Image Credit: Steve Cummings, 2019
The Hallmarks of Aging
Humans have grown accustomed to the symptoms of aging: increased mortality, decreased fitness, loss of function, damage accumulation, and the general process of becoming old. The incidence rates of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and nearly every other chronic disease increase sharply as we age. However, researchers have uncovered key regulators that control the aging process, called the “hallmarks of aging”.
Extending Healthspan to Optimize Longevity
Healthspan is the idea of the period of one’s life within their lifespan where they are in relatively good health. Most people have a period of time at the end of their life where they have age-related diseases, and they have lost independence and function. The aim is to study the mechanisms that factor into aging so that we can maximize our period of healthspan.
A Root Component in Health
ISB researchers have learned to harness deep molecular and physiological information to determine a person’s biological age. Unlike your chronological age (the number of birthdays you’ve celebrated), researchers have found that biological age can serve as an effective and reliable predictor of overall health, and they are getting to the root of aging and determining ways to slow its progression. We do this by working to understand how aging processes, the immune system, the gut microbiome, and other systems affect our ability to modify aging.