From your perspective, how does investing play into your research? What role do investors play?
As it is so difficult, long, and expensive to study aging, funding is extremely important. The more resources you have committed to research on aging and the development of drugs, the faster, deeper, and longer you can go. I believe that in the upcoming decades, similar to what we are seeing with artificial intelligence, we are going to see private investment and companies playing a major role in this area of research compared to traditional public and academic structures.
Where do you see this field, and your own research, in ten years?
The field is advancing very very rapidly now and we are going to see major changes. In terms of science and research, I think we are going to continue to improve our understanding of aging and discover novel therapeutic strategies to prevent or slow down the process of aging in humans.
In addition, we are going to establish better biomarkers, like, for example, epigenetic clock, currently based on DNA methylation, that can tell us how a person is aging. These biomarkers will be critical for clinical trials since they will significantly help us to detect the effect of interventions in a shorter period of time.
I also think that we are going to see major changes in modern societies that are now facing the problem of aging. These changes will occur at multiple levels including individuals, countries, government, economies, and health systems. Changes are as fundamental as accepting that aging can be manipulated and that we might be able to live healthier and longer.
i-vest is first and foremost a platform about investing in your future, your values, and your goals. So we’d like to ask you to speculate a little about the implications of your work. Assuming we may all live much longer, healthier lives in the future, what might the implications of that be? How may life be different if we are better able to control aging?
This is a very complex question, but I would say that every single aspect of our life that is influenced by time and aging is going to change as a consequence of the progress in this field of research.
This will include, from a psychological perspective, how we think about aging and our time-limited life. Moreover, societies, countries, and all the structures within will change and will have to adapt to longer healthier lives. These will include health systems, education, employment, retirement systems. We might have different careers during our life, we might retire at a later age, we may only get sick very late in life, we may have the option to plan our lives in longer terms.
This is an amazing time to be alive and I believe that our path to healthier and longer lives has already started.
Thank you very much, Prof. Ocampo!
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