Eternal Youth: Science and Fantasy
Death has arguably been humankind’s major preoccupation since the evolution of conscious thought. Throughout history, our desire to hold on to youth and avoid death has inspired fantastic quests and potions, including charlatans selling worthless, even harmful, elixirs. Until recently, research into aging was a scientific backwater, but today, gerontology is a vibrant, rapidly expanding field. This master class will review scientific advances in our understanding of the aging process and offer a look at some of the myths and charlatans espousing eternal youth.
Allen M. Spiegel, a widely renowned physician-scientist, was Dean of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine from 2006 to 2018, and remains on the faculty as Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) and Molecular Pharmacology. Prior to joining Einstein, he was Director of the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive Diseases & Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the culmination of a distinguished 33-year-career at the NIH. His research on signal transduction helped to clarify the genetic basis of several endocrine diseases. A member of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Spiegel earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University in 1967. He received his M.D. degree cum laude and Alpha Omega Alpha from Harvard Medical School in 1971 and completed his clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital.