Episode 10: Paul Irving

April 25, 2017 - Paul Irving has no intention of ever retiring. As chairman of the Milken Institute’s Center for the Future of Aging, he is a leading campaigner in what has become known as the purposeful aging movement. A lawyer and former president of the Santa Monica-based Institute, Paul is an advocate for the elderly population, whom he sees as a talented and “dramatically underutilized” resource for society. Author of The Upside of Aging: How Long Life Is Changing the World of Health, Work, Innovation, Policy and Purpose, he says longevity is creating an entirely new definition of what it is like to be old. From going back to school in your sixties to romances springing up late in life, Paul views aging with relish and optimism. In this in-depth interview, he explains why he considers aging, along with climate change, to be the “great challenge of the 21st century”. He also discusses the Institute’s upcoming global conference, ‘Building Meaningful Lives,’ taking place in Los Angeles from April 30-May 3, 2017.

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About the podcast

Why LLAMA?

LLAMA, an acronym for Live Long and Master Aging, is a podcast that explores the science and stories behind human longevity.

In a series of one-to-one interviews, the LLAMA podcast hacks the aging process. Our guests include world-renowned scientists, future thinkers and biohackers, all of whom have a common goal of figuring out how we can live longer and healthier. We also talk to inspiring individuals who have already mastered the aging process.

The LLAMA philosophy is that there is much can do to extend our natural healthspan or the length of time when we enjoy optimal health. We talk a lot about food, fasting, fitness, the brain and good fortune.

We also put safety first. The information provided in the podcast is not intended as medical advice. The opinions expressed by the host and guests are for discussion and entertainment purposes only. Do not attempt to replicate the ideas or research protocols that we discuss. The advice of a qualified health practitioner should be sought before engaging in any dietary or exercise regime.

Your host

Peter Bowes

A British-born, naturalised American, Peter Bowes is a freelance journalist and broadcaster. He is trained as a biologist and has spent much of his career working in news, current affairs and documentary-making for the BBC. A self-experimenter, when it comes to his own diet and exercise, Peter is fascinated by lifestyles and science-based regimes that promote healthy aging. He lives on a ranch in California with his partner, dog, goats and a llama called Arthur.

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Episode archive:

Episode 10 - Paul Irving

April 25, 2017 - Paul Irving has no intention of ever retiring. As chairman of the Milken Institute’s Center for the Future of Aging, he is a leading campaigner in what has become known as the purposeful aging movement. A lawyer and former president of the Santa Monica-based Institute, Paul is an advocate for the elderly population, whom he sees as a talented and “dramatically underutilized” resource for society. Author of The Upside of Aging: How Long Life Is Changing the World of Health, Work, Innovation, Policy and Purpose, he says longevity is creating an entirely new definition of what it is like to be old. From going back to school in your sixties to romances springing up late in life, Paul views aging with relish and optimism. In this in-depth interview, he explains why he considers aging, along with climate change, to be the “great challenge of the 21st century”. He also discusses the Institute’s upcoming global conference, ‘Building Meaningful Lives,’ taking place in Los Angeles from April 30-May 3, 2017.

Episode 09 - Nathaniel “Ned” David

April 18, 2017 - Imagine a future where we grow old but do not succumb to the diseases that typically define the aging process. Dr. Nathaniel “Ned” David, a molecular and cell biologist, wants to create a world where it does not hurt to grow old. The founder of multiple biotech companies, Ned is the President of UNITY, a San Francisco-based biotechnology company which aims to develop drugs that prevent, halt, or reverse age-related diseases. Named one of the Top 100 innovators in the world under 35, by the MIT Technology Review, Ned combines personal experience with a passion for changing the definition of old age. In this in-depth interview, he discusses his goal of producing a drug to target senescent cells that are linked to some of the diseases of old age. Ned also talks about his personal quest to avoid age-related cognitive decline and to overcome a debilitating condition, degenerative disc disease, which means he is no longer able to run.

