Medical advances that extend human lifespan will be topic of forum

Discussion will cover the possibility that medical advances would allow humans to live much longer lives.
Written by: Katherine Shonesy
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Haddin forumSteven Austad, Ph.D., chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Biology, will kick off this year’s Theodore Haddin Arts and Sciences Forum on Friday, Sept. 26.

Austad’s discussion will cover the unprecedented historical increase in health and longevity over the past century and discuss how recent advances in the basic biology of aging make a healthy 150-year lifespan more than a pipe dream. For instance, a single drug has been shown to reduce and delay mouse versions of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, as well as enhance resistance to pneumonia, preserve muscle strength and improve sleep in the elderly. Austad will also discuss a number of other drugs in the research pipeline that show similar promise. 

The Haddin Forum is an ongoing lecture series at UAB’s College of Arts and Sciences. It is a venue for Arts and Sciences faculty to talk about their research with their colleagues, students and members of the public, and it is designed to celebrate faculty work and launch new conversations.

Each academic year, the forum presents a series of five or six informal lectures from a cross section of departments in the university. Meetings of the Haddin Forum take place in Heritage Hall, Room 125, and are free and open to the public. The Sept. 26 discussion will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch will be provided.