanistic enzymology (where I discovered the first catalytic antibody lactamase generated in response to a synthetic compound), I developed the first mathematical model to explain why some, but not all, tissues in Werner’s Syndrome patients show a premature degenerative phenotype.  My work has since progressed to using experimental models to investigate putative causal mechanisms of ageing. 

My EPSRC/BBSRC SPARC funded project resulted in the first demonstration that age-related chemical changes in Drosophila are consistent with the “Green Theory” of ageing. More, recently we demonstrated that the highly-publicised postulated anti-ageing compound, Resveratrol, causes premature cellular senescence in primary cells in vitro.  

My latest research includes the development of a simple synthesis of novel “Resveralogues”. We are now evaluating our panel of over 40 compounds, in collaboration with multiple international laboratories, to determine the chemical features underlying the beneficial activities of stilbene molecules whilst abrogating the detrimental ones. The structure-activity relationships (SAR) we have developed are now informing our second generation compound designs.

Approach to teaching

As an analytical chemistry lecturer, I consider it my role to show students how to approach the subject, and to facilitate development of their chemical problem solving and numerical skills. My lectures are therefore a mixture of explanation of fundamental concepts, and workshop activities to practice applying the concepts. These are complemented by laboratory classes putting it all into practice. I introduce primary research articles from year 1 and expect the final year project students to undertake original research with me. 

I tell my students “In year 1 we show you the tools, in year 2 you have to choose how to use them, and in year 3 you apply them to something that has never been done before.”

Supervisory Interests

The effect of polyphenols and synthetic analogues of these on human ageing, with a particular focus on cellular senescence. Projects are offered in synthetic chemistry, cell biology and multidisciiplinary combinations of these.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Bristol

1 Oct 199330 Sep 1996

Bachelor, University of Bristol

1 Oct 198930 Jun 1992

External positions

Treasurer, British Society for Research on Ageing

1 Aug 201631 Jul 2020

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Research Output

Resveralogues: From Novel Ageing Mechanisms to New Therapies?

Ostler, L. & Faragher, R., 8 Jan 2020, In : Gerontology. 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

  • FOXO1 and ETV6 genes may represent novel regulators of splicing factor expression in cellular senescence

    Latorre, E., Ostler, E. L., Faragher, R. G. A. & Harries, L. W., 8 Aug 2018, In : The FASEB Journal.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Senescence in the aging process

    Faragher, R., McArdle, A., Willows, A. & Ostler, E., 25 Jul 2017, In : F1000 Research. 6

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Small molecule modulation of splicing factor expression is associated with rescue from cellular senescence

    Latorre, E., Birar, V., Sheerin, A., Jeynes, C. C., Hooper, A., Dawe, H., Melzer, D., Cox, L., Faragher, R., Ostler, E. & Harries, L. W., 17 Oct 2017, In : BMC Cell Biology. 18

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • A facile, stereoselective, one-pot synthesis of resveratrol derivatives

    Birar, V., Sheerin, A., Milkovicova, J., Faragher, R. & Ostler, E., 20 May 2015, In : Chemistry Central Journal. 9

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Activities

    • 1 Editorial work
    • 1 Membership of professional body
    • 1 Personal board membership of professional/academic bodies
    • 1 External funding peer-review

    Royal Society of Chemistry, Heads of CHemistry UK (External organisation)

    Lizzy Ostler (Chair)
    1 Jul 20161 Jul 2019

    Activity: External boards and professional/academic bodiesPersonal board membership of professional/academic bodies

    Vice Chair

    Lizzy Ostler (Panel Chair)
    1 Jan 2013

    Activity: External funding peer-review

    Chemistry Central Journal (Journal)

    Lizzy Ostler (Reviewer)
    1 Jan 2006

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

    Royal Society of Chemistry (External organisation)

    Lizzy Ostler (Chair)
    1 Jan 1996

    Activity: External boards and professional/academic bodiesMembership of professional body