About the Editors
Professor Kazuo Tsubota, Keio University School of Medicine, Japan
Kazuo Tsubota is Professor and chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan, his alma mater where he received his medical degree in 1980. Prof. Tsubota is an internationally recognized ophthalmologist and was the first Japanese recipient of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Honor Award in 1994. He is author of more than 600 scientific peer reviewed articles. As most ocular diseases are related to aging, he began to explore aging research in 1999, and now serves as a president of the Japanese Society of Anti-Aging Medicine.
Professor Tsubota currently focuses on aging and anti-aging research from the molecular level to clinical application. What motivates him is the desire to contribute to a prosperous and long-lived society, reductions in health-care costs, and above all, improved health and happiness for individuals in an aging population.
Professor Shin-ichiro Imai, Washington University School of Medicine, USA
Shin-ichiro Imai received his MD and PhD degrees in 1989 and 1995, respectively, from Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo, Japan, where he studied cellular aging-associated transcriptional regulation in human fibroblasts and proposed his “Heterochromatin Island Hypothesis of Aging”. During his postdoctoral period, he made a paradigm-shifting discovery of the NAD+-dependent protein deacetylase activity of yeast and mammalian Sir2 proteins and published his landmark paper in the journal Nature in 2000. In 2001, he joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri and is currently a Professor in the Department of Developmental Biology. Professor Imai’s long-term goal is to achieve “productive aging,” which aims to maintain good health and spirit in our later life, by understanding the spatial and temporal dynamics of our physiological system and developing nutriceutical/pharmaceutical interventions for age-associated complications.
Professor Johan Auwerx, the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
Johan Auwerx is Professor at the Ecole Polytechnique, Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland, where he occupies the Nestle Chair in Energy Metabolism. Dr. Auwerx has been using molecular physiology and systems genetics to understand metabolism in health, aging and disease. Much of his work focused on understanding how diet, exercise and hormones control metabolism through changing the expression of genes by altering the activity of transcription factors and their associated cofactors. His work was instrumental for the development of agonists of nuclear receptors - a particular class of transcription factors - into drugs, which now are used to treat high blood lipid levels, fatty liver, and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Auwerx was amongst the first to recognize that transcriptional cofactors, which fine-tune the activity of transcription factors, act as energy sensors/effectors that influence metabolic homeostasis. His research validated these cofactors as novel targets to treat metabolic diseases and spurred the clinical use of natural compounds, such as resveratrol, as modulators of these cofactor pathways. Johan Auwerx was elected as a member of EMBO in 2003 and has received many international scientific prizes. Dr. Auwerx received both his MD and PhD in Molecular Endocrinology at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium. He was a post-doctoral research fellow in the Departments of Medicine and Genetics of the University of Washington in Seattle.
Professor Vera Gorbunova, University of Rochester, USA
Vera Gorbunova is a Professor of Biology at the University of Rochester and a co-director of the Rochester Aging Research Center. Her research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of longevity and genome stability and on the studies of exceptionally long-lived mammals. Dr. Gorbunova earned her B.Sc. degrees at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and her Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. Dr. Gorbunova pioneered comparative biology approach to study aging and identified rules that control evolution of tumor suppressor mechanisms depending on the species lifespan and body mass. Dr. Gorbunova also investigates the role of Sirtuin proteins in maintaining genome stability. More recently the focus of her research has been on the longest-lived rodent species the naked mole rats and the blind mole rat. Dr. Gorbunova identified high molecular weight hyaluronan as the key mediator of cancer-resistance in the naked mole rat. Dr. Gorbunova has over 70 research papers including publications in Nature and Science. Her work received awards of from the Ellison Medical Foundation, the Glenn Foundation, American Federation for Aging Research, and from the National Institutes of Health. Her work was awarded the Cozzarelli Prize from PNAS, prize for research on aging from ADPS/Alianz, France, Prince Hitachi Prize in Comparative Oncology, Japan, and Davey prize from Wilmot Cancer Center.
Professor Mark P. Mattson, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA
Mark Mattson is Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging and a Professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. His research is aimed at understanding molecular and cellular mechanisms of brain aging and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases, and stroke. His work has elucidated how the brain responds adaptively to challenges such as fasting and exercise, and he has used that information to develop novel interventions to promote optimal brain function throughout life. He has published more than 800 articles and has an ‘h’ index of over 165. He has received many awards including the Metropolitan Life Foundation Medical Research Award, the Alzheimer’s Association Zenith Award, the Santiago Grisolia Chair Prize, and he is an AAAS Fellow.
