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News & Events

ARK Special Guest Lecture: 

How Does Low Social Status Promote Early Aging? Evidence from the US Health and Retirement Study

Speaker: Professor Eileen Crimmins, PhD, University of Southern California AARP Professor of Gerontology, University Professor, Director, Multidisciplinary Research Training in Gerontology PhD Program

When: 17.00, Wednesday 6 March 2019

Where: Bush House Lecture Theatre 2, BH(S)4.04, The Strand Campus, King’s College London

More information about this lecture can be found here


ARK Special Guest Lecture: 

Aging, Chronic Disease, and Senolytic Agents

Speaker: James L. Kirkland, Noaber Foundation Professor of Aging Research, Director, Mayo Clinic Kogod Center on Aging, Rochester, MN, USA

When: 17.00, Monday 10 December

Where: Lecture Theatre 2, New Hunt's House, Guy's Campus.

More information can be found here



Annual David Hobman Lecture 2018: 

Spirituality and Ageing 

Speaker: The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, Bishop of London

When: 17.30 - 20.00, Monday 19 November

Where: The Great Hall at KCL Strand Campus, WC2R 2LS

More information can be found here.




Researchers from the Centre for Human & Applied Physiological Sciences have found that staying active keeps the body young and healthy.

In collaboration with the University of Birmingham, researchers examined the health of older adults who regularly exercised during most of their adult lives and the impact this had on aging.

Ageing_cyclists_The research findings are detailed in two papers published yesterday in Aging Cell and are the result of an ongoing joint study by the two universities, funded by the BUPA foundation.

The study involved a group of 125 amateur cyclists, aged 55-79, who underwent a series of laboratory tests. Participant results were compared to another group aged 55-79 who did not regularly exercise and a group of healthy young adults aged 20-36.

Results showed that there was no loss of muscle mass and strength in the cycling group and their body fat or cholesterol levels did not increase with age.

The study also revealed that regular exercise had a positive effect on the immune system. As people age, an organ called the thymus begins to shrink and produce less T cells (a type of the body’s defensive immunity cells). The regular cyclist group had thymuses that were similar in size to the young adult cohort and produced similar levels of T cells.

Professor Stephen Harridge, Head of CHAPS, said: “The findings emphasise the fact that the cyclists do not exercise because they are healthy, but that they are healthy because they have been exercising for such a large proportion of their lives. Their bodies have been allowed to age optimally, free from the problems usually caused by inactivity. Remove the activity and their health would likely deteriorate.”

This research has been widely covered in the media and featured on BBC News 



Past Events & News

ARK Special Guest Lecture: Identifying Interventions that Delay Ageing in Humans 

Speaker: Professor Brian Kennedy, Director Centre for Healthy Ageing, National University of Singapore

When: 13.00, Friday 2 November

Where: Lecture Theatre 1, New Hunt's House, Guy's Campus.

More information can be found here

ARK Keynote Lecture 

Where: Lecture Theatre 1, New Hunt’s House, Guy's Campus 


From mitochondrial cytopathies to ageing – some thoughts

Professor Ed Byrne AC Ed Byrne

President & Principal
King’s College London

Prof Byrne biography


Mitochondrial Interactions between nitric oxide and oxygen: physiology and pathophysiology.

Professor Sir Salvador Moncada FRS, FMedSci Salvador-Moncada

Cancer Domain Director, 
School of Medical Sciences
University of Manchester
Prof Moncada biography
International PhD Summer School at Peking University Health Science Centre (PUHSC) China

This year’s joint PhD summer school will be held at Peking University Health Science Centre (PUHSC), Beijing, China. The summer school will run for 1 week between 18th to 26th August 2018. This year’s theme will be ‘Chronic inflammation’.

As per previous Summer Schools, the host – PUHSC - is inviting participation of 5 PhD students from each of the partner universities and 2 academic staff.

