Aging researcher (and competitor in the Mprize for longevity science) Leonard Guarente is profiled at the MIT News: "After winning tenure at MIT in 1986, biology professor Leonard Guarente did some soul-searching. He had made his mark by studying gene regulation in yeast, but that field was getting overrun with researchers, and he wanted to pursue a riskier project, where success would have a dramatic scientific impact. ... With the help of some bright graduate students who arrived in his lab in 1991, he hit on the idea of looking for genes that control aging in yeast. At the time, it was a plan with little prospect for success: Few scientists believed that aging might be controlled by a single gene (or small group of genes). Guarente turned that view around - and pioneered a new field of study - with his discovery of so-called longevity genes, which dramatically boost the lifespan of yeast, worms, mice and potentially humans. The human version of the gene, known as SIRT1, is now the target of several drugs in development to treat the diseases of aging, including diabetes, Alzheimer's and cardiovascular disease."