David Sinclair Says We Are Close To Reversing Aging

Friday, January 2, 2015

David Sinclair is a well-known researcher in the field of aging.  In a recent lecture in his home country, Australia, he described his most recent work and how he feels we are close to reversing aging.

30,000 days.  That is the extent of your lifespan. When renowned aging researcher, Dr. David Sinclair puts the human life into these terms during a recent lecture at the University of New South Wales, the stage is set for his work on the subject.  He also personalizes his work in aging by introducing how his mother was given a premature death diagnosis, spurring him to work on the aging problem.

"We think we have uncovered a major cause of aging that's reversible."

According to Sinclair, scientists are close to finding the elixir of youth. "We really do have the emerging technologies to be able to do this now," says Sinclair. Sinclair is famous for discovering the anti-aging effects of reseratrol. "Resveratrol was a starting point," he says.

New understanding and technology mean we can turn back the clock and live longer. Work on aging promises to enhance health and happiness into old age for individuals and reduce the huge cost burden on health systems currently imposed by aging populations.  Sinclair mentions how for many, the last days of their life are not necessarily good days.  This is in part because we study diseases in isolation.

"We've become very good at treating some diseases, like cardiovascular disease, but very poor in treating others, such as Alzheimer's disease, and we're ending up a world, certainly a nation, of people to tend to live a long time, but don't remember where they are," he states. "This is not the way that we want to practice medicine."

David Sinclair Says We Are Close To Reversing Aging
Mice of the same age.  On the left is a normal mouse, on the right, a prematurely aged mouse engineered with the PPL1 gene expressed.  Image Source - David Sinclair
Sinclair wants medicine to focus more on keeping the whole body young and healthy, and for that reason he says we need to study aging.  He is now focusing on the epigenome, and epigenetic causes of aging.

Working with slime mold, Sinclair and his team introduced genetic material, the PPL1 gene, from the mold into mice, creating mice that age prematurely.

This research has two big potential impacts: it should allow for accelerated studies on aging in mice going forward and; it has potentially uncovered a new path to reverse the impacts of aging.

"We think we have uncovered a major cause of aging that's reversible," says Sinclair.

David Sinclair

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Sinclair is an Australian biologist and Professor of Genetics best known for his research on the biology of lifespan extension and driving research towards treating diseases of aging.

Sinclair is Co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Laboratories for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging at Harvard Medical School. Sinclair obtained a Bachelors of Science (Honours Class I) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, and received the Australian Commonwealth Prize. In 1995, he received a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Leonard Guarente.

Since 1999 he has been a tenured professor in the Genetics Department of Harvard Medical School.

Sinclair has received over 25 awards including The Australian Commonwealth Prize, A Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship, the Nathan Shock Award, a Leukemia and Lymphoma Fellow, a MERIT Awards from the National Institutes of Health, the Merck Prize, the Arminese Fellowship, the Genzyme Outstanding Achievement in Biomedical Science Award, an Ellison Medical Senior Fellow, the Bio-Innovator award, the Bright Sparks Award for Top Scientists under 40, The Denham Harman Award in Biogerontology, a medal from the Australian Society for Medical Research, and a TIME 100 honoree, TIME magazine's list of the 100 "most influential people in the world" (2014).

SOURCE  Lionel Angelis

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