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Professor Tom Kirkwood awarded prestigious Longevity Prize

15 December 2011

Professor Tom Kirkwood CBE of the Institute for Ageing and Health at Newcastle University has been awarded the 16th annual Longevity Prize of La Fondation Ipsen in recognition of his outstanding work on the biology of ageing. He received the €20,000 prize in late November at the Gerontology Society of America (GSA), Boston, USA.

Professor Tom Kirkwood (left) receives the Longevity prize from Yves Christen (right), President of La Fondation Ipsen. Image: La Fondation Ipsen

Professor Tom Kirkwood (left) receives the Longevity prize from Yves Christen (right), President of La Fondation Ipsen.
Image: La Fondation Ipsen

Professor Kirkwood is Director of the BBSRC-funded Centre for Integrated Systems Biology of Ageing and Nutrition (CISBAN) at Newcastle University and has served on BBSRC Council. He was, until recently, Director of the Institute of Ageing & Health and is now Associate Dean for Ageing at the University.

His research is on the basic science of ageing, particularly on how genes and non-genetic factors, such as nutrition, influence longevity and health in elderly people. In 1977, he proposed the influential "disposable soma" theory to explain why and how aging occurs. More recently, researchers at CISBAN have used sophisticated mathematical modelling to identify the molecular pathway that stops cells from dividing following damage - this could shed light on age related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

The Institute of Ageing and Health was runner up in the greatest delivery of impact category in the BBSRC Excellence with Impact competition.


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