Episode 08 - Caroline Cicero and Matthew Hoffman

April 11, 2017 - When Matthew Hoffman decided to interview elderly people, to hone his skills as a TV host, he stumbled across a unique community project. Matthew, a writer and actor, is the founder of Tuesdays with Matthew, an acting class and video series for senior citizens in Los Angeles. The program, at an adult day care center, takes iconic scenes from famous movies and reenacts them with senior citizens in the lead roles. At a time when many elderly people say they enjoy good health, but often feel socially isolated and lonely, the class is a fun and novel way to inject new purpose into their lives. It may just help them to live longer. Dr. Caroline Cicero teaches social policy and aging at the University of Southern California, Davis School of Gerontology. She focusses on the intersection of aging, urban planning and the delivery of services to make local communities better places to grow old. For this episode of LLAMA, Dr. Cicero reviews Tuesdays with Matthew. She explains why it could promote longevity by focussing on aspects of life such as socialization, participation and inclusion. LLAMA host Peter Bowes spoke to Dr Cicero in Los Angeles and visited Tuesdays with Matthew to meet some remarkable, age-defying, seniors.

Episode 07 - Ben Hwang

April 4, 2017 - Ben Hwang is the chairman and CEO of Profusa, a San Francisco-based biotechnology company, that is developing micro sensors to monitor body chemistry. A former management consultant, Ben earned his MA and PhD in biology from the Johns Hopkins University. He has worked in a variety of biotech roles and is dedicated to developing technology that promotes good health and longevity. Profusa (@profusaInc) is on a mission to make the inner workings of our bodies more accessible. The goal, using micro sensors, is to gather information about internal biochemical changes, in real time. The 3 to 5 mm long sensors are designed to be compatible with the body’s tissues for long-term monitoring. They collect data, transmitted to external devices, providing a stream of information for long-term health and wellness. Ben Hwang spoke to LLAMA host, Peter Bowes, at TEDMED in California.

Episode 06 - Eric Verdin

March 28, 2017 - Eric Verdin is the president and chief executive officer of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. The institute, based in Novato, Northern California, is America's first and largest independent body focussed on the biology of aging. Until recently, Dr. Verdin was a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes, in San Francisco, where he studied the role of metabolism and diet in aging. A world-renowned expert in the field, Dr. Verdin is trying to better understand the mechanisms linking caloric restriction to increased health span and longevity.

Episode 05 - Alia Crum

March 21, 2017 - How is human longevity influenced by our mindsets on aging, diet, exercise and stress? Inspired by research on the placebo effect, Alia Crum (@AliaCrum), an assistant professor of psychology at Stanford University, investigates the role mindset plays in health and lifestyle choices. She is trying to understand how mindsets can have a positive impact on the way the body heals and whether they can be influenced to bring about physical and psychological well-being.

Episode 04 - Nir Barzilai

March 14, 2017 - Nir Barzilai is a professor of medicine and genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the director of the Institute for Aging Research. He is best known for his work with some of the world’s oldest populations and is currently leading an international effort to aprove drugs that could target aging. Dr. Barzilai was born in Isreal and has had a life-long interest in the mechanisms that control the aging process. He hypothesizes that centenarians have protective genes which delay aging or protect against age-related diseases.

Episode 03 - Aseem Malhotra

March 7, 2017 - Aseem Malhotra is a campaigner against the excessive consumption of sugar. A National Health Service (NHS) doctor and consultant cardiologist in the UK, he believes that too much sugar in our diets can lead to medical conditions commonly associated with aging – including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. A global health advocate and avowed foodie, Aseem is also a writer, and recently completed ‘The Big Fat Fix’ – a film which highlights what he sees as the myths behind our understanding of sugar, fat, and exercise.

Episode 02 - Olga Connolly

March 7, 2017 - Olga Connolly is an Olympic gold medalist, who triumphed during the 1956 games in Melbourne. She threw the discus for her home country, Czechoslovakia. During the competition, she fell in love with, and later married, American athlete Harold Connolly – a controversial move at the height of the Cold War. Now 84, Olga has forged a career in fitness, working as a personal trainer at the University of California, Irvine, specializing in holistic fitness studies and training.

Episode 01 - Valter Longo

March 7, 2017 - Valter Longo is Director of the University of Southern California (USC) Longevity Institute and a professor in biological science. Originally from Italy, he is a cell biologist who specializes in the mechanisms of aging in yeast, mice, and humans. His laboratory has identified genetic pathways that regulate aging in simple organisms and reduce the incidence of certain diseases in mice and humans. Valter has also developed a dietary regime – known as the fasting mimicking diet – that may reduce risk factors for aging in people.

Episode 0 - Welcome to LLAMA

March 2, 2017 - Peter Bowes, a journalist and Los Angeles-based broadcaster, presents the launch episode of the Live Long and Master Aging (LLAMA) podcast. In each episode, we interview leading longevity scientists and remarkable people who have mastered the art of aging, exploring the science and stories behind human longevity.