“A lot of the therapies that we are developing seem to be virtually as effective if they are started late in life as if they’re started early in life.” -Steven Austad, Ph.D.
Dr. Steven N. Austad is a Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He also directs UAB’s Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging and co-directs the Nathan Shock Centers Coordinating Center. Dr. Austad’s multiple-award-winning research uses a variety of traditional and nontraditional animal species to seek to discover underlying causes of aging with a long-term goal of developing medical interventions that slow the age-related decay in human health. He is the author of five books and more than 200 scientific papers covering nearly every aspect of the biological aging process.
Dr. Austad also serves as Scientific Director of the American Federation for Aging Research, a New York City-based national nonprofit foundation dedicated to supporting and advancing healthy aging through biomedical research. He serves as well on the External Advisory Committee of the Mayo Clinic’s Center on Aging. Dr. Austad maintains a keen interest in communicating science to the general public. In that capacity he currently writes a biweekly column on science for AL.com, has previously served on the Science Advisory Board of National Public Radio, written a regular newspaper column for the San Antonio Express-News (On Aging) and been a consultant for exhibitions on aging to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (Portland, Oregon), the Perot Museum of Nature and Science (Dallas, Texas), and the American Museum of Natural History (New York City). He has written popular science articles for numerous publications including Natural History magazine, Scientific American, National Wildlife, and International Wildlife. His trade book, Why We Age (1997, 1999), has been translated into eight languages. He is currently working on a tradebook, Methuselah’s Zoo: the Natural History of Exceptional Longevity (MIT Press), which is due out at the beginning of 2021.
Pre-aging research life:
Prior to entering aging research, Dr. Austad with a degree in English literature was a newspaper reporter, trained big cats for the Hollywood film industry, drove a taxi cab in New York City, and hustled pool nation-wide. With a PhD in evolutionary ecology, he has done biological field research in several parts of the United States, Venezuela, England, Kenya, Micronesia, and Papua New Guinea.
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