Aubery De Grey PhD
Chairman and Chief Science Officer, Methuselah Foundation
The central goal of Dr. Aubrey de Grey's
biogerontology work is to expedite the development of a true cure for
human aging. In Dr. de Grey's view, the main obstacle to developing
such technology is the position of biogerontology at the boundary between
basic science and medicine. He submits that the fundamental knowledge
necessary to develop truly effective anti-aging medicine mostly exists,
but the goal-directed frame of mind that is best suited to turning research
findings into tools is very different from the curiosity-driven ethos
that generated those findings in the first place. As a result, Dr. de
Grey attempts to bridge this knowledge gap in three main ways: by conducting
basic biogerontology research, he identifies and promotes specific technological
approaches to the reversal (not merely the prevention) of various aspects
of aging, and he argues in a wide range of fora (extending well beyond
biologists) for the adoption of a more proactive approach to extending
the healthy human lifespan sooner rather than later.
2007 - Accelerating change in life-extension research
It may seem premature to be discussing approaches to the effective elimination of human aging as a cause of death at a time when essentially no progress has yet been made in even postponing it.
However, two aspects of human aging combine to undermine this assessment. The first is that aging is happening to us throughout our lives but only results in appreciable functional decline after four or more decades of life: this shows that we can postpone the functional decline caused by aging arbitrarily well without knowing how to prevent aging completely, but instead by increasingly thorough molecular and cellular repair. The second is that the typical rate of refinement of dramatic technological breakthroughs is rather reliable (so long as public enthusiasm for them is abundant) and is fast enough to change such technologies (be they in medicine, transport, or computing) almost beyond recognition within a natural human lifespan. In this talk I will explain, first, why (presuming adequate funding for the initial preclinical work) therapies that can add 30 healthy years to the remaining lifespan of healthy 55-year-olds may arrive within the next few decades, and, second, why those who benefit from those therapies will very probably continue to benefit from progressively improved therapies indefinitely and thus avoid debilitation or death from age-related causes at any age.