World Class Science - The Four Science Themes

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Professor Tom Kirkwood talks about Ageing & Health

Understanding ageing is crucially important because for a very large proportion of medical conditions today, age is the single largest risk factor. For this reason, the UK government has identified Population Ageing as one of its Grand Challenges whilst the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee recently highlighted the priority of the science of ageing, particularly with regard to engagement with industry.

The Institute for Ageing and Health, based at the Campus for Ageing and Vitality on the Newcastle General Hospital site, is unique in bringing together biological, clinical and social scientists from across the region with NHS services for old age medicine and psychiatry. Already recognised as Europe’s leading centre for research related to ageing, it is well placed to capitalise on the extensive commercialisation opportunities available and to deliver significant economic/social benefits.

Opportunities include the identification and/or the development of:

  • New understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underpinning age-related frailty, disability and disease, that will offer novel routes to intervene in these processes.
  • Biomarkers of ageing that can be used to monitor the impact of new interventions (basic science).
  • New models of health care delivery through the NHS and health care industry (clinical science).
  • Novel assistive technologies that promote independent living, create new market opportunities and reduce the cost of care (technology).
  • Comprehensive clinical and pre-clinical imaging resources that together with existing world-class technical and research expertise in radiochemistry, medical physics and imaging methodology, will facilitate clinical and translational research in age-related diseases, including cancer (scientific techniques).

The Ageing and Health theme within Newcastle Science City offers disruptive approaches to meeting what is recognised globally as one of the greatest challenges (and opportunities) confronting humanity in the 21st century.

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