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Board Members in News: Austad, Barzilai, Kirkland, and Olshansky on TAME in Politico

Dec 15
2017

Board Members in News: Austad, Barzilai, Kirkland, and Olshansky on TAME in Politico View MoreBACK

On December 13, 2017, a Politico article explored the potential impact of drugs that target aging can have not only on individual lives but also larger administrative and economic systems. Several AFAR experts were spotlighted:

- AFAR Scientific Director Steven Austad, PhD
- Deputy Scientific Director Nir Barzilai, MD
- 2012 Glenn/AFAR BIG Award winner and AFAR Board President-Elect James L. Kirkland, MD, PhD and
- Board member Jay Olshansky, PhD


The article, “Why a drug for aging would challenge Washington,” chronicles this team of AFAR’s experts work to start clinical trials to test Metformin as a drug that can harness age-related diseases, and emphasizes the larger goal of convincing the FDA to consider aging an indication or treatable condition, opening the door to other promising interventions such as senolytic drugs.

Through the insights of AFAR experts, the article explores the ethical and economic implications of a future of treating aging through pharmaceuticals.

Kirkland cautions against the enthusiasm for patients to seek Metformin before clinical trials have occurred: 

“If you could caution your readers, tell them absolutely not to take these drugs until trials are done, because this is a new way of doing things.”

Olshansky addresses fears around parity of access to age-targeting drugs. The article notes:

But “nothing in our world is equitably distributed — not money, not food, not water,” counters S. Jay Olshansky, who studies aging at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. These inequities aren’t an excuse to stop pursuing an idea that could improve health for everyone. And the potential high cost shouldn’t stop the research, he says: Richer countries have pursued a lot of expensive health interventions that were at first not affordable, or are still not affordable to parts of the developing world, he said.

AFAR is managing the TAME (Targeting Aging with Metformin) Study.

Read the full Politico article here.



Steven N. Austad, PhD is a Distinguished Professor and Department Chair at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Dr. Austad is also the Director of the Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging at the University of Alabama Birmingham, and Co-Principal Investigator of the Nathan Shock Centers program, for which AFAR serves as the Coordinating Center.

Nir Barzilai, MD is the Director of the Institute for Aging Research and the Director of the Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Biology of Aging at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

James L. Kirkland, MD, PhD, is is the Director of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging at the Mayo Clinic.

S. Jay Olshansky, PhD is a Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Research Associate at the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.





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