Summary Average human lifespan has increased remarkably in the last century and continues to rise, albeit more slowly. Much of this rise is due to medical advances that postpone, treat or prevent certain age-related pathologies. Nonetheless, many older people face years of disability, with enormous human and economic costs. What are the prospects for human health spans and longevity? Recent advances in aging research have identified a few basic mechanisms that appear to drive aging in complex organisms, including humans. Judith Campisi from the Buck Institute of Age Research in Berkeley will discuss one of these mechanisms – a multifaceted stress response – and the prospects for interventions that have the pote...ntial to extend the years of healthy life by manipulating this response. She will also discuss the much-debated prospect of extending longevity or absolute years of life.
Judith Campisi received a PhD in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and postdoctoral training in cell cycle regulation at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. As an Assistant Professor at the Boston University Medical School, she studied the role of cellular senescence in suppressing cancer, and soon became convinced that senescent cells also contributed to aging. She left Boston University as an Associate Professor to become a Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1991. In 2002, she started a second laboratory at the Buck Institute for Age Research, where she is a Professor. At both institutions, Campisi established a broad program to understand the relationship between aging and age-related disease, with an emphasis on the interface between cancer and aging. Her laboratory made several pioneering discoveries in these areas, and her research continues to challenge and alter existing paradigms.
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