Brighton scientist wins top award

Posted On 17 Oct 2010 at 4:33 pm

A Brighton professor and one of the country’s leading experts on ageing has become one of only three British academics ever to win a Glenn Award for research.

Professor Richard Faragher, professor of biogerontology at Brighton University, is also chair of the British Society for Research on Ageing and president of the International Association of Biomedical Gerontology.

His award for research into the biological mechanisms of ageing was presented by the Alliance for Aging Research and the Glenn Foundation two of the most respected philanthropic sponsors of ageing research in the world.

Professor Faragher said: “I am delighted to be honoured by the Glenn Foundation.

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“But I think this is really recognition of the groundbreaking work on ageing conducted by all our scientists at the University of Brighton and their collaborators both here and abroad.

“For example, one of my colleagues here in Brighton has discovered that pond snails undergo ageing of the brain in ways reminiscent of those seen in higher animals.

“We hope that understanding how ageing alters the working of such a simple brain will lead to new treatments for humans.”

Professor Faragher is giving a public lecture called Three Score Years and Then? at the university’s new Huxley Building off Lewes Road, Moulsecoomb, on Friday 19 November.

He said: “All of us are frightened of ageing badly and some of us see it as inevitable.

“However, biomedical research has shown that it is not.

“The ageing process can be slowed dramatically in the laboratory by genetic means.

“Lifespan more than ten times greater than normal can now be achieved by laboratory animals but these discoveries have produced a frustrating paradox for the scientific community.

“We know that genes control ageing but how they do this remains largely guesswork.

“Until now this lack of understanding has hampered our ability to turn these fundamental biological insights into useful medical treatments.

“My laboratory works on the mechanisms which slow ageing in simple animals and accelerate it in humans.

“Together with our collaborators we have achieved sufficient understanding to identify treatments for premature ageing and propose the mechanism by which lifespan is extended in mammals.

“My lecture will explain this work and discuss its moral and societal implications.

“Research into ageing at the University of Brighton holds out the possibility of creating longer, healthier lives.

“When it comes to ageing in the 21st century, is the only thing we have to fear now fear itself?”

Anyone wishing to attend Professor Faragher’s 6.30pm lecture should contact events@brighton.ac.uk or call 01273 641839.

The International Association of Biomedical Gerontology, which Professor Faragher chairs, is due to hold its next congress in Brighton.

The congress next year will bring experts from across the world to the city.

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