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The latest updates from AFAR.

The Dick Clark Effect: Scientific Director Steven Austad's latest Huff/Post50 column

Dec 28
2016

The Dick Clark Effect: Scientific Director Steven Austad's latest Huff/Post50 column

  In time for New Year's Eve, AFAR Scientific Director Steven N. Austad's latest column for Huff/Post50 explores studies looking at correlations between looking younger and living healthier, longer--what Austad calls "The Dick Clark Effect." Read the December 28, 2016 column here. Steven Austad, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor and Department Chair at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Since 2011, AFAR’s Medical Officer Richard Besdine, M.D., has written a blog for the Huff/Post50. Combining the latest research and expert advice, his columns examine a wide range of issues effecting older adults and their caregivers. Dr.…


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AFAR 35th Anniversary and 2015 Annual Report: From Hope to Promise

Dec 21
2016

AFAR 35th Anniversary and 2015 Annual Report: From Hope to Promise

As AFAR looks back at 2016 and our impact on the field for more than three decades, we are proud to share our special 35th Anniversary and 2015 Annual Report, From Hope to Promise. The report spotlights decades of AFAR-supported research in the lab that have brought us to the threshold of being able to keep people healthier longer. Thanks to this momentum, the question is no longer whether we can delay the onset of age-related illness, but when. First, Years of Hope: Expanding Knowledge, Building the Field, highlights AFAR’s early momentum which established the field of aging research…


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Multiple AFAR grantee Pankaj Kapahi new findings on microbiomes and longevity in Scientific Reports

Dec 19
2016

Multiple AFAR grantee Pankaj Kapahi new findings on microbiomes and longevity in Scientific Reports

On December 13, 2016 Nature journal's Scientific Reports published research co-authored by multiple AFAR grant recipient and multi-year member of our Scientific Advisory committees, Pankaj Kapahi, Ph.D. In “A genome-wide screen of bacterial mutants that enhance dauer formation in C. elegans,”  Kapahi and his collaborators have made a new connection in the understanding of how the human microbiome influences disease. As Health Medicine Network  reports in a related article: The billions of microorganisms living within the human digestive tract appear to play a significant role in health and disease, notably metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disorders…


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In the NY Times, three AFAR experts lend insights on Salk's mice rejuvenation and longevity study

Dec 16
2016

In the NY Times, three AFAR experts lend insights on Salk's mice rejuvenation and longevity study

On December 15, 2016, The New York Times cited commentary from three AFAR affiliated experts on research led by a team at the Salk Institute that has rejuvenated the organs of mice and lengthened their life span by 30 years, reported in Cell journal. In “Scientists Say the Clock of Aging May Be Reversible,”  2015 Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction winner Jan Vijg, Ph.D., called the research “novel and exciting,” Later, 2015 Irving S. Wright awardee Leonard Guarente, Ph.D, notes “It’s a pretty remarkable finding, and if it holds up it could be…


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Grantees David Holtzman and Kristine Yaffee in Scientific American feature on Sleep Patterns and Cognitive Decline.

Dec 16
2016

Grantees David Holtzman and Kristine Yaffee in Scientific American feature on Sleep Patterns and Cognitive Decline.

A December 15, 2016 feature story in Scientific American spotlighted the research by AFAR 1995 Beeson Scholar David Holtzman, M.D., on evidence linking irregular sleep patterns to early signs of cognitive decline. “Why Sleep Disorders May Precede Parkinson's and Alzheimer's” explores the growing body of research connecting bodily clocks or circadian rhythms—“this internal clock regulates about 10 percent of the 20,000 or so human genes, orchestrating rhythms of sleep, eating, body temperature, hormone levels and other processes”—and early signs of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The article references Holtzman&rsquo…


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Board member Jay Olshansky on Lifestyle and Longevity in The Spectator UK

Dec 15
2016

Board member Jay Olshansky on Lifestyle and Longevity in The Spectator UK

On December 14, 2016, the UK-based magazine The Spectator published a column by AFAR Board member S. Jay Olshansky, PhD, “Centenarians smoke, drink and eat badly. How do they get away with it?” An expert on the socioeconomic impact of living healthier longer--the longevity dividend--Olshansky observes the discrepancies among centenarian’s lifestyle choices like diet, exercise, and smoking. He turns to the role of genetics in longevity for some individuals. Olshansky concludes: “The take-home message on the secret to longevity is therefore surprisingly simple. Adopt a healthy lifestyle early to maximise your longevity potential; time will reveal to…


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AMA Wire features Deputy Scientific Director Nir Barzilai

Dec 14
2016

AMA Wire features Deputy Scientific Director Nir Barzilai

On December 9, 2016, the blog of the American Medical Association, AMA Wire, spotlighted AFAR Deputy Scientific Director and multiple grantee Nir Barzilai, MD in the piece “Treat Aging, Not Disease.” Inspired by Dr. Barzilai’s recent presentation at the 2016 TEDMED conference, the article highlights his Centenarian study and TAME (Targeting Aging with Metformin) Trial. Dr Barzilai lends insights into the relationship between the processes of aging and other major diseases and the momentum to move research toward the translational stage. Dr. Barzilai also addresses the socioeconomic benefits of biomedical research to extend our years of health as we…


