Sigma Xi Lecture – The Science of Aging – Extending Healthy Life

Sigma Xi Lecture
5:00 PM, May 17, 2019
Vassar College, Room 203, Taylor Hall
(Free to the Public – Limited to first 100)
Title: The Science of Aging –
Extending Healthy Life
Speaker: Toby Rossman, Ph.D.
NYU Langone Health

Dr. Rossman is Professor of Environmental Medicine at New York University School of Medicine (now NYU Langone Health). She was Director of the Molecular and Genetic Toxicology research program on the NIEHS Center Grant. She has taught since 1968. She received research funding for the genetic effects of environmental carcinogens for over 30 years, mainly from the NIH.  She has published over 120 peer-reviewed articles and edited one book. She was on the editorial boards of four Scientific Journals, and is a member of the American Chemical Society, Environmental Mutagen Society, Society of Toxicology, and American Association for Cancer Research. She consulted for the NIH, USEPA, WHO and is currently a part time NYU Professor, Director of the Hudson Valley Science Café, lecturer at public venues, and a consultant to the legal profession on toxic torts and on research grants.


Human life expectancy has been increasing for at least 100 years. We will soon have more older people than children and more people at “extreme old age” (>85) than ever before. Yet, for many people, aging is accompanied by disease and/or disability. Major age-related diseases include cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and dementia.  How much of this can be prevented? This lecture reviews what we know about the aging process, and in particular, what we know about healthy aging. Theories of aging fall into two classes, accumulation of damage by endogenous and exogenous (environmental) agents, and genetically programmed cell death. Much is known about factors affecting the major diseases and disabilities of aging, including genetics, obesity, tobacco, and a sedentary lifestyle. Science-based methods to extend healthy life will be discussed, including the roles of diet, exercise, social interaction, and some experimental drugs.


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