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

Contact Information
351 Linus Pauling Science Center
541-737-9551 / 541-737-5077 (fax)
[email protected]



Research Interests

My primary research focus is investigation of the role of protein homeostasis in 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. Using a comparative biology approach, we recently showed that not all proteostasis mechanisms are enhanced in all long-lived species, suggesting that they use different mechanisms to protect their proteins as they age.  

My second area of interest includes studies on cellular senescence and rapamycin. It is well known that senescent cells contribute to age-related pathology and loss of function, and their selective removal improves function and longevity. Rapamycin, an inhibitor of mTOR, inhibits cell senescence in vitro and increases longevity in several species and we are investigating whether the transcription factor Nrf2 is involved in the mechanism by which rapamycin delays cell senescence.

Recent Publications

Zhang Y, Liu Y, Walsh M, Bokov A, Ikeno Y, Jang YC, Pérez VI, Van Remmen H, Richardson A. (2016). Liver specific expression of Cu/ZnSOD extends the lifespan of Sod1 null mice. Mechanisms of ageing and development 154:1-8.

Watson GW, Wickramasekara S, Fang Y, Maier CS, Williams DE, Dashwood RH, Pérez VI, Ho E. (2015) HDAC6 activity is not required for basal autophagic flux in metastatic prostate cancer cells. Exp Biol Med (Maywood), Epub ahead of print.

Watson GW, Wickramasekara S, Fang Y, Palomera-Sanchez Z, Maier CS, Williams DE, Dashwood RH, Pérez VI, Ho E. (2015) Analysis of autophagic flux in response to sulforaphane in metastatic prostate cancer cells. Mol Nutr Food Res 59:1954-1961.

Yu Z, Sunchu B, Fok WC, Alshaikh N, Pérez VI. (2015) Gene expression in the liver of female, but not male mice treated with rapamycin resembles changes observed under dietary restriction. Springerplus 4:174.

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 70:410-420.

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.