 For the 5 selected PhD students:

  • PUHSC will cover accommodation and meals during their stay in Beijing.
  • King’s will cover the round trip flight tickets (economy class), visa application costs and additional stipend if required.
ARK - Berlin Workshop 

Joint Research Workshop to launch the partnership between Ageing Research at King's (ARK) &  DynAge Berlin (Ageing consortium of Freie Universität, Charite, DIFE, Robert Koch Institut & Max Planck Institut) 

3 & 4 May 2018 at King's College London, Guy's Campus

The workshop focused on ‘The role of Microcirculation in Ageing’, starting midday on the 3rd May and ending late afternoon on the 4th May.

The program featured short talks and discussions, poster presentations and a networking lunch and dinner.

The aim of this workshop was to define collaboration topics to be developed into work packages for an International Research Training Group (IRTG)  - German (DFG) funding for joint PhD studentships.


Biology of Ageing II Conference  'Impactful Interventions' - November 2017

Biology of Ageing II Conference 'Impactful Interventions' 

Organised by A*Star and National University of Singapore in association with ARK

When: 14th - 16th November 2017

Where: Grand Cophorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore

ARK and the KCL graduate School sponsored travel prizes of £500 each to early career investigator, postdoctoral researchers, PhD and MSc students to attend. 

During the conference research experts and leaders in the field discussed various biological aspects of ageing and especially interventions as well as related mechanisms to sustain and/or restore functional capacity in older adults. The interventions discussed included nutritional supplements, caloric intake regulation, exercise, drugs, and others, in both human and animal models. The muscolo-skeletal, immune, metabolic and cognitive aspects of ageing were among the topics covered. Scientists, clinicians and groups interested in restoring functional capacity and understanding the biology behind the effectiveness of these interventions attended this scientific conference.

Read the King's news story about the event here

PHD Summer school - August 2017

ARK - International PhD Summer School at Karolinska Institute

Brain aging – Karolinska summer school 

This doctoral summer school was organized during August 14-25, 2017 in Stockholm as a collaborative effort with the Keio University, Beijing University Health Science Center, King’s College London and Karolinska Institutet. The summer school director was Professor Masato Yasui from Keio University. The course is part of a very successful series of collaborative summer schools.

ARK Committee selected PhD students to attend the summer school based on their CV, a brief description of their PhD project and primary supervisor's letter of support.

The purpose of the summer school for doctoral students is to increase the understanding of brain aging and its cellular and molecular mechanisms, including tools and technologies applied. Upon completion of the course, the doctoral students can describe important concepts in the cellular and molecular mechanisms relating to brain aging, describe differences between normal and pathological brain aging, and critically evaluate important methods and technologies applied in brain aging research.

The main contents of the course cover physiological and pathological brain aging and their cellular and molecular mechanisms; from basic neuroscience to clinical diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases and Alzheimer disease. Differences between normal and pathological brain aging are covered, as well transition from normal to pathological brain aging and risk factors for pathological brain aging. Even methods and technologies used in the study of brain aging are discussed and critically evaluated.

The course is organized as a summer school, which encompasses lectures with faculty from the participating universities, small group discussions, student presentations, a one day thematic scientific symposium organized at Nobel Forum during the first week of the summer school. During the second week, the summer school will take part in a scientific conference (Nordic summit for PhD studies August 21-22), a one day publishing course with the chief editor of the Embo Journal (August 23), and finally two day site visits to research laboratories at Karolinska Institutet.

The one day “Brain aging” symposium at Nobel Forum is part of the course and also an open symposium for any interested research personnel. The two day conference “Nordic Summit for PhD studies in Health Sciences” brings together faculty, administrators and doctoral students from 14 the medical faculties of participating universities in the 

