The Ageing Cell Conference 2017
One of the major achievements of the modern era is the extension of the human lifespan through improvements in medical care, nutrition, sanitation and access to clean water. Over the last century, life expectancy at birth in the UK has risen by almost 30 yrs so that both men and women can now expect to live well into their 80s. This is shifting population demographics; almost 1 in 5 of the UK’s total population is aged 65 or over and this is expected to rise to 1 in 4 by 20501,2.
These gains in lifespan have not been matched by gains in healthspan.
Progressive physiological and physical decline are a part of normal ageing but increased age also increases the risk and incidence of numerous debilitating diseases and ailments including macular degeneration, dementia and cancer. Older people are also more susceptible to a variety of infections and exhibit reduced antibody responses to vaccinations due to the age-related decline in immune function. Ageing is a societal grand challenge, scientific research offers the possibility to help more of us understand how to remain healthy, happy and active throughout life.
If we are to understand and ameliorate these deficits in healthspan we need to understand the complex alterations in biological functions that lead to ageing. A range of studies point to profound changes at the cellular level including: increased mutation burden as DNA repair processes decline; changes in epigenetic markers; decreases in stem cells renewal; impaired mitochondrial and metabolic function; accumulation of misfolded proteins and declines in cell communication and signalling can all contribute to ageing. Increasingly, understanding how we grow old means understand how our cells grow old.
The Ageing Cell conference will bring together an international community of researchers from academia, industry and the clinic in the fields of immunology, genetics, epigenetics and signalling to discuss ageing at the cellular level.
The conference sessions will include:
The ageing stem cell – how stem cell development, proliferation and function changes with age
The ageing immune system – how composition and function change with age
Signalling and the ageing cell – signalling pathways that control metabolism and cellular fitness
Epigenetics of the ageing cell – exploring changes to the epigenome during ageing
For the full programme, please see here.