ABOUT THE CENTER
Longer lives are, at once, among the most remarkable achievements in all of human history and the greatest challenges of the 21st century. Whereas most discussions about aging societies are premised on the assumption that older people are frail and infirm, our premise is that problems of older people demand solutions so that the substantial increase in life expectancy can ultimately benefit individuals and societies. The mission of the Stanford Center on Longevity is to accelerate and implement scientific discoveries, technological advances, behavioral practices, and social norms so that century long lives are healthy and rewarding.
We are a center on longevity, not old age, because building a world where the majority of people thrive in old age requires attention to the entire life span. Research shows clearly that education, exercise, nutritional habits, financial decisions, and social choices early in life have substantial implications for quality of life at advanced ages. Increased longevity demands that we reconsider traditional models of the life course which will necessitate new norms and practices for education, work and families that span multiple generations.
To inspire change on a grand scale, the Center works with more than 150 Stanford faculty, their students and research staffs, as well as leaders from industries that are poised to distribute innovative products and services to the public, thought leaders who help to shape the ideas that influence cultural change, and policy makers who target important challenges and opportunities for long lived societies. By fostering dialogue and collaborations among these typically disconnected worlds, the Center aims to develop workable solutions for urgent issues confronting the world as the population ages. With these partners, we aim to redesign how we live our lives so that the great potential of longer life is fully realized.
The Center was founded in 2007 by two of the world’s leading authorities on longevity and aging. Laura Carstensen PhD, is the founding director. A professor of psychology at Stanford, she has won numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and her research has been supported for more than 20 years by the National Institute on Aging. Thomas Rando MD, PhD, professor of neurology and neurological sciences, is deputy director. His research on aging has demonstrated that is possible to identify biochemical stimuli that can induce stem cells in old tissues to repair injuries as effectively as in young tissues. This work has broad implications for the fields of regenerative medicine and stem cell transplantation.