Mayo Clinic’s aging research was among the featured topics at the 10th annual World Science Festival in New York earlier this month.
James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging, shared details about cell senescence breakthroughs and next steps in the field during a 90-minute session called “Engineering Immortality?” The discussion also included research related to bioengineering, cell biology, medicine and ethics.
The World Science Festival is a five-day gathering that celebrates science and features programs that explore innovative ideas across fields. Sessions took place at locations throughout the city, including Times Square, parks, museums, galleries and performing art venues. Dr. Kirkland noted that one of the aims of the festival was to encourage young people to pursue the sciences and is optimistic about the future of aging researchers.
“Increasingly, younger people who are choosing careers and making the decision about where to invest their future are recognizing the excitement of understanding the fundamental aging processes and that by developing interventions that target them we may be able to have a substantial, or even transformative, impact on the health of an entire population,” says Dr. Kirkland.
Other participants in the “Engineering Immortality?” session included: Joseph Fins, M.D., a professor of medical ethics and chief of the division of medical ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College; Jamie Metzl, a senior fellow for technology and national security of the Atlantic Council, novelist, blogger, syndicated columnist, media commentator, and expert in international affairs and biotechnology policy; and Doris Taylor, Ph.D., director of regenerative medicine research and director of the center for cell and organ biotechnology at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston.