Although aging is a normal biological process, it is also associated with a host of mental and physical illnesses. Many of these illnesses have their basis in genetic function. A key area of focus for researchers examining age-related health issues is the insulin-like growth factor pathway, which plays an important role in cell growth, uptake of nutrients and aging. Genetic researchers often use a microscopic worm named C. elegans for their studies, because this organism shares many of the essential biological characteristics of human biology. Genes controlled by the insulin pathway in C. elegans, flies and mice have been shown to affect longevity, including a gene discovered by PhD trainee Victor Jensen in his honours thesis. Victor is conducting research to study how this gene activity affects longevity. He is also studying a potential connection between this gene and genes involved in stress response to environmental challenges. By learning more about this gene’s role in longevity and stress response, he hopes to contribute to therapeutic and nutritional strategies to counter the negative effects of aging.