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13th February 2019

Top scientists form academy to boost longevity research

A new nonprofit, the Academy for Health and Lifespan Research (AHLR), has been founded by a group of 16 experts on aging and longevity.

The Boston-based organisation aims to promote and highlight medical research on life extension and therapies to slow the aging process. It will host forums to share the latest breakthroughs, while also lobbying governments around the world to increase science funding and create smoother regulatory processes for the evaluation of new drugs.

"Why must we age and what can we do to slow it?" the AHLR asks on its website. "The question has haunted humanity from the beginning of conscious thought. Today, science is at a threshold moment. The biology of aging has never been as understood, and as poised for innovation and disruption. While important research is going on independently, we believe that the potential to accelerate that work – by bringing together a select group of the world’s most startlingly brilliant researchers – is not only necessary, but essential."

Between them, the AHLR's founders have a combined total of 400 years' experience in aging research, over 3,500 publications on age-related decline and 200,000+ citations in high-impact journals.

 

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"There are not any academies that are working across the globe in promoting aging research. The science and the applications are not very well understood," said David Setboun, president of the Academy. "The members all want this field to succeed. They all feel we should devote more time and resources to this field."

"We see enormous change, and we want to get the world ready for what’s coming," said co-founder David Sinclair, a professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, who was named by Time magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world. "We can now speak with one voice about the importance of having aging defined as a treatable condition. We think that in the future, aging will be seen as a condition doctors can help you with."

The AHLR has already begun talking to health ministers and drug regulators in several countries and is planning an organisational meeting in Paris this summer. Scientific conferences will be hosted from 2020 and it is hoped that research data could be presented to world leaders, showing how GDP can be boosted and medical costs reduced by extending healthy lifespans.

 

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