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Lords committee questions academics on the fundamental aspects of the ageing process

22 October 2019

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee questions academic experts about the fundamental processes of ageing, to inform its inquiry into how science and technology can enable healthier living in old age.

Purpose of sessions

In the first session the Committee explores the biological mechanisms driving ageing and how these relate to physical health, cognitive function and mental health.

The second session focuses on biomarkers – the wide range of indicators which can be used to assess ageing, including markers measured in blood or tissue, and also measures of physical or cognitive performance – and how they can be used for assessing and measuring the ageing process.


Tuesday 22 October in Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster

At 10.25am

  • Dr Jordana Bell, Senior Lecturer and Head of Epigenomics Research Group, King's College London
  • Professor Richard Faragher, Professor of Biogerontology, Brighton University
  • Professor David Melzer, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Medical School, University of Exeter
  • Professor Avan Aihie Sayer, Director, NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre

At around 11.25am

  • Professor Graham Kemp, Professor of Metabolic and Physiological Imaging, Liverpool University
  • Dr Riccardo Marioni, Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine and the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, University of Edinburgh

Possible questions

Questions about the mechanisms of ageing could include:

  • Do we understand the contribution of genetics to healthy ageing?
  • What is epigenetics and what role does it play in the ageing process?
  • Is our understanding of the influence of these processes as we age as thorough for mental health as it is for physical health?

Questions about the biomarkers of ageing could include:

  • Do we have reliable biomarkers (including of physical and cognitive capabilities) to determine how well or how poorly an individual is ageing?
  • Are biomarkers of ageing currently used in the NHS? If not, could they be used in the future?
  • Are biomarkers being used in clinical trials that target the ageing process to determine whether clinical interventions are having an effect on those markers?

Further information