Ira Pastor founder of Bioquark and ideaXme Longevity and Aging ambassador interviews Dr. Marios Kyriazis, a biomedical gerontologist, medical doctor and founder of ELPIs Foundation for Indefinite Lifespans.
The last few ideaXme shows have focused on different hierarchical levels of what we refer to as the biologic-architecture of the aging process. We’ve spent some time talking about the genome, the micro-biome and the macro-biome. One theme that keeps coming back time and time again, is none of these “life processes” that contribute to health, disease and aging happen in a vacuum.
Genes by themselves do nothing outside of the context of gene regulatory networks and the metabolic architecture of the cell; cells operate as part of larger tissue based micro-environments that receive instruction from a range of physiologic networks integrating biophysical forces (mechano-transduction, sheer stresses, membrane potentials…). This overarching theme of “continual change” in a living system, while at the same time maintaining the unified “Whole”, continues at all levels of the hierarchy, even beyond the individual human organism into our interactions with our immediate environment, friendships, technologies, social networks, ecosystems all of which impact biologic journey
Dr. Kyriazis qualified as a medical doctor at the University of Rome, Italy. He received an M.Sc. Gerontology, at Kings College University London, 1990. In the same year he became a Chartered Biologist Member of the Royal Society of Biology.
Dr. Marios Kyriazis also has a post-graduate qualification in Geriatric Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians of London. Other titles and achievements include Member of the Board of Trustees at the Mediterranean Graduate School of Applied Social Cognition, affiliate researcher at the Evolution, Complexity and Cognition Group, University of Brussels and a Ronin Research Scholar. Moreover, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine for 2017.
Currently, Dr. Kyriazis runs the ELPIs Foundation for Indefinite Lifespans which focuses on the elimination of age-related degeneration via a truly trans-disciplinary model, merging the principles between biology, complexity sciences, evolution, cybernetics, neurosciences, and techno-cultural dynamics.
Within this convergent knowledge base the organization focuses on study areas including robustness and degeneracy in organic systems, fragility and redundancy, repair processes (including self-repair), hormesis and environmental enrichment in aging, and immortalization of somatic cells.
Topics covered include:
– Dr. Kyriazis’ elegant model related to human aging known as “The Indispensable Soma Hypothesis” which posits that: “humans who are suitably integrated within this complex technological, information-rich, cognitive environment, AND who are indispensable for the adaptability of such environment (‘Law of Requisite Usefulness’), may experience a reversal of their resource allocation priorities from the germline to the soma, resulting in improved somatic repair and a progressive reduction of age-related degeneration.The core rationale as it relates to humans is that those of us that are valuable in the evolution of the global society are thus more likely to live and function for longer, without any age-related degeneration.
– Possible biological mechanisms involved in “The Indispensable Soma Hypothesis” (epigenetic modifications, transitions in metabolic and repair signalling, and redistribution of resources from germ line to somatic tissues).
– Dr. Kyriazis is staunch believer that as good as pharmacological treatments and damage centric biotechnologies get, alone they will not be sufficient elimination of age-related degeneration in humans, because as wonderful as these tools may be in providing humans with enhanced biological fitness, they overlook several other very important themes. A key one of these themes is that of Robustness.
Robustness is how functions of a system are maintained despite external and internal perturbations. Dr. Kyriazis talks about this topic as well as its potential interventional relationship to the topic of hormesis; how mild stress exposure make us stronger, less fragile. Mild stress exposure can be exercise, heat shock, irradiation, pro-oxidants, hyper-gravity and food restriction.
– The importance of complexity and randomness in our lives. Paradoxically, we live in a time where our pharmaceutical healthcare infrastructure is going in the other direction.
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