Biomedical Discoveries and the Ageless Generation, with Alex Zhavoronkov [UKH+]

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Unprecedented economic growth or near-term collapse?

Alex Zhavoronkov explains in this talk how advances in biomedicine can transform the global economy.

This talk describes the potential fundamental impact of biomedicine, not only on health and longevity, but also on global economic growth.

The revolution in information technology has irreversibly changed our lives over the past two decades. However, advances in biomedicine stand poised to eclipse the social and economic effects of IT in the near future.

Biomedical innovations typically reach the mass market in much slower fashion than those from information technology. They follow a paradigm where neither demand, in the form of the consumer, nor supply, in the form of the innovator, can significantly accelerate the process. Nevertheless, many of the advances made over the past three decades are already propagating into mainstream clinical practice and converging with other technologies extending our life spans.

However, in the near-term, unless the governments of the debt-laden developed countries make proactive policy changes, there is a possibility of lengthy economic decline and even collapse.

Biomedical advances are not all the same. The current paradigm in biomedical research, clinical regulation and healthcare has created a spur of costly procedures that provide marginal increases late in life extending the “last mile”, with the vast percentage of the lifetime healthcare costs being spent in the last few years of patient’s life, increasing the burden on the economy and society.

Drawing on ideas from his new book The Ageless Generation: How Advances in Biomedicine Will Transform the Global Economy, the speaker will argue that there is an urgent need to proactively adjust healthcare, social security, research and regulatory policies:

*) to ameliorate the negative near-term effects;
*) and to accelerate the mass adoption of technologies contributing positively to the economy.

Alex Zhavoronkov, PhD, is the director and a trustee of the Biogerontology Research Foundation, a UK-based think tank supporting aging research worldwide.

Alex is also the founder of the International Aging Research Portfolio, a curated knowledge management system for aging research. He heads the laboratory of regenerative medicine at the Clinical Research Center for Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology where his research interests include Hutchinson-Gilford Syndrome, new methods of cellular reprogramming, molecular mechanisms of skin and cartilage regeneration and personalized medicine in oncology. Together with scientists from Canada, Russia and the US, he co-founded the First Oncology Research and Advisory Center, a personalized medicine organization providing contract research services to oncologists interested in gene expression and activated signalling pathway analysis and predicted effectiveness of targeted drugs to improve clinical decision making. He is also the head of research at NeuroG Neuroinformatics, a neuroinformatics company developing algorithms for cost-effective EEG devices to recognize imagined visual images and delay the onset of age-related neurodegenerative diseases. He holds two bachelor degrees from Queen’s University, a masters in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins Universtity and a PhD in physics and mathematics from the Moscow State University.

His book, The Ageless Generation: How Advances in Biomedicine Will Transform the Global Economy, is available from

This lecture was recorded on 31st of August 2013 at the UKH+ meeting. For information on further meetings please see:


David Wood says:

Many thanks for posting this Adam. If anyone wants to get involved in a
serious discussion on the content of this presentation, you’re welcome to
join the dialog at the LondonFuturists website

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