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David Sinclair On Extending Human Lifespan & The Science Behind Aging

By April 23, 2019January 23rd, 2024No Comments
Episode #436



Everybody grows old. Everyone dies.

But is this scientific fact? Or is it merely a story based on history and our current understanding of biology?

What if we instead consider aging as a disease? This begs the question: what is the cure?

Welcome to the mind of David Sinclair, PhD, one of the world’s leading scientific authorities on longevity, aging and how to slow its effects.

A professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging, David obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics at the University of New South Wales, Sydney in 1995 and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at M.I.T. where, among other things, he co-discovered the cause of aging for yeast.

The co-founder of several biotechnology companies, David is also co-founder and co-chief editor of the journal Aging. His work has been featured in a variety of books, documentaries, and media, including 60 Minutes, Nightline and NOVA. He is an inventor on 35 patents, has been lauded as one of the Top 100 Australian Innovators, and made TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Calorie restriction is the most robust way to prevent cancer, heart disease or pretty much all disease.

David Sinclair

In addition, David is the author of the forthcoming book, Lifespan: The Revolutionary Science of Why We Age — and Why We Don’t Have To* which hits bookstores on Sept. 10 and is currently available for pre-order here*.

This is an absolutely fascinating conversation on all things human lifespan, aging and longevity. We begin with the specific scientific mechanisms that contribute to biological degeneration. Then we dive deep into the hard science David and his peers are examining to better understand what contributes to aging and how to prevent it.

According to David, the prospect of living to 200+ is not a pipe dream, but a very possible reality. If humans could indeed double lifespan, how would this change how you live? And what does this mean for the future of humanity?

Nothing matters except making the world a better place after you’ve been here.


This conversation travels deep into the scientific weeds. Perfect for the geeks among us. But it’s also grounded in practical takeaways for all of us — because David’s work isn’t just about extending lifespan. It’s about learning how to live as vibrantly and energetically as possible for as long as possible.

It’s an honor and a privilege to share this brilliant man’s pioneering work and wisdom with you today. Plus he’s a lovely guy. If you enjoyed my episode with Dr. Valter Longo (RRP #367), a fellow brilliant warrior in the longevity space, then I’m fairly confident you’re going to love this one. So break out that pen and paper, because you’re going to want to take notes on this one.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the episode.

Peace + Plants,

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Notable People Discussed

  • Valter Longo, PhD: Professor in Gerontology & Biological Science, Director of the USC Longevity Institute and podcast guest
  • Lenny Guarente: Professor of Biology at the MIT; best known for his research on life span extension in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, roundworms, and mice
  • Cindy L. Cain: Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology at The University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Joe Rogan: host of the JRE Podcast, stand-up comedian and retired martial artist
  • Leo Szilard: was a Hungarian-German-American physicist and inventor. He conceived the nuclear chain reaction in 1933, patented the idea of a nuclear reactor with Enrico Fermi in 1934, and in late 1939 wrote the letter for Albert Einstein’s signature that resulted in the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb
  • Peter Medawar: was a Brazilian-born British biologist, whose work on graft rejection and the discovery of acquired immune tolerance was fundamental to the practice of tissue and organ transplants
  • Joseph Lister: known between 1883 and 1897 as Sir Joseph Lister, Bt., was a British surgeon and a pioneer of antiseptic surgery. Lister promoted the idea of sterile surgery while working at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary
  • Douglas R. Seals: University of Colorado distinguished professor, integrative physiology, expert in aging and gerontology

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Thanks to Jason Camiolo for audio engineering, production, interstitial music and show notes. Video, editing by Blake Curtis and Margo Lubin. Graphics by Jessica Miranda.Theme music by Ana Leimma.

*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.