One of the greatest challenges for the future of healthcare is dealing with diseases of ageing. The concept of extending healthspan is viewed as the single most effective approach for extending life expectancy. Targeting the biological ageing processes, common to many diseases, may afford far greater increases in life expectancy than targeting individual diseases, like cancers, cardiac or kidney disease. Additionally, there are potential large economic benefits to enhance healthspan reflecting decreased healthcare costs and increased productivity. Singapore has an increasingly high rate of population ageing projected to reach 1 in 4 by 2030 (MOH, Singapore).
Over the last few decades, large advances in our understanding of the shared biological processes that occur across organs during ageing has been referred to as the “Hallmarks of Ageing” comprising of primary causes of cellular damage, deleterious adaptive processes and culprit drivers of ageing phenotypes, namely altered intercellular communication and stem cell exhaustion. Inflammation is a key component of altered intercellular communication in ageing, associated with maladaptive immunosenescence and deleterious immunometabolism, which lead to the term ‘Inflammaging’. The group uses bioinformatics, disease and reporter mouse models, cell and molecular biology, physiology and collaborates to find disease mechanisms and targets in ageing.
Prof Stuart Alexander Cook Dr Lim Wei Wen
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