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Ageing is a Disease

David Sinclair
Chaired by Norman Swan
Sat 4 April 3:00pm Lower Town Hall
Sat 4 April 3:00pm Lower Town Hall
Forget the assumption that getting old is inevitable. New science shows treating ageing as a disease might be the way to slow it down.

As we find out more about the ageing process, we are uncovering new ways to treat it. One revolutionary approach is to look at ageing as a disease and, rather than just address its symptoms, tackle its causes. With breakthroughs in genetics and emerging technologies, scientists have been able to make animals live longer by delaying when they start to show the symptoms of getting older. If this works on humans as well, will modern medicine have discovered a way to treat ageing? And, if we hold the keys to postponing ageing, can we keep major diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer at bay? It will require rethinking the way we define our health, with some health authorities unwilling to accept ageing as a disease, but the science may just prove them wrong.

Sinclair wants us to think of ageing not as something that makes us human but as something that makes us less than human.
The Monthly

David Sinclair

David A. Sinclair, Ph.D. is one of the world’s most famous scientists and entrepreneurs, best known for understanding why we age and how to reverse it. He is a New York Times bestselling author with Lifespan – Why we age and why we don’t have to (published September 2019) and a tenured Professor of Genetics, Blavatnik Institute, Harvard Medical School, co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging Research at Harvard, Professor and Head of the Aging Labs at UNSW, Sydney, and an honorary Professor at the University of Sydney. He is best known for his work on genes and small molecules that delay aging, including the Sirtuin genes, resveratrol and NAD precursors. He has published over 190 scientific papers, is a co-inventor on over 50 patents, and has co-founded a dozen biotechnology companies in the areas of aging, vaccines, diabetes, fertility, cancer, and biodefense. He serves as co-chief editor of the scientific journal Aging, works with national defense agencies and with NASA and has received 35 honors including being one of Australia’s leading scientists under 45, the Australian Medical Research Medal, the NIH Director’s Pioneer award, TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world (2014) and the Top 50 people in Healthcare. (2018). In 2018, he became an Officer of the Order of Australia for his work in medicine and national security. His work is regularly featured in print, podcasts, TV, and books, including 60 Minutes, a Barbara Walters special, NOVA, Morgan Freeman’s Though the Wormhole.