The number of people over 65 years old worldwide is expected to triple by 2050. As life expectancy rises, ageing populations are increasingly being seen as a looming social and economic challenge of urgent global importance. At the Mars, Incorporated Science Breakfast, Adam Smith (Chief Scientific Officer of Nobel Media) will moderate a panel discussion focusing on the role of cross-disciplinary collaboration in driving ageing research to address the challenges we expect to face.
The panel will feature the views of Prof. Elizabeth Blackburn (Physiology or Medicine Nobel Laureate) and Dr. Hagen Schroeter (Director, Fundamental Health & Nutrition Research, Mars, Incorporated) as well as a selected young researcher. Prof. Blackburn was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for her discovery of telomeres. She is the Morris Herzstein Professor in Biology and Physiology at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, and a leader in the area of telomere and telomerase research. She discovered the molecular nature of telomeres – the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes that serve as protective caps essential for preserving the genetic information - and the ribonucleoprotein enzyme, telomerase. Prof. Blackburn is harnessing telomere biology to contribute to a cross-disciplinary approach to healthy ageing.
Dr. Hagen Schroeter is Director of Fundamental Health & Nutrition Research for Mars, Incorporated and Adjunct Research Professor at the Nutrition Department, University of California, Davis. Dr. Schroeter will provide background information on the fundamental research programs in health and nutrition advanced by Mars, Incorporated and collaborators in academia, industry, and government. A main research focus aims at understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of flavanols – a plant-derived nutrient - in maintaining cardiovascular and cognitive health as we age. Dr. Schroeter led Mars’ involvement in FLAVIOLA - a pan-European collaborative research project supported by the European Union and dedicated to state-of-the-art research into flavanols, their health benefits and their potential applications in the context of public health.
The Mars, Incorporated Science Breakfast will bring together the views of Laureates, industry scientists and young researchers - both on the panel and in the audience - to trigger robust discussion on the role of science and cross-disciplinary collaboration in healthy ageing research.
* Please note: Participation in the Preparatory Event is essential for all attendees of the Science Breakfast supported by Mars, Incorporated. The Preparatory Event will take place the day before the Science Breakfast at 07.00 on Tuesday, July 1st. It will consist of mini-lectures given by Prof. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Hagen Schroeter on their research and will provide the necessary background information to promote debate and discussion at the Science Breakfast.
 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, World Population Prospects: 2012 Revision, June 2013, http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/index.htm