Brief  Statement  of  Research  Interests

Natalia Gavrilova (gavrilova[at]

My research interests are focused on understanding of the mechanisms of human longevity, and testing the specific predictions of different theories of aging (including evolutionary theories of aging) using epidemiological, genealogical and demographic data.

I am also interested in developing large-scale and high-quality databases on familial longevity that can be used by other researchers and by myself for genetic epidemiological studies.  My analysis of existing datasets (Gavrilova, Gavrilov, 1999) indicates that a breakthrough in data availability, quality and abundance is both feasible and highly demanded now for further progress in longevity studies.  These genetic epidemiological studies of human longevity include (but are not limited to) the following research questions:

(1) To resolve an apparent controversy between reported low estimates for lifespan heritability versus high familial clustering of exceptional longevity.  We believe that we can resolve this paradox, because we already found very unusual pattern of lifespan inheritance consistent with the predictions of the evolutionary (mutation accumulation) theory of aging (Gavrilova et al., 1998; Gavrilova, Gavrilov, 2001a).

(2) To find out the mode of lifespan inheritance and to identify families with unusual types of familial transmission of human longevity (suggestive for mitochondrial inheritance, sex-linked inheritance, etc.) for further genetic studies.

(3) To explore the effects of inbreeding on exceptional human longevity and to test two contrasting predictions of increased level of inbreeding (hypothesis of recessive genes and hypothesis of multifactorial inheritance) versus negligible level of inbreeding among centenarians as predicted by the mutation accumulation theory of aging (see Gavrilov, Gavrilova, 2001; Gavrilova, Gavrilov, 2001b).

(4) To explore the role of early-life developmental conditions on later-life health outcomes including human longevity (in collaboration with Dr. Leonid Gavrilov).

More information on our research interests, current work and research experience is available at our website:


Gavrilova, N.S., et al. (1998). Evolution, mutations and human longevity. Human Biology, 70: 799-804.

Gavrilova, N.S., Gavrilov, L.A. Data resources for biodemographic studies on familial clustering of human longevity. Demographic Research [Online], 1999, vol.1(4): 1-48. Available:

Gavrilova, N.S., Gavrilov, L.A. (2001a) When does human longevity start?: Demarcation of the boundaries for human longevity.  Journal of Anti-Aging Medicine, 4(2): 115-124.

Gavrilova, N.S., Gavrilov, L.A. (2001b) Consanguinity and human longevity: Findings from the International Centenarian Study. Gerontologist, 41 (Sp. issue): 87-87.

Gavrilov L.A., Gavrilova N.S. (2001). Epidemiology of human longevity: The search for appropriate methodology. Journal of Anti-Aging Medicine, 4(1): 13-30.