“How to Die Young at a Very Old Age” | The 2019 Cristofalo Lectureship ft. Nir Barzilai, MD

13.jpgOn January 9, 2019, the Institute on Aging (IOA) hosted its annual Vincent J. Cristofalo Lectureship featuring this year’s keynote speaker, Nir Barzilai, MD, Director, Institute for Aging Research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Dr. Barzilai began his career focusing on diabetes and metabolism before branching into the biology of aging and building his research team at Einstein.

What does it mean to “die young” at a very old age?

Essentially, Dr. Barzilai is referring to maintaining good health well into the later years of one’s life. “It’s not about longevity for me. It’s about healthspan,” explains Dr. Barzilai. “I think aging gets a bad name because people get sick at the end of their lives — and sometimes for a long period of time at the end of their lives. So, it is important to know that there is the capacity to delay aging, and by that, delay the diseases of aging.”

So, how can we delay aging?

The simple answer is diet, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices such as not smoking, but the answer isn’t that easy for everyone. Some instances require drugs that specifically target the biology of aging.

During Dr. Barzilai’s lecture, he discussed several lipid genotypes that have properties associated with aging and that prevent several aging-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, as well as the role of the growth hormone igf-axis, and metformin and its ability to prevent several aging-related diseases.

Watch Dr. Barzilai’s interview for more:

The Vincent J. Cristofalo Annual Lectureship serves as an annual tribute to Dr. Vincent Cristofalo, an expert in cellular aging, a cherished mentor, and the founder of the Center for the Study of Aging, now the Institute on Aging (IOA) at the University of Pennsylvania. Read more here. 

View more photos from the event here.

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