US $30 MILLION GLOBAL GRAND CHALLENGE: Longevity and Healthy Aging

By: Ira Pastor, ideaXme exponential health ambassador and founder of Bioquark, interviews Dr. Victor Dzau, President of the United States National Academy of Medicine (NAM)and of the United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

On today’s show we are going to continue upon a theme that we started a few weeks ago, and that is in today’s (and the near future’s) world, we are facing this major demographic shift: by 2050, the estimated population of those 65+ will represent 18% of the global population, with an estimated group of 500 million octogenarians and above. How do we continue to foster innovations to deal with this population aging that is, needless to say, poised to impose a significant strain on economies, health systems, and social structures worldwide? In this world with amazing pockets of wealth, how do we make sure some of it (outside of traditional life science venture capital, PE model) begins to get appropriately channeled to support the next generation of breakthroughs in “healthy longevity,” so that all of us can benefit from the tremendous opportunities it has to offer?

Dr. Victor Dzau

Our guest today is truly a “though leaders thought leader” on the topic and really needs no introduction for those that spend time in the biomedical space.

Dr. Victor Dzau is the President of the United States National Academy of Medicine (NAM), of the United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS)and most recently, prior to that, previously served as president and CEO of Duke University Medical Center. A leading cardiovascular scholar, Dr. Dzau was the Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and served as Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University. He was the previous Chairman of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Cardiovascular Disease Advisory Committee, and he served on the Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH. Dr. Dzau has made a significant impact on medicine through seminal research in cardiovascular medicine and genetics, his pioneering work in the discipline of vascular medicine, and his leadership in health care innovation. His seminal research laid the foundation for the development of angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, which are used globally for the treatment of high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. He pioneered gene therapy for vascular disease, being the first to introduce DNA decoy molecules to block transcriptions as gene therapy in humans. Under his leadership at NAM, Dr. Dzau organized and implemented the Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity,an international commission that will assess available evidence and recommend strategies for global societies to maintain the health and productivity of aging populations, as well as The Healthy Longevity Global Competition, which is a $30 million program that endeavors to “kick start” innovation to support healthy longevity through a series of monetary awards and prizes.

On this show we will hear from Dr. Dzau: About his background, how he developed an interest in medicine, cardiology, and how he has ultimately arrived at the epicentre of the “healthy longevity” space in 2020. In a world where annually a tremendous amount of capital gets poured into bio-medical R&D, why such competition / challenge / prize models in so crucial in “un-met” areas like healthy longevity research. The history of the Healthy Longevity Grant Challenge, the challenges in bringing together such a wide range of stakeholders / investors, and how the process will work. About specific areas of healthy longevity R&D that you he is personally most excited about. His visions for the “internationalisation” of the healthy longevity challenge model and how he see it further spreading around the globe and in size. His role on the International Commission on Clinical Use of Heritable Human Genome Editing. About NAMs Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience.

Credits: Ira Pastor interview video, text, and audio.

Follow Ira Pastor on Twitter:@IraSamuelPastor

If you liked this interview, be sure to check out our interview with Mr. George MacGinnis, Challenge Director of the Healthy Ageing Programme at UK Research and Innovation.

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