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Philanthropist Paul F. Glenn launches labs for aging research at Harvard Medical School

ern the pace at which normal individuals experience physiological decline and disease. "As we mark our 40th anniversary, we are very excited to establish this important relationship with Harvard Medical School and look forward to accelerating research into this important area" said Mark R. Collins, President of the Glenn Foundation.

Historically financial support for research into the biological mechanisms of aging and efforts to extend the healthy lifespan has been spotty. The pharmaceutical industry's support of basic aging research is hindered due to the fact that there are no generally accepted biomarkers for aging that would allow the FDA to approve a drug designed to slow the aging process. Although Congress supplemented scarce aging research dollars by establishing the National Institute on Aging in 1974, that money has predominately gone to disease specific research, such as Alzheimer's disease, or towards the behavioral aspects of aging. "Instead of addressing individual age related diseases, we are looking at the bigger picture. Being able to extend the normal healthy lifespan has huge societal impact including decreasing associated healthcare costs and increasing the productive lifespan. By understanding the basic mechanisms of aging, we hope to altogether avoid or mitigate the onset of age related diseases as demonstrated by the research in caloric restriction," said Mr. Glenn. "Recent discoveries of longevity genes by Dr. Sinclair and others have persuaded me that aging includes the phenomenon of a small group of genes controlling the expression of a much larger group of genes, including those which activate cellular defense mechanisms such as DNA repair. As we learn to control expression of specific genes, we may be able to prolong healthy cell life without a complete understanding of the biochemical pathways involved."

In addition to funding these important initiatives through the creation of the Paul F. Glenn Laboratories at Ha
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Contact: John Lacey
public_affairs@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0442
Harvard Medical School
11-Mar-2005


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