William B Mair
Primary Faculty

William B Mair

Associate Professor of Molecular Metabolism

Molecular Metabolism



Aging is a universal trait that is observed across the evolutionary spectrum. From a public health perspective, aging is also the critical risk factor for a variety of human pathologies, including neurodegenerative diseases, many forms of cancer and metabolic disease. Our lab is interested in understanding the molecular pathways underpinning the aging process, with the goal of using this knowledge to develop novel therapeutic strategies to treat age-onset disorders.

In particular, we study the mechanisms by which animals can modulate the rate at which they age in response to changes in nutrition and the environment. The profound ability to slow aging when energy availability is low is seen in organisms ranging from yeast to primates and is coupled to a striking protection against a suite of age-related pathologies. By elucidating the genetic and molecular pathways that dictate this response, we aim to recapitulate the positive effects of dietary restriction on lifespan and health without the need for changes in dietary intake and its associated detrimental side effects.




Aging matters

Sneha Dutta, PhD ’21, wants to understand why individuals age differently and if there’s a way to counter old age’s harmful effects May 18, 2021–As a master’s student studying biology at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in…

Challenging myths about aging

As populations age around the globe, leading to more chronic disease and human suffering, interest has surged in what causes aging and what might be done to alleviate its effects. But some myths about aging persist even though…

William Mair receives 2019 Armen H. Tashjian Jr. Award

May 15, 2019—William Mair, associate professor of genetics and complex diseases at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is the 2019 recipient of the Armen H. Tashjian Jr. Award for Excellence in Endocrine Research. Brendan Manning, professor…