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Press Release

16th Longevity Prize of La Fondation Ipsen: Professor Thomas Kirkwood is Awarded in Recognition of His Outstanding Leadership in the Domain of “Theoretical Approach to the Biology of Longevity”

Fondation Ipsen
Posted on: 23 Nov 11

The 16th annual Longevity Prize has been awarded to Professor Thomas Kirkwood (Institute for Ageing and Health Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK) in recognition of his outstanding leadership in the domain of “Theoretical approach to the biology of longevity”, by an international jury1 led by Professor George Martin (University of Washington, Seattle, USA). He received the €20,000 prize on November 21, 2011 at the Gerontology Society of America (GSA), Boston, USA where he presented an outstanding lecture.

About the winner

Tom Kirkwood is Associate Dean for Aging at Newcastle University, having been Director of the Institute for Aging and Health from 2004-2011. Educated in biology and mathematics at Cambridge and Oxford, he worked at the National Institute for Medical Research, where he formed and led a new research division, until in 1993 he became Professor of Biological Gerontology at the University of Manchester, the first such position in the UK. His research is on the basic science of aging and on how genes as well as non-genetic factors, such as nutrition, influence longevity and health in elderly people. In 1977, he proposed the influential “disposable soma” theory to explain why and how aging occurs. He was European President (Biology) of the International Association of Geriatrics and Gerontology, led the project on ‘Mental Capital Through Life’ within the recent UK Government Office for Science Foresight program on Mental Capital and Well-Being, was Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Science & Technology Select Committee inquiry into ‘Ageing: Scientific Aspects’ and has served on the Councils of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He has published more than 300 scientific papers. His books include the award-winning ‘Time of Our Lives: The Science of Human Aging’, ‘Chance, Development and Aging’ (with Caleb Finch) and ‘The End of Age’ based on his BBC Reith Lectures in 2001.

About the Longevity Prize

Founded in 1996, the Longevity Prize of La Fondation Ipsen has been awarded to renowned specialists: Caleb E. Finch (Los Angeles, 1996), Vaino Kannisto (Lisboa, 1997), Roy L. Walford (Los Angeles, 1998), John Morley (St Louis,1999), Paul & Margret Baltes (Berlin, 2000), Justin Congdon (Aiken, 2001), George Martin (Seattle, 2002), James Vaupel (Rostock, 2003), Linda Partridge (London, 2004), Sir Michael Marmot (London, 2005), Cynthia Kenyon (San Francisco, 2006), David Barker (Southampton, 2007), Gerald McLearn (University Park, 2008), Jacques Vallin (Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques, Paris, 2009) and Judith Campisi (Novato, 2010).

La Fondation IpsenEstablished in 1983 under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the mission of the Fondation Ipsen is to contribute to the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge. The long-standing action of the Fondation Ipsen aims at fostering the interaction between researchers and clinical practitioners, which is indispensable due to the extreme specialisation of these professions. The ambition of the Fondation Ipsen is to initiate a reflection about the major scientific issues of the forthcoming years. It has developed an important international network of scientific experts who meet regularly at meetings known as Colloques Médecine et Recherche, dedicated to six main themes: Alzheimer's disease, neurosciences, longevity, endocrinology, the vascular system and cancer science. Moreover, in 2007, the Fondation Ipsen started three new series of meetings. The first series is an annual meeting organized in partnership with the Salk Institute and Nature and focuses on Biological Complexity; the second series is the “Emergence and Convergence” series with Nature, and the third with Cell and the Massachusetts General Hospital entitled “Exciting Biologies”. Since its beginning, the Fondation Ipsen as organised more than 100 international conferences, published 72 volumes with renowned publishers and 219 issues of a widely distributed bimonthly newsletter Alzheimer Actualités. It has also awarded more than 100 prizes and grants.

1 In addition to George Martin, the jury was composed of Judith Campisi (Buck Institute for Age Research, Novato, USA), James Carey (University of California, Davis, USA), Eileen Crimmins (University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA), Caleb Finch (University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA), Bernard Forette (Paris, France), Bernard Jeune (Odense University, Odense, Denmark), Jean-Pierre Michel (Hôpital Universitaire de Genève, Genève, Switzerland), Jean-Marie Robine (INSERM Centre Val d’Aurelle, Montpellier, France), Jacques Treton (Inserm U872, Paris, France) and Bruno Vellas (Centre Hospitalier Regional Toulouse, France)

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Last updated on: 23/11/2011

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