Healthy Ageing

Our increased life-expectancy and protracted disease trajectories cause profound upheaval from an individual and a societal perspective. Above age 65, the great majority of the population suffer multiple morbidities and polypharmacy is the rule. Age is the most important single risk factor of diseases such as diabetes, cancer and dementia, but it is too often ignored as the underlying causal mechanism and largely understudied.

The vision of the Center for Healthy Aging is to better understand the aging process, to interfere in the biomolecular process, and to prevent and delay the occurrence of morbidity. The mission is to bring together excellent researchers with complementary expertise who develop new methods to generate high-throughput computer-assisted analyses of exceptional datasets that go beyond traditional reductionist approaches. The purpose is to enable people to live healthier life for longer.

Our interdisciplinary research adheres to these key principles and makes use of three complementary sources of knowledge:

  • There is no institution in the world that has acquired so much information on citizens as Statistics Denmark, and we will systematically trace individuals over time to identify key events during the life course that result in different patterns of aging and pathology;
  • The Register of Pathology holds tissue samples and accompanying data for one third of the Danish population, and we will use machine based learning to dissect the complex relationship between morphology of cells and their biological behavior that cannot be detected with standard pathological examination;
  • The Centre for Healthy Aging is at the forefront of identifying causal cellular mechanisms, and we will perform an in-depth investigation of the dynamic behavior of nuclei and mitochondria in human samples in response to external and internal perturbations.

We have put in place a durable and flexible systems-wide-strategy, i.e. that will open up unique opportunities to explore the data sources mentioned above. We will apply classic epidemiologic tools, and develop new, to study the long-term biological, behavioral, and psychosocial processes that link physical or social exposures acting early in life with disease risk late in life.

Group leader:

Professor Rudi Westendorp

Scientific Coordinator:

Dr Sasmita Kusumastuti