Dan Perry

Daniel Perry is the President & CEO of the not-for-profit Alliance for Aging Research in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1986, the Alliance is a leading U.S. citizen advocacy organization for promoting a broad agenda of medical and scientific research to improve the health and independence of older people. Perry's background spans a wide range of health policy, governmental, political and journalistic experience. He held staff positions for more than a dozen years on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. He has been a key advisor on aging and medical research policies to Democratic and Republican legislators and presidents. He has led a number of large and politically potent coalitions advancing research in aging, Alzheimer’s disease and for embryonic stem cell research. He is an advisor to the Institute on Aging of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, and a member of the National Advisory Council on Aging – having been appointed in 2010 by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. As a journalist he was the recipient of many awards and citations, including a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize.

Do cells have a mid-life crisis? (Dan Perry)

Science Kit for Dan Perry

Dear TEDMED Attendee,

Thank you for your interest in my talk “Do Cells Have a Midlife Crisis?” and for requesting my Science Kit.  Hopefully I’ve gotten you thinking about how to shift the research paradigm to probe the common denominator of age-related diseases and uncover why our cells and our bodies start to lose their biological integrity beginning in mid-life.

That shift in thinking is something the non-profit Alliance for Aging Research is advancing through our Healthspan Campaign.  A research agenda signed by scores of prominent scientists fleshes out the big research questions that promise to yield enormous gains in the short-term, and a whitepaper from prominent science writer David Stipp -The Transformative Promise of Aging Science - explores the social, economic, and political implications of this paradigm shift and dispels many of the common myths about extending the healthy years of life.

If you’d like to read a couple of the many recent scientific advances that are paving the way for these breakthroughs in healthy aging, you can read the November 2011 article from Genes and Development on how scientists restored the function or "youth" of cells taken from people over 100 years old, and the November 2011 article from Nature Structural and Molecular Biology that identifies a key molecular switch for telomere extension involving an enzyme implicated in both cancer and aging. Note that both of these articles require a subscription and are scientifically dense.  For a journalistic take on recent advances, check out this article.

I also encourage you to view the presentation from Dr. James Kirkland of the famed Mayo Clinic - co-author of a seminal article in Nature on the clearing of senescent cells from the body - before the newly formed NIH Geroscience Interest Group.  

I’m also happy to continue this conversation with any and all of you so please feel free to contact me at dperry@agingresearch.org or 202.293.2856.

Thanks again for your interest.


Dan Perry