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Ageing innovation group announces new chair

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The British Society for Research on Ageing (BSRA) has named David Weinkove as its new chair.

Dr Weinkove is a biology of ageing researcher and entrepreneur and associate professor at the department of biosciences, Durham University. He is also CEO of Magnitude Biosciences Ltd.

Dr Weinkove’s appointment comes in a booming era for ageing research, characterised by increasing investment in companies working on therapies to slow ageing.

These longevity biotech companies are concentrated in the US but are also found in the UK, as seen with the recently announced Altos Labs, a US$3bn organisation with one of its institutes based in Cambridge.

Through the BSRA, Dr Weinkove wants to make sure that UK researchers are able to play their part in developing therapies that slow biological ageing, which could have a huge impact on healthcare.

Ageing is the biggest risk factor for chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease, which is more and more prevalent as populations age. Slowing ageing may help reduce the onset of these terrible conditions.

Dr Weinkove said: “I am honoured to be elected Chair of the BSRA and I plan to increase the awareness and influence of the organisation to support UK ageing research. I want to make sure evidence-based research is heard in a field that is increasingly noisy with hype.

“My experience in both academic and industrial ageing research puts me in a unique position to facilitate meaningful new collaborations between leading innovators.”

David takes over from Prof Claire Stewart of Liverpool John Moores University after five years of service to the BSRA.

The BSRA is a charitable incorporated organisation that was formed in 1939 by researchers studying the biology of ageing.

It works to promote and support research on the causes and effects of ageing.

It organises an annual conference that brings researchers together from across the world, is engaged in education and outreach, and funds research in the biology of ageing.

Dr Weinkove was appointed as assistant professor at Durham University in 2008, after research training in London, the Netherlands and Utah.

He was promoted to associate professor in 2016. His academic research focuses on ageing in the nematode worm C. elegans.

He discovered mutations in bacteria that extend C. elegans lifespan and found a drug that alters bacterial metabolism to slow ageing.

In 2018, he co-founded Magnitude Biosciences Ltd, a company that provides research services in C. elegans to companies across the world using unique technology that measures the impact of compounds on ageing, mobility and health.

He was a trustee of the BSRA from 2014 to 2019.

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