by Buck Institute

The Buck Institute mourns the death of Judy Campisi

The pioneering, internationally celebrated researcher was known for her work in cellular senescence and aging


The Buck Institute is saddened to announce the death of professor Judith Campisi, PhD who passed on January 19th, 2024 following a long illness. Campisi, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,  was widely credited for her groundbreaking research into cellular senescence as a key driver of the aging process and was celebrated globally as a long-time leader in research on aging.  

“Judy was an inspiration to all of us,” said Eric Verdin, MD, President and CEO of the Buck Institute. “She was a brilliant scholar, a truly courageous scientific pioneer, a wonderful collaborator, teacher, and mentor, and an incredible human being. Her passion for excellent science never waned and we want to carry that on for her.”

Campisi joined the faculty of the Buck in 2002. Prior to the Buck, she was a Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Campisi received a PhD in biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and completed her postdoctoral training in cell cycle regulation at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. As an assistant and associate professor at the Boston University Medical School, she studied the role of cellular senescence in suppressing cancer which led to her discoveries linking cellular senescence and aging.

She received numerous awards for her research, including two MERIT awards from the National Institute on Aging and awards from the AlliedSignal Corporation, Gerontological Society of America and the American Federation for Aging Research.  She was the recipient of the Longevity Prize from the IPSEN Foundation; she was the first recipient of the international Olav Thon Foundation prize in Natural Sciences and Medicine.   She was on advisory committees for the Alliance for Aging Research, the Progeria Research Foundation and the NIA’s Interventional Testing Project. She also served on editorial boards for dozens of peer-reviewed journals. Campisi was a scientific founder of Unity Biotechnology which is focused on developing therapies for age-related pathologies based in large part on her research. 

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at the Buck; an announcement will be made when the date is set.

Science is showing that while chronological aging is inevitable, biological aging is malleable. There's a part of it that you can fight, and we are getting closer and closer to winning that fight.

Eric Verdin, MD, Buck Institute President and CEO

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