Dr. Brandon Milholland, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Genetics, delivers a thorough overview of the aging process, why we age, and how lifespan has been viewed historically.
Dr. Brandon Milholland earned his Ph.D. in genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, one of the nation’s most respected centers for research, medical education, and clinical investigation. During his time there he collaborated with other associates from two different teams to research the specific biology of aging. Dr. Milholland has particular expertise in genomics, bioinformatics, and big data. He has published seven papers in peer-reviewed journals, and there are, upcoming, an additional six manuscripts currently under review or already in press. Dr. Milholland received his BA in natural sciences from the prestigious University of Cambridge.
Dr. Milholland discusses his interest in aging, and his transition into the private sector, consulting with pharmaceutical companies. His passion for studies on aging has led him to write on the subject and continue his research. He talks about the lifespan and life expectancy of past generations and cultures, and the differences between the two in how people interpret them. He details how infant mortality rates have affected overall historical records, and discusses how famine and epidemics have impacted past generations and cultures, in terms of lifespan and aging. Dr. Milholland discusses the possibilities of age anomalies in which people outlive the typical age of expected life and historical records that list extremes.
The genetics expert outlines some of the reasons why life expectancies have increased. He discusses theories as to why age plateaus. As he explains, one reason for possible decreases in life extension is that as we age many biological systems may be beginning to fail, but medical treatment often focuses on one major issue alone, not the combination of potential problems. Dr. Milholland discusses aging at the cellular level, and how that impacts the body. He talks specifically about somatic mutation, which is genetic alteration acquired by a particular cell that can then be passed to the descendants of the mutated cell through the course of cell division.
Dr. Milholland specifically delves into the subject of telomeres. Telomeres become shorter each time a cell divides, and when they get too short, that cell can no longer divide thus it becomes inactive or dies. And unfortunately, this process can be associated with many health issues from aging, to cancer, and potentially poses a higher risk of death.
Dr. Milholland delivers information on his research, and other studies, regarding life expectancy, and whether life span is improving or not. As he states, there are many theories and opinions on the matters of aging, and more research is needed.