Keila Benjamin

Biological Sciences

During her sophomore year at UCI, Keila Benjamin decided that she wanted to add hands-on experience to her education. She joined in the Rose Lab, and became involved in learning about the physiological aspects of aging and late life. She credits her research experience with helping her develop leadership skill that she’ll be able to apply throughout the rest of her education and career. Keila is planning to attend medical school as her next step on the road to practicing medicine.

Ana Garcia

Microbiology & Immunology

Ana Garcia has had a life-long desire to become a research pharmacist. In pursuing that goal, she found the Rose lab to be a perfect balance between a learning and leadership experience. In the lab, Ana was able to work under the supervision of graduate students while overseeing the work of a number of undergraduates. This experience confirmed her passion for research. Ana is working in a retail/compounding pharmacy exploring the field she loves, applying the etiquette she learned while conducting research: attention, dedication, and persistence.

Heena Kapoor

Biological Sciences

When Heena Kapoor was looking for an area of research, she was intrigued by the work being done in the Rose lab. Through her two years in the lab, Heena was not only able to do her own work, she also developed her leadership skills by overseeing a team of 25 undergraduate researchers. Heena plans to go to medical school and hopes to become a pediatrician.

Rebecca Post


When she learned of an opportunity to work in Dr. Rose’s lab, Rebecca Post seized it eagerly. As a premedical student, she was particularly interested in the research into late life and aging, realizing that a better understanding of the aging process would be a great benefit in her treatment of future patients. Throughout her research process, Rebecca was able to learn about the research process, manage a project, and lead a team of undergraduate researchers. Rebecca hopes to move on to medical school, specializing in Neurology or Oncology. triangle.gif (504 bytes)




Aging has been commonly viewed as an inevitable and persistent process. Recently, however, age-specific mortality rates in a variety of organisms, including humans, have been found to decelerate or plateau at late adult ages, suggesting that aging may slow down or stop later in life. It is unknown what physiological changes occur in organisms when mortality rates plateau. In this study, six populations of Drosophila melanogaster were tested for physiological differences between early and late adulthood. The characteristics tested were desiccation resistance, time spent in motion, negative geotactic ability, and starvation resistance. All six populations of D. melanogaster displayed the same physiological changes during late life: both starvation and desiccation resistance declined at a significantly slower rate, time in motion plateaued, and negative geotaxis plummeted drastically. These results demonstrate that late life is physiologically different from early adult life, with some characteristics stabilizing, some declining at a slower rate and some declining at a faster rate in late life compared to early adult life. Furthermore, our results suggest that aging is not continuous throughout the lifespan. Understanding lifelong physiological trends in fruit flies will inevitably shed light on the intricate process of aging in humans, which is important as more people live to later ages now than ever before.triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                

Michael R. Rose

School of Biological Sciences

That aging can stop is an amazing recent biological discovery, and we have been working on the explanation and meaning of this fact for the last 15 years. This paper summarizes the results of a study of the physiology underlying the cessation of aging led by my graduate student, Parvin Shahrestani, with the help of the massive “POLLA” team of undergraduates. The study has revealed the functional complexity of the cessation of aging in fruit flies. In people, aging stops at about 100 years of age, a landmark that the majority of Americans born in the twenty-first century may achieve. This makes the period after aging stops hugely important for their future. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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If you wish to view the paper in its entirety, please select the link given to the PDF file. pdf_logo.gif (126 bytes) [02_bgkp.pdf]

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