Why We Age: The Science of Living Longer

Why We Age: The Science of Living Longer

Will science allow us to reverse our biological age?

What can we do to offset age? Dr. Steven Austad joins us on Collective Insights to shed light on the aging process. He is an award winning researcher seeking to discover the underlying causes of aging with a long-term goal of developing medical interventions that slow the age-related decay in human health. He joins us to explain the science behind aging and to debunk common myths around what makes people age. We discuss:

  • Anti-aging lifestyle tips
  • How DNA methylation and several protein signatures tell us more about calculating age than telomeres
  • Aging research with Metformin, Rapamycin, Senolytics, Acarbose and 17alpha-Estradiol
  • Hope for advancements in science to reverse our biological age
A lot of the therapies that we are developing seem to be virtually as effective if they are started late in life as if they’re started early in life. -Steven Austad, Ph.D.

Dr. Austad shares his predictions for what lifespan might look like in the future, and offers a glimpse into the future of aging therapies. Listen now to hear the discussion.

Related Links:
University of Alabama: Steven Austad
Next Avenue Blog: Dr. Austad
STEM Talk Podcast with Dr. Steven Austad

Studies Mentioned:
Study: TORC1 inhibition enhances immune function and reduces infections in the elderly.
Study: mTOR inhibition improves immune function in the elderly.
Study: Metformin as a Tool to Target Aging
Study: Undulating changes in human plasma proteome profiles across the lifespan
Study: DNA methylation aging clocks: challenges and recommendations  
Study: Male lifespan extension with 17‐α estradiol is linked to a sex‐specific metabolomic response modulated by gonadal hormones in mice
Blog: Does Our Blood Hold the Secrets of Our Longevity?  

Guest Bio:
Dr. Steven N. Austad is a Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).   He also directs UAB’s Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging and co-directs the Nathan Shock Centers Coordinating Center.  Dr. Austad’s multiple-award-winning research uses a variety of traditional and nontraditional animal species to seek to discover underlying causes of aging with a long-term goal of developing medical interventions that slow the age-related decay in human health.  He is the author of five books and more than 200 scientific papers covering nearly every aspect of the biological aging process.
Dr. Austad also serves as Scientific Director of the American Federation for Aging Research, a New York City-based national nonprofit foundation dedicated to supporting and advancing healthy aging through biomedical research.  He serves as well on the External Advisory Committee of the Mayo Clinic’s Center on Aging.  Dr. Austad maintains a keen interest in communicating science to the general public.  In that capacity he currently writes a biweekly column on science for AL.com, has previously served on the Science Advisory Board of National Public Radio, written a regular newspaper column for the San Antonio Express-News (On Aging) and been a consultant for exhibitions on aging to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (Portland, Oregon), the Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, Texas), and the American Museum of Natural History (New York City). He has written popular science articles for numerous publications including Natural History magazine, Scientific American, National Wildlife, and International Wildlife. His trade book, Why We Age (1997, 1999), has been translated into eight languages.  He is currently working on a tradebook, Methuselah’s Zoo: the Natural History of Exceptional Longevity (MIT Press), which is due out at the beginning of 2021.
Pre-aging research life:
Prior to entering aging research, Dr. Austad with a degree in English literature was a newspaper reporter, trained big cats for the Hollywood film industry, drove a taxi cab in New York City, and hustled pool nation-wide.  With a PhD in evolutionary ecology, he has done biological field research in several parts of the United States, Venezuela, England, Kenya, Micronesia, and Papua New Guinea.

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