A group photo of NO-Age founding members, and three invited speakers in the 1st NO-Age symposium. From left to right, front: Lene J. Rasmussen (invited speaker), Linda H. Bergersen (NO-Age founding member), Hilde L. Nilsen (NO-Age founding member); back: Evandro F. Fang (NO-Age founding member), Jon Storm-Mathisen (NO-Age founding member), Jan H.J. Hoeijmakers (invited speaker), Aubrey D.N.J. de Grey (invited speaker) (Photo: Ruben Gudmundsrud).
Age is the primary cause of almost all the human diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, dementia, among others. By 2050, 20% of the global population will be over 60 years old, and the number of individuals older than 80 will have tripled. Thus, we are encountering formidable healthcare challenges brought about by the worldwide ageing challenges. This is the same case for Norway, as by 2050 there will be over 20% of people over 60 years old and this case will be even severe by 2100. Accordingly, it is predicted to have a dramatic increase of old age and disability pension in the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme and a significant decrease of expected fund return, leading to unaffordable healthcare cost to the Norwegian economy (https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/nou-2016-3/id2474809/sec5).
Previously, there was no centre on biology of ageing in Norway. A discussion among Dr. Evandro F. Fang, Prof. Hilde Nilsen, Prof. Jon Storm-Mathisen, and Prof. Linda H. Bergersen at the University of Oslo (Oslo) gave us the idea to establish the Norwegian Centre on Healthy Ageing (termed NO-Age Centre).
Vision: A Norwegian integrated, interdisciplinary, centre for human ageing research at international top level, with a translational goal to empower people to live longer, healthier, and more meaningful lives.
Mission: We aim to employ a common conceptual framework to understand the complex interplay of biological, physiological, cultural, and social factors that influence health and wellbeing at both the individual and population levels. We actively engage with our stakeholders to develop interventional strategies and policies to promote healthy living and social participation at old age.
We are a group of multidisciplinary ageing researchers with research focuses on three overall themes a) Mechanisms of Ageing (molecular and cellular level); b) Management of Ageing (population level); and c) Mastering of Ageing (individual level). Our ambitious final aim is to understand all dimensions of ageing (biological, psychological, cultural, and social), and at all scales, from the cells, through individuals, to society. Taking the extremely successful experiences and the supports from our collaborative ageing institutes, such as The Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen, The Glenn Centers for Research in Aging (Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Michigan), The University of Hong Kong, and the National Institute on Ageing (Baltimore, MD, USA), we hold high enthusiasm and optimism for our NO-Age Centre.
Featured image: Anna Pochobradská (Image credit: http://www.janlanger.net/en)