Steven N. Austad, PhD
Distinguished Professor and Chair, Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham
In Conversation: May 21, 2019 | 3pm est/12pm pst
Join Dr. Steven N. Austad live May 21st from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, as he shares his perspectives on the tremendous advancements in biological understanding achieved in the last 30 years.
Dr. Austad’s research encompasses many aspects of the biology of aging, from the molecular to the population level. With an undergraduate degree in English literature and work experience ranging from New York City taxi driver to lion trainer for the film industry, he received his PhD in evolutionary ecology from Purdue University in 1981.
Dr. Austad held faculty positions at Harvard University, the University of Idaho, and the Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center before moving to the University of Alabama in 2014. He is also the scientific director of the American Federation for Aging Research.
“You look back on 30 years and it really gives you perspective on how far you’ve come. It actually motivates you…. Everything is different now.”
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In the intro video, you mention the dream of developing pharmaceuticals that might set back people’s aging clock. In order to reduce age-related deterioration, what do you think are some of the specific biological processes of aging that such pharmaceuticals might potentially alleviate?
Have you investigated the role of epigenetic change in aging?
Considering your intro video, if we know that infusing a young mouse with old mouse blood promotes faster aging and there is there no age limit for donating to blood bank supply, wouldn’t hospitals like UAB improve outcomes considerably by simply limiting blood donor profile to young, athletic contributors with a high concentration of NK cells (natural killer cells)?