Nav: Home

MDI Biological Laboratory to offer lecture series on the science of aging

June 13, 2016

BAR HARBOR, MAINE - The MDI Biological Laboratory will offer three lectures for the public on the science of aging as part of its new signature course on aging. The presenters, all leaders in the field of aging research, will address tantalizing questions such as why do we age, what mechanisms regulate aging on a cellular level and can youthfulness be extended through genetic manipulation?

The lectures for the public are part of a new signature course on aging, "Comparative and Experimental Approaches to Aging Biology Research," which addresses two of the most fundamental issues related to aging: can we strengthen our cellular systems to make them more resistant to aging, and can we identify ways to regenerate tissues that have already been damaged?

In recent years, research in animal models has identified some of the mechanisms that control aging in the cell, opening the door to the development of therapies that can prolong healthy lifespan by delaying the onset of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer and heart disease. Such therapies also hold the potential to address the skyrocketing financial burden of caring for an aging population.

"In contrast to the traditional 'one disease, one drug' approach, the development of anti-aging drugs that extend healthy lifespan and boost life expectancy holds the promise of revolutionizing the practice of medicine," said Aric Rogers, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the MDI Biological Laboratory and director of the aging course. "This is a very exciting time to be involved in aging research: science is on the cusp of developing a plethora of new drugs for the treatment of aging and age-related conditions."

Attendees at the three public lectures will have an opportunity to hear about these and other advances in the science of aging. The lectures, which are free, will be held at the institution's Maren Auditorium at 7 p.m.
  • Cserr Lecture: Tuesday, June 21 -- "Cellular Recycling in Aging and Disease: The Importance of Taking Out the Trash" by Malene Hansen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Program of Development, Aging and Regeneration, Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Discovery Institute

    Aging is greatly influenced by quality-control processes that keep the materials inside our cells in proper shape and function. One of these processes is called autophagy, which means "self-eating." This cellular recycling process digests damaged components to provide new and better parts. Autophagy plays important roles in many age-related diseases and has been directly linked to aging. Hansen's laboratory uses the microscopic soil-dwelling round worm, C. elegans, to understand the link between autophagy and aging and disease. She will discuss how autophagy is regulated during normal aging and how it may promote a long and healthy lifespan.

  • Kinter Lecture: Thursday, June 30 -- "Living to Be 150: How Soon? How Desirable?" by Steven N. Austad, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham

    No one in human history has been documented to be older than 122. Yet progress in prolonging the life and health of laboratory animals has raised the prospect that treatments may soon be available that would allow someone to live to be 150. Two respected researchers have even placed a $500 million bet on someone living to 150 by the year 2150. Austad will discuss such questions as: What are these life-extending treatments? How solid is the evidence that they slow aging? How soon will we know something about their impact on health? What would be the social and environmental impact and what are the ethical concerns? Are we reaching for the holy grail or the poison chalice of biomedical research?

  • Davis Lecture, Friday, July 1: "Quality Control in Our Cells: Hero or Culprit in Aging and Disease?" by Richard I. Morimoto, Ph.D., Bill and Gayle Cook Professor, Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University

    We are increasingly preoccupied with health and longevity. But increased lifespan comes with increased risk for dementia, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and other age-related degenerative diseases. The accumulation of damaged proteins that interfere with cellular function over the course of time is a common feature of aging and age-related diseases. The appearance of this "molecular clutter" is the direct result of the failure of the cell's quality control machinery. Morimoto will examine how this quality control machinery deals with molecular clutter, the effects of aging on these processes and whether it's possible to reset the cellular machinery to restore or prevent molecular damage.

-end-
The MDI Biological Laboratory, located in Bar Harbor, Maine, is an independent, non-profit biomedical research institution focused on increasing healthy lifespan and increasing our natural ability to repair and regenerate tissues damaged by injury or disease. The institution develops solutions to complex human health problems through research, education and ventures that transform discoveries into cures. For more information, please visit mdibl.org.

Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory

Related Aging Articles:

Researchers discover new cause of cell aging
New research from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering could be key to our understanding of how the aging process works.
Deep Aging Clocks: The emergence of AI-based biomarkers of aging and longevity
The advent of deep biomarkers of aging, longevity and mortality presents a range of non-obvious applications.
Intelligence can link to health and aging
For over 100 years, scientists have sought to understand what links a person's general intelligence, health and aging.
Putting the brakes on aging
Salk Institute researchers have developed a new gene therapy to help decelerate the aging process.
New insights into the aging brain
A group of scientists at the Gladstone Institutes investigated why the choroid plexus contains so much more klotho than other brain regions.
We all want 'healthy aging,' but what is it, really? New report looks for answers
Led by Paul Mulhausen, MD, MHS, FACP, AGSF, colleagues from the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) set looking critically at what 'healthy aging' really means.
New insight into aging
Researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro) of McGill University examined the effects of aging on neuroplasticity in the primary auditory cortex, the part of the brain that processes auditory information.
Aging may be as old as life itself
Aging has had a bad rap since it has long been considered a consequence of biology's concentrated effort on enhancing survival through reproductivity.
A new link between cancer and aging
Human lung cancer cells resist dying by controlling parts of the aging process, according to findings published online May 10th in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
American Federation for Aging Research experts featured in PBS special: Incredible Aging
Fourteen AFAR experts are among those featured in
More Aging News and Aging Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Accessing Better Health
Essential health care is a right, not a privilege ... or is it? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can give everyone access to a healthier way of life, despite who you are or where you live. Guests include physician Raj Panjabi, former NYC health commissioner Mary Bassett, researcher Michael Hendryx, and neuroscientist Rachel Wurzman.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#543 Give a Nerd a Gift
Yup, you guessed it... it's Science for the People's annual holiday episode that helps you figure out what sciency books and gifts to get that special nerd on your list. Or maybe you're looking to build up your reading list for the holiday break and a geeky Christmas sweater to wear to an upcoming party. Returning are pop-science power-readers John Dupuis and Joanne Manaster to dish on the best science books they read this past year. And Rachelle Saunders and Bethany Brookshire squee in delight over some truly delightful science-themed non-book objects for those whose bookshelves are already full. Since...
Now Playing: Radiolab

An Announcement from Radiolab