Previous ARK International Lecture Series events


16th April 2018
17:00 Lecture Theatre 2, New Hunt’s House, Guy's Campus 
Professor Manfred Eggersdorfer
University of Groningen and Senior Vice President of DSM Nutrition
talk: Micronutrients - perspectives for a healthy life
Dr Claire Steves
Senior Clinical Lecturer in the Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology, 
honorary Consultant at Guy's and St Thomas Hospital, and King's College Hospital
Talk: Translational ageing research at KHP: successful ageing of humans and our microbial friends
22nd November 2017
17:00 Guy's Tower Lecture Theatre, Guy's Campus, King's College London.
Keynote speakers: 
Professor Mike Curtis 
Executive Dean, Dental Institute, King's College London
Talk: 'Symbiosis and Dysbiosis of the Microbiome – lessons from the mouse'.
Dr Marc-Emmauel Dumas
Reader in Translational Systems Medicine, Imperial College London 
Talk: 'Metabolomics in microbiomics research: from markers to mechanistic targets'.
20th June 2017
15:10, Edmond J. Safra Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus, King’s College London 
The ARK International lecture took place in partnership with the Older Person’s Fellowship Conference. 
Keynote speaker:
Professor Mikel Izquierdo
Head of the department of Health Sciences, University of Navarra, Spain.Talk: Using exercise to improve physical capacity and address frailty in older people: Towards a precision prescription era'.
Professor Finbarr Martin
Emeritus Consultant Geriatrician, Department of Ageing and Health, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. 
Talk: 'Future models of care in ageing society: Implications for workforce development'.

Older Person's Fellowship Conference 2017
20th June 2017, 09:00, Edmond J. Safra Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus, King’s College London
Quality Improvement and Leadership in Older People's Care: A national conference brings together excellence in nurse leadership in research and innovation in care, and service development for older people.
20th March 2017

17.00, Lecture Theatre 2, New Hunt’s House, Guy’s Campus, King’s College London

Keynote speaker:
Professor Johan Fritzell
Director, Aging Research Center (ARC)
Karolinska Institutet/Stockholm University
Talk: For better or for worse: Old-age health trends and health inequalities over the life course
Dr Maxim Freydin
Research Fellow in PainOmics
Department of TwinsUK Research
King’s College London
Talk: OMICs studies of chronic pain
15th December 2016

17.00, Lecture Theatre 2, New Hunt’s House, Guy’s Campus, King’s College London

Keynote speaker:
Professor Janet M Lord
Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
&MRC-ARUK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research
University of Birmingham
Human Ageing: Nature vs Nurture
Professor Catherine Shanahan
Cardiovascular Division
BHF Centre of Research Excellence
King’s College London
Biomarkers of premature vascularageing
3rd October 2016

17.00, Lecture Theatre 2, New Hunt’s House, Guy’s Campus, King’s College London

Keynote speaker:
Professor Dame Linda Partridge
Director, Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing
Cologne, Germany
Talk: Ageing healthily


Professor Stephen Harridge
Director, Centre of Human and Aerospace Physiological Sciences,
King’s College London
Talk: Ageing, Exercise and Physiological function

Previous ARK Lecture Series - special guest lectures

1st February 
ARK Special Guest Lecture: Olfactory function and dysfunction: From basic research on model animals to human neurodegenerative disease
Speaker: Prof. Brian Smith
Trustees Professor of ASU, School of Life Sciences, Associate Dean of Graduate Initiatives, Graduate College, Arizona State University, Arizona, USA 
When: 1st February 2018, 16:30 - 17:30
Where: Room G3 in New Hunt’s House, Guy's Campus 
9th November 2017
ARK Special Guest Lecture: Novel chemogenetic models of oxidative stress: implications for health and ageing
Speaker: Prof. Thomas M. Michel, MD, PhD, 
Prof Michel biography link. Cardiovascular Medicine specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Professor of Medicine (biochemistry) at Harvard Medical School
When: 9th November 2017, 17:00
Where: 4.63, Franklin Wilkins Building, Waterloo Campus
23rd October 2017
ARK Special Guest Lecture: Possible Role(s) of Declining Adaptive Homeostasis in Ageing and Neurodegeneration
Speaker: Prof. Kelvin Davies
Dean of Faculty, James E. Birren Chair of Gerontology, and Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Molecular Medicine, at The University of  Southern California,Los Angeles, CA, USA 
When: 23rd October 2017, 18:30
Where: Room G3 in New Hunt’s House, Guy's Campus 
12th October 2017
ARK Special Guest Lecture: Modelling ageing in the short-lived killifish Nothobranchius furzeri
In partnership with ARK and the Dental Institute 
Speaker: Prof. Christoph Englert
Leibniz Institute on Ageing, Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI), Jena, Germany
When: 12th October 2017, 12:00
Where: Lecture Room, Floor 18, Tower Wing, Guy's Campus
3rd October 2017
ARKSpecial Guest Lecture: Adult neurogenesis and the activity-dependent individualization of the brain
In partnership with ARK and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience
Speaker: Prof. Dr. med. Gerd Kempermann
German Centerfor Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and
DFG Research Center for Regenerative Therapies (CRTD), TU Dresden, Germany.
When: 3rd October 2017, 14:00
Where: The James Black Centre, Large Seminar Room, Denmark Hill Campus
30th March 2017
ARK special Guest Lecture: Laminopathies:  From Premature Ageing to Cardiomyopathy
Speaker: Dr Colin Stewart
A* Institute of Medical Biology
When: Thursday 30th March, 16.00
Where: Large Seminar Room, James Black Centre, Denmark Hill
29th March 2017

