Dr Samantha Solon-Biet

University of Sydney
Research Field: Nutrition and healthy ageing

Ageing is the number one risk factor for disease, disability and death for humans in the developed world. 70% of people over the age of 65 have two or more, age-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer and dementia. Rather than treating individual diseases, Dr Solon-Biet’s research works towards discovering novel nutritional interventions that slow down the ageing process, delaying the onset of these diseases and extending the length of healthy life.

Dr Solon-Biet’s research has shown that the balance of macronutrients, specifically diets low in protein and high in carbohydrate, extends healthy lifespan in mice. Her research has identified that these diets improved immunity, metabolic health, gut health, increased lifespan and reduced levels of key amino acids (the branched chain amino acids; BCAA) in the blood known to activate the pro-ageing pathway, mTOR. These findings tell us that the balance of macronutrients and levels of the BCAAs play an important role in mediating health and lifespan. She is now exploring exactly how dietary BCAAs influence late-life metabolic health and ageing. Her vision is to develop a novel nutritional strategy that has the potential to delay the onset of disease and extend healthy lifespan in humans at a population level.

2018