- About Our Work
- Research Prize Projects
- Human Co-operation at UCL
- The Alzheimer Enigma in an Ageing World
- Solving the Mystery of the Biology of Ageing
- The Search For Drugs That Slow Ageing - Are We There Yet? and Why Not?
- UCL’s Festival of Ageing
- UCL's Festival of Ageing Research Prize Workshop
- Workshop Requirements
- Choreographing architectural gestures in urban spaces & sPins
- Two events commissioned by one of the cross-disciplinary research projects awarded a prize at the Behaviour Change Research Prize Workshop
- Tackling Age Inequalities: a research agenda
- What are the important questions for research into ageing? A public engagement workshop for people aged 70 and over.
- How Universities Can Help Create a Wiser World
- Bartlett Research Exchange: Ethics in Built Environment Research
- Case management for frail older people: the Swedish experience
- Are children our future? Wellbeing research partnerships with schools
- Research Expertise
- Getting Involved
- Contact us
- Small Grants
- Ageing Initiative
- UCL Grand Challenge Evaluation Survey
Click below to share this pageTweet
Published: Sep 11, 2015 5:17:37 PM
Published: Sep 10, 2015 11:30:16 AM
Published: Sep 7, 2015 3:59:36 PM
- 2015-16 Small Grant Winners
- UCL Researchers: Why contribute to The Conversation?
- Grand Challenges Student Fund: up to £750 available for student led projects – More
The Search For Drugs That Slow Ageing - Are We There Yet? and Why Not?
Thursday, 5 December 2013 (6.30pm -8pm)
Venue: Cruciform Lecture Theatre (LT1), followed by a drinks reception in the North Cloisters, Wilkins Building.
This lecture forms part of UCL's Festival of Ageing and has been convened by Nazif Alic and Matthew Piper: Institute of Healthy Ageing, UCL
Nearly everyone who does medical research works on one disease at a time: cancer, or AIDS, or Alzheimer's, or what have you. One problem with this approach is that even dramatic success would do surprisingly little to improve human health: a complete cure for human cancer, for example, would extend average human lifespan by about 2.6 years, i.e. only about 3%. In contrast, biogerontologists have shown, over the last two decades, that fiddling with the basic mechanisms of aging can increase the lifespan of mice by up to 40%, i.e. about 10-fold the change you'd expect from a cancer cure in people. The healthy lifespan of mice can be increased dramatically by at least half a dozen genetic mutations, by at least two forms of dietary intervention, and more recently by at least two drugs. These discoveries refute the assumption, commonly held by most scientists and the lay public alike, that aging cannot be slowed. These new data suggest that drugs that slow aging, by delaying the wide array of diseases and disabilities that afflict old people, might help us stay as active, healthy, and productive in our 90's as we are today in our 50's.
This talk will explore three related issues: (a) why discussions of medicines to slow aging can now be taken seriously; (b) why work in this area has not (yet) become the main focus of medical researchers and their patrons; and (c) why rampant gerontologiphobia is the key obstacle to progress in human health.
Miller, R. A. 2002. Extending life: scientific prospects and political obstacles. Milbank Quarterly 80:155 – 174.
Miller, R. A. 2009. "Dividends" from research on aging – can biogerontologists, at long last, find something useful to do? J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 64:157-160.
Miller, R. A. 2009. Biology of aging and longevity. Chapter 1 in: Hazzard's Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, 6th Edition, J. B. Halter et al., eds., McGraw-Hill, Inc., NY, pp 3 – 14. [Somewhat more technical.]
Page last modified on 28 oct 13 15:52