ARK Special Guest Lecture: The Oxygen Paradox, Adaptive Homeostasis and Ageing

Speaker: Professor Kelvin Davies
Davis School of Gerontology
USC Free Radical Institute
University of Southern California
When: Wednesday 29th March 2017, 14:00
Where: Room 4.63, Franklin Wilkins Building, Waterloo Campus
27th March 2017

ARK Special Guest Lecture: Ageing and Redox Homeostasis

Speaker: Professor Henry Foreman
Davis School of Gerontology
University of Southern California
When: Monday 27th March 2017, 16:30
Where: Room 4.63, Franklin Wilkins Building, Waterloo Campus


Previous ARK News 

January 2018

BBC news: Middle-age can reverse heart risk with exercise, study suggests

Dr Richard Siow, Vice-Dean for the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine at King's College London and Director of Ageing Research at King's, told the BBC the study was valuable in that shows we can delay cardiovascular ageing.

He said it provided further evidence that "we can, in a way, rejuvenate or make the cells in the heart, and also in the blood vessels for that matter, resemble younger cells through an exercise programme".

"I think that's a very important take-home message for those of us who may have a doom and gloom view there's nothing we can do about it. Yes there is, we can start by getting off the couch to have a more active lifestyle."

Read full story here

November 2017

Academics explore biological interventions for ageing populations


King’s College London’s Ageing Research at King's (ARK) initiative has collaborated with the Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the National University Health System (NUHS) to host Biology of Ageing: Impactful Interventions.

The conference, which took place in Singapore between 14-16 November 2017, brought together high profile academics from a range of top universities and organisations around the world to explore the possibilities of, and opportunities to, age healthily, reduce the effects of ageing and prevent onset of age related diseases. Themed around ‘impactful interventions’, the conference aimed to better understand the mechanisms of ageing and develop therapeutic interventions to extend human health-span in a practical and efficient way. 

King’s academics Dr Richard Siow, Vice Dean (International) of the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine and Committee Chair of ARK, and Professor Catherine Shanahan, School of Cardiovascular Medicine and Sciences, participated in the conference, along with ten PhD students and two post-doctoral researchers from King’s. Dr Siow, said: “The conference highlighted the latest findings by researchers in the ageing field from King’s, and other institutions in USA, Europe, Asia and Australia, to emphasise the importance of tackling and preventing age-related diseases, healthy ageing and the possibility of rejuvenation. The partnership between ARK with A*STAR and NUS has bought together international leaders in the field to develop a research network that addresses the mechanisms of ageing and longevity, and the challenges of ageing societies".


”Professor Barry Halliwell, Chairman of the Biomedical Research Council, A*STAR, and Senior Advisor to the President at NUS, said: "The conference was a great success and I am very grateful to King's for partnering with NUS and A*STAR to help make it so". Research themes covered in the conference ranged from neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease and exercise in the elderly through to development of fasting mimicking diets as an example of an efficient intervention for extending health span. Future annual conferences on ageing with the network of ARK international partners are being organised. 



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