Professor Tohru Minamino, Niigata University, Japan
Tohru Minamino is Professor and chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Biology and Medicine, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences. He started his research on cardiovascular aging at Harvard Medical School in 1997 and now is one of the leading researchers in this field. He published a number of research articles on cardiovascular aging in scientific journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Cell Biology, Nature Genetics, Cell, and Cell Metabolism and has been involved in professional societies such as American Heart Association, International Society for Heart Research, and Japanese Circulation Society.
Professor Hong Gil Nam, Institute for Basic Science, Korea
Prof. Hong Gil Nam is the director of Center for Plant Aging Research, Institute for Basic Science (IBS) and a founding member & Fellow Professor of the Department of New Biology, DGIST. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA in 1985. From 1986 to 1988, he worked at the Harvard Medical School as a research fellow.
In 1999, he established the Korean Society for Bioinformatics and Systems Biology. He is a founding member of the Department of Life Sciences and the School of Interdisciplinary Bioscience and Bioengineering (I-Bio), POSTECH, Korea, where he served until 2012.
Prof. Nam is a pioneer in the field of life history, aging, senescence and death in plants. His further research interest includes comparative aspects in diverse kingdoms including plants and animals at cellular, individual, and population levels. He has over 150 research papers on plants and animal aging, including publications in Nature, Science, and Cell. His goal is systems and spatiotemporal level understanding of the aging process.
Doctor Satchidananda Panda, The SALK Institute, USA
Satchidananda Panda, PhD is interested in understanding the mechanisms that generate and sustain daily rhythms in behavior, physiology and metabolism. The biological clock or circadian oscillator in most organisms coordinates behavior and physiology with the natural light-dark cycle. His lab characterizes the mechanism by which the circadian oscillator in the brain is synchronized to the ambient lighting condition and the oscillators in peripheral organs are entrained by feeding cues. Understanding these mechanisms has wide implications in optimizing lighting condition and daily eating pattern in extending healthy lifespan.
Professor Andrew Steptoe, Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, UCL, United Kingdom
Andrew Steptoe is Director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care in the Faculty of Population Health Sciences and British Heart Foundation professor of psychology. He graduated from Cambridge in 1972 and completed his doctorate at Oxford University in 1975. He moved to St. George’s Hospital Medical School in 1977, becoming professor and chair of the Department in 1988, where he remained until his appointment in 2000 to UCL. He became Deputy Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL in 2005 and subsequently Head of Department before being appointed Director of the Institute in 2011. He is a Past-President of the International Society of Behavioral Medicine and is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Psychological Society, Academia Europaea, and the Academy of Social Sciences. He was founding editor of the British Journal of Health Psychology. Andrew directs the Psychobiology Group and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing research group at UCL. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed articles and is author or editor of 18 books, most recently the Handbook of Behavioral Medicine (2010) and Stress and Cardiovascular Disease (2012).
Professor Tatsuya Yamasoba, University of Tokyo, Japan
Tatsuya Yamasoba is Professor and chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, University of Tokyo, Japan, his alma mater where he received his medical degree in 1980 and doctor of philosophy in 1992. Prof. Yamasoba is an internationally recognized otologist and neurotologist and has served as a chief or associated editor or an editorial board member in several international journals related to hearing and vestibular research. He is an author of more than 300 scientific peer reviewed articles. As five senses, including hearing, smell and taste, are impaired with age, he began to explore aging research in 2002, and now serves as an executive director of the Japanese Society of Anti-Aging Medicine.
Professor Yamasoba currently focuses on aging and anti-aging research mainly related to hearing, balance, and olfaction from the molecular level to clinical application. His main research interest also includes sensory aging, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial DNA.
Assistant Professor Andrew Yoo, Washington University School of Medicine, USA
Andrew Yoo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Developmental Biology at Washington University School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University and postdoctoral training at Stanford University. Dr. Yoo’s research focuses on genetic pathways that determine the identity of neuronal cell fate and cellular reprogramming approaches to directly convert non-neuronal human somatic cells to neurons. By generating human neurons across the age spectrum, his lab models aging of human neurons and investigates cellular properties intrinsic in aged human neurons. The awards he received for his work include NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.