Alliance for Aging Research President & CEO Dan Perry Speaks at TEDMED 2012

This summer the President & CEO of the Alliance for Aging Research, Dan Perry, was asked to participate in the annual melding of the foremost medical minds known as TEDMED. At the meeting, Dan gave a fantastic 13 minute talk that really summed up how “tantalizingly close” researchers are to that “fountain of youth”. Not the fountain that will create 500 year old grandparents that write you in and out of their wills for every perceived slight, but the one that will extend everyone’s healthy years of living, or “Healthspan”, well into their 80’s & 90’s without the multiplicity of tragic and devastating chronic conditions that compound to slowly rob them of their mental and physical well-being.

The biggest disease risk factor – and one we all share – is aging. Focusing research and prevention on this root cause can extend our health and quality of life, says Dan Perry.

Dan answers questions about recent research into slowing biological aging and extending human health.


Science Kit for Dan Perry

Dear TEDMED Attendee,Thank you for your interest in my talk “Do Cells Have a Midlife Crisis?” and for requesting my Science Kit.  Hopefully I’ve gotten you thinking about how to shift the research paradigm to probe the common denominator of age-related diseases and uncover why our cells and our bodies start to lose their biological integrity beginning in mid-life.

That shift in thinking is something the non-profit Alliance for Aging Research is advancing through our Healthspan Campaign.  A research agenda signed by scores of prominent scientists fleshes out the big research questions that promise to yield enormous gains in the short-term, and a whitepaper from prominent science writer David Stipp –The Transformative Promise of Aging Science – explores the social, economic, and political implications of this paradigm shift and dispels many of the common myths about extending the healthy years of life.

If you’d like to read a couple of the many recent scientific advances that are paving the way for these breakthroughs in healthy aging, you can read the November 2011 article from Genes and Development on how scientists restored the function or “youth” of cells taken from people over 100 years old, and the November 2011 article from Nature Structural and Molecular Biology that identifies a key molecular switch for telomere extension involving an enzyme implicated in both cancer and aging. Note that both of these articles require a subscription and are scientifically dense.  For a journalistic take on recent advances, check out this article.

I also encourage you to view the presentation from Dr. James Kirkland of the famed Mayo Clinic – co-author of a seminal article in Nature on the clearing of senescent cells from the body – before the newly formed NIH Geroscience Interest Group.

I’m also happy to continue this conversation with any and all of you so please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 202.293.2856.

Thanks again for your interest.


Dan Perry