Will it one day be possible to take a pill to stay young? How will an average life expectancy of beyond a hundred years affect society and the planet? Our audience joined leading longevity researchers Robert Butler, David Sinclair and Richard Weindruch, along with embryonic stem cell biologist Renee Reijo Pera, to investigate the facts and implications surrounding scientific developments — emerging technologies, novel therapies, and innovative medical practices — that forecast a radical extension of a healthy human life. Featuring a special performance by acclaimed singer, Marilyn Maye.
Faith Salie is an Emmy-winning contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning and a panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me! Her first book, Approval Junkie, was just published by Crown and chronicles her meaningful/embarrassing lifelong quest for validation. She is a host of the PBS and CUNY.org show, Science Goes to the Movies. Salie is a Rhodes scholar whose classmates went on to become governors and Pulitzer Prize winners, while she landed on a Star Trek collectible trading card worth hundreds of cents.
David Sinclair’s research focuses upon the search for genes and small molecules capable of slowing the pace of aging in cells and on preventing diseases associated with old age. He is an associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and an associate member of the Harvard-MIT Broad Institute for Bioinformatics.
Marilyn Maye is an award-winning, renowned jazz singer who has been named an Official Jazz Legend by the American Jazz Museum. She has been onstage with many of the greatest jazz performers, including Count Basie, Charlie “Bird” Parker, and Big Joe Turner.
Robert Butler is a pioneer in gerontology — the study of aging and its biological, psychological, and social implications. His book, Why Survive? Being Old in America, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1976. Butler is director and CEO of the U.S. branch of the International Longevity Center in New York City.
Richard Weindruch has devoted decades to exploring extreme low-calorie diets and their promise in delaying aging. He is a professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin, and the director and co-founder of LifeGen Technologies. He is also a scientist with the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin.
Reijo Pera is a professor and the Director of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Education Center at Stanford University. Her research is aimed at understanding the developmental genetics of human germ cell formation and differentiation. Her early work resulted in identification of one of the first genes specifically implicated in human germ cell development. Subsequently, her laboratory has established techniques for differentiation of human embryonic stem cells to germ cells and genetic manipulation of the pathways.
Reijo has received numerous awards throughout her career and most recently was cited as one of twenty influential women in the US by Newsweek. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin (Superior), her doctoral degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and her postdoctoral training at the Whitehead Institute for BioMedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.