(Photo: Submitted photo , University of Rochester )
The naked mole rat might not be known for its good looks, but this tiny rodent has turned into a cash cow for researchers.
A five-year, $9.5 million federal grant has been awarded to University of Rochester biology professor Vera Gorbunova to head up a project studying why this creature has such longevity — an average life span of 32 years.
“We hope to come out with strategies to delay human aging,” said Gorbunova, who has been on the UR faculty since 2004.
She and her husband, Andrei Seluanov, who is an assistant professor of biology at UR, are already heading up a team that discovered a chemical that has made naked mole rats cancer free.