Aging Research

Nir Barzilai Featured in BREAKTHROUGH, a New Series on the National Geographic Channel

November 23, 2015—(BRONX, NY)—What if we could increase our healthy lifespan by delaying or avoiding the onset of age-related diseases? What if people could live to be 100 years old and beyond and still be healthy, active and engaged? What if there was a way to age without a slow and painful decline?

Researchers, led by Nir Barzilai, M.D., at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, are featured on BREAKTHROUGH, a new series developed by the National Geographic Channel. The program, directed by Ron Howard, will spotlight investigator’s novel approach to slowing human aging.
Nir Barzilai, M.D.
Nir Barzilai, M.D., director of the Institute for Aging Research at Einstein, and collaborators at the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), are spearheading a novel approach to answer these and other questions. Their efforts are featured on BREAKTHROUGH, a new series developed by the National Geographic Channel and GE. The episode, titled The Age of Aging, is directed and narrated by Ron Howard premiered Sunday, November 29, at 9 pm ET on the National Geographic Channel.

The Age of Aging captures the momentum building around Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME), a clinical trial spearheaded by Dr. Barzilai. TAME will test the drug metformin, a widely-used, FDA-approved medication that has been used to treat type 2 diabetes for decades, to determine if it can delay the onset of age-related diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease. Initial observational results in a U.K. clinical study and extensive animal research are promising.

The Age of Aging follows Dr. Barzilai and AFAR researchers as they meet with representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA); U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, Ranking Member of the Special Committee on Aging; and potential investors. Should their initiative and trial prove successful, it could revolutionize how the FDA evaluates medications, encourage pharmaceutical companies to invest in new therapies targeting aging, and improve the healthcare economics of old age.

In addition to Dr. Barzilai, who is an attending physician at Montefiore, holds the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Chair in Aging Research at Einstein, and is the deputy scientific director at AFAR, other TAME researchers include: Jill Crandall, M.D., professor of clinical medicine at Einstein and an attending physician at Montefiore; James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine; S. Jay Olshansky, Ph.D., at University of Illinois at Chicago; and Steven Austad, Ph.D., at University of Alabama at Birmingham.

View Excerpts from BREAKTHROUGH: The Age of Aging

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Dr. Nir Barzilai visits a centenarian couple from his Longevity Genes Project as a model for aging slower and more healthfully, and discusses his belief that there are medications that may help all of us age more like them.

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Dr. Nir Barzilai discusses with venture capitalist Laura Deming the groundbreaking potential in drugs, particularly metformin, to delay the diseases and conditions of aging, and the push for the FDA to designate aging as an indication.