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Remembering AFAR Honorary Director, Senator John H. Glenn

Dec 09
2016

Remembering AFAR Honorary Director, Senator John H. Glenn

AFAR mourns the passing and celebrates the life of Senator John H. Glenn, who served as an Honorary member of our Board of Directors. AFAR had the privilege of working with Senator Glenn on a 1998 campaign commemorating his return to orbit on the space shuttle Discovery. At 77, he became the oldest person to go into space. Throughout, he vigorously promoted the relationship between healthy aging and physical exercise, balanced nutrition, and social engagement. As NASA.gov notes, “On Discovery, he participated in a series of tests on the aging process. The aging population was one focus of his work…


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Board Member in the News: S. Jay Olshansky comments on CDC Report of Decline in US Life Expectancy

Dec 09
2016

Board Member in the News: S. Jay Olshansky comments on CDC Report of Decline in US Life Expectancy

On December 9, 2016, the Associated Press reported on a newly released CDC report showing a decline in US life expectancy in 2015, cumulating in a four-year stagnation in expected life expectancy.  AFAR Board Member and 2016 Irving Wright Award of Distinction Winner, S. Jay Olshansky, PhD, offered insight into the cause of the stagnation. In most of the years since World War II, life expectancy in the U.S. has inched up, thanks to medical advances, public health campaigns and better nutrition and education. But, in 2015, rates for 8 of the 10 leading causes of death, including heart disease, diabetes, stoke, and Alzheimer…


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New Report: Effective Translation of Alzheimer’s Disease Research: Opportunities for Private Philanthropy

Dec 09
2016

New Report: Effective Translation of Alzheimer’s Disease Research: Opportunities for Private Philanthropy

In partnership with The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation and the Santa Barbara Foundation, AFAR is pleased to release, “Effective Translation of Alzheimer’s Disease Research: Opportunities for Private Philanthropy,” a report of a multi-stakeholder convening held in November 2015 in Marina del Rey, CA. Crafted by scientific and foundation leaders, the report provides ideas for collaborations and strategies to engage the philanthropic community in moving Alzheimer’s disease research into the translational stage. Opportunities for investment include: • Educating and engaging funders • Creating a research agenda for grantmakers • Creating opportunities for philanthropic collaboration and…


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Grantee in the News: Christopher Callahan Dispels Myths about “Normal Aging”

Dec 09
2016

Grantee in the News: Christopher Callahan Dispels Myths about “Normal Aging”

On December 8, 2016, Kaiser Health News, featured 1996 Beeson Scholar, Christopher Callahan, MD in an article dispelling mistaken assumptions about what constitutes “normal aging.” Dr. Callahan states that many of the ailments—such as fatigue, weakness, and depression, among others—which his patients describe as “normal aging," are not actually expected consequences of growing older.  Instead, these symptoms often a signal that something is wrong and a medical evaluation is in order.  The article goes on to outline some of these commonly mistaken symptoms, providing guidelines on when to talk to a doctor. Read the…


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AFAR mourns the passing of Chad Dickey, PhD

Dec 02
2016

AFAR mourns the passing of Chad Dickey, PhD

Chad Dickey, PhD, Associate Professor at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa, passed away last Friday, November 25, after a short illness. In 2007, Chad received the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation/AFAR New Investigator Award in Alzheimer’s Disease, followed by a Collaborative Research Award in Alzheimer's Disease with Ehud Cohen, Ph.D. Every year Chad attended the New Investigator Meetings in Santa Barbara, CA as a grantee, and was an enthusiastic participant and contributor. He also strongly believed in paying back by mentoring the incoming grantees and serving on AFAR committees…


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Board Member in the News: Steven Austad discusses “Why We Age”  on Reach MD podcast

Dec 01
2016

Board Member in the News: Steven Austad discusses “Why We Age” on Reach MD podcast

On December 1, 2016, AFAR’s Scientific Director, Steven Austad, PhD was featured as a guest on a Reach MD podcast episode entitled, “Why Do We Age.”  Joining host, Mary Leuchars, MD, Dr. Austad discussed the basic biological processes behind human aging, as well as, promising developments in the field of aging research.  Throughout the interview, Dr. Austad emphasizes that the primary goal of investigation and intervention into the biology of aging is to improve health and enhance healthy lifespan. Listen to the full interview here. Steven Austad, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor and Department Chair at…


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Board member Jay Olshansky on Lifestyle and Longevity in The Spectator UK

Dec 15
2016

Board member Jay Olshansky on Lifestyle and Longevity in The Spectator UK

On December 14, 2016, the UK-based magazine The Spectator published a column by AFAR Board member S. Jay Olshansky, PhD, “Centenarians smoke, drink and eat badly. How do they get away with it?” An expert on the socioeconomic impact of living healthier longer--the longevity dividend--Olshansky observes the discrepancies among centenarian’s lifestyle choices like diet, exercise, and smoking. He turns to the role of genetics in longevity for some individuals. Olshansky concludes: “The take-home message on the secret to longevity is therefore surprisingly simple. Adopt a healthy lifestyle early to maximise your longevity potential; time will reveal to…


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