Photo of Viviana PerezPrincipal Investigator, Linus Pauling Institute 
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Office: 351 Linus Pauling Science Center
Telephone: 541-737-9551
Fax: 541-737-5077
Email Address:

Mailing/Express Delivery Address:
Viviana Pérez, Ph.D.
Linus Pauling Institute
Oregon State University
307 Linus Pauling Science Center 
Corvallis, OR 97331

Research Interests

My primary research focus is investigation of the role of protein homeostasis in aging. Studies in mice, Drosophila and C. elegans suggest that activities associated with protein homeostasis decrease during aging. Previously in our laboratory, we found that the proteomes of long-lived species (i.e., little brown bat and naked mole rat) are more resistant to both urea-induced and heat-induced unfolding than that of shorter-lived bats or mice. We have also shown more robust maintenance of the proteasome and lower levels of ubiquitinated proteins in old (20-yr) naked mole rats when compared to old (3-yr) mice, suggesting that long-lived species might have evolved enhanced chaperone-like activities to preserve protein structure and prevent misfolding/aggregation. Using a comparative biology approach, my laboratory investigates the role of proteostasis in longevity by studying the three important processes that affect protein homeostasis: protein aggregation, protein folding (chaperones), and protein degradation.

My second area of interest includes studies on dietary restriction and rapamycin. The rationale for this study is that both interventions extend lifespan in rodents, and previous data suggest that dietary restriction and rapamycin could be acting via similar mechanisms. To test this, I am developing a study that compares the lifespan of mice maintained under four conditions: ad libitum feeding, dietary restriction, ad libitum feeding plus rapamycin, dietary restriction plus rapamycin. If rapamycin and dietary restriction act via the same mechanism, the effects of dietary restriction and rapamycin on lifespan should not be additive. If this is found to be the case, it will have a big impact on the aging field. It will provide a better understanding of the aging process, spur the development of caloric restriction mimetics, and generate new insights regarding human aging.


2004-2011 Postdoc, Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
2004 Ph.D., University of Chile
1997 Pharmaceutical Chemist (with Maximal Distinction), Pharmacy School, University of Chile
1994 Licensed in Pharmaceutical Chemistry (with Distinction), Pharmacy School, University of Chile

Professional Experience

2011-present Principal Investigator, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University
2010-2011 Assistant Professor/Research, Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, Department of Cellular and Structural Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Awards and Honors

2010 Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award
2009 Travel award sponsored by AFAR's Dorothy Dillon Eweson Lecture Series on Advances in Aging Research for the 2009 Gordon Research Conference on Oxidative Stress and Disease, Lucca (Barga) Italy
2009 Selected for a short talk in Gordon Research Conference on Oxidative Stress and Disease, Lucca (Barga), Italy
2008 Ellison Medical Foundation/AFAR Senior Postdoctoral Award
2008 Barbara H Bowman Postdoctoral Research Award
2007 Paul E. Glenn Award for postdoctoral research from American Aging Association, 36th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX
2007 Travel award from American Aging Association - 36th Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX
2007 Invited as a Faculty/Instructor in Molecular Biology on Aging Course, Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA
2006 Accepted for Fourteenth Annual Summer Training Course in Experimental Aging Research, Buck Institute, Novato, CA
2006 Accepted for participation in Postdoctoral Career Workshop, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, TX
2005 Accepted for participation in Molecular Biology on Aging Course, Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA
2001-2003 FONDECYT grant for Ph.D. dissertation (Chilean Ph.D. grant)
2000-2003 CONICYT Fellowship (Chilean fellowship for graduate student)

Professional Memberships

Free Radical Biology and Medicine
American Aging Association

Recent Publications

Pride H, Yu Z, Sunchu B, Mochnick J, Coles A, Zhang Y, Buffenstein R, Hormsby PJ, Austad SN, Pérez VI. (2015) Long-lived species have improvoed proteostasis compared to phylogenetically-related shorter-lived species.  Biochem Biophys Res Comm 457:669-675.

Fok WC, Livi C, Bokov A, Yu Z, Chen Y, Richardson A, Pérez VI. (2014) Short-term rapamycin treatment in mice has few effects on the transcriptome of white adipose tissue compared to dietary restriction. Mech Ageing Dev 140:23-29.

Yu Z, Wang R, Fok WC, Coles A, Salmon AB, Pérez VI. (2014) Rapamycin and dietary restriction induce metabolically distinctive changes in mouse liver. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, Epub ahead of print.

Fok WC, Chen Y, Bokov A, Zhang Y, Salmon AB, Diaz V, Javors M, Wood WH 3rd, Zhang Y, Becker KG, Pérez VI, Richardson A. (2014) Mice fed rapamycin have an increase in lifespan associated with major changes in the liver transcriptome. PLoS One 9:e83988.

Triana-Martínez F, López-Diazguerrero NE, Maciel-Barón LA, Morales-Rosales SL, Galván-Arzate S, Fernandez-Perrino FJ, Zentella A, Pérez VI, Gomez-Quiroz LE, Königsberg M. (2014) Cell proliferation arrest and redox state status as part of different stages during senescence establishment in mouse fibroblasts. Biogerontology 15:165-176.

Fok WC, Bokov A, Gelfond J, Yu Z, Zhang Y, Doderer M, Chen Y, Javors M, Wood WH 3rd, Zhang Y, Becker KG, Richardson A, Pérez VI. (2014) Combined treatment of rapamycin and dietary restriction has a larger effect on the transcriptome and metabolome of liver. Aging Cell 13:311-319.

Fok WC, Zhang Y, Salmon AB, Bhattacharya A, Gunda R, Jones D, Ward W, Fisher K, Richardson A, Pérez VI. (2012) Short-term treatment with rapamycin and dietary restriction have overlapping and distinctive effects in young mice. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 68:108-116.

Pérez VI, Cortez LA, Lew CM, Rodriguez M, Webb CR, Van Remmen H, Chaudhuri A, Qi W, Lee S, Bokov A, Fok W, Jones D, Richardson A, Yodoi J, Zhang Y, Tominaga K, Hubbard GB, Ikeno Y. (2011) Thioredoxin 1 overexpression extends mainly the earlier part of life span in mice. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 66:1286-1299.

Rodriguez KA, Wywial E, Pérez VI, Lambert AJ, Edrey YH, Lewis KN, Grimes K, Lindsey ML, Brand MD, Buffenstein R. (2011) Walking the oxidative stress tightrope: a perspective from the naked mole-rat, the longest-living rodent. Curr Pharm Des 17:2290-2307.

Pérez VI, Pierce A, de Waal EM, Ward WF, Bokov A, Chaudhuri A, Richardson A. (2010) Detection and quantification of protein disulfides in biological tissues a fluorescence-based proteomic approach. Methods Enzymol 473:161-177.