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Ageing Research at King's


Ageing Research at King's (ARK) works in partnership with the following initiatives at King's.

The Francis Crick Institute

The Francis Crick Institute is the new national institute for biomedical research focusing on new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases. Its innovative approach involves interdisciplinary collaborative research in an environment designed to encourage new discovery through shared science in partnership with King’s, Medical Research Council (MRC), Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, UCL and Imperial College London. One of the key cross-cutting science questions at the Crick is how do organisms maintain health and balance throughout life and as they age. This research will aid the understanding of normal healthy ageing and processes involved in human age-related diseases. Find out more about the King's partnership with the Crick

Kings Health Partners

King's Health Partners is an Academic Health Science Centre where world-class research, education and clinical practice are brought together for the benefit of patients. King's Health Partners aim to make sure that the lessons from research are used more swiftly, effectively and systematically to improve healthcare services for people with physical and mental health care problems.

Health Innovation Network

The Healthy Ageing clinical theme at the Health Innovation Network is primarily concerned with the promotion of healthy living and the prevention and management of illness and disability affecting older people. Ageing, together with an accumulation of health and social changes over time, may result in increasing frailty and these changes can happen more quickly for some people than others and can often be reversed or overcome quite simply. The work programme reflects the interests of the member organisations, and contributes to the overall ambition for ‘healthy ageing’ in the south London population. Find out more about Healthy Ageing at Health Innovations Network here

Plus Alliance 

The PLuS Alliance combines the strengths of three leading universities Arizona State University, King’s College London and University of New South Wales Sydney, to find research-led solutions and expand access to world-class learning, to make tangible differences to world issues such as global ageing and contribute to a more just and sustainable future. The PLuS Alliance is building a global innovation network with like-minded people and organisations across academia, government, industry, philanthrophy and communities.The PLuS Alliance also provides access to world-class online education programmes, giving some students the opportunity to take a PLuS shared module from one of the other partner institutions.

Transcampus initiative

The ARK-TransCampus partnership is a unique initiative between two of Europe’s leading academic institutions, King's College London and Technische Universität Dresden. This partnership aims to stimulate, support and enable collaborations in fields of research within the ageing themes through academic exchange and sharing of resources to promote translational projects and knowledge transfer. Current TransCampus academics with expertise in ageing research are listed below and links with researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology & Genetics in Dresden are being developed.

Professor Stefan Bornstein

Stefan Bornstein currently is director of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University Hospital of Dresden, Dean of International Affairs and Development at the Medical Faculty of the University of Dresden and member of the supervisory board of the University Hospital Dresden.

He is also Chair and Honorary Consultant for Diabetes and Endocrinology at King’s College London.

He is well known for his pioneering work on the endocrine stress system. He has been the first to describe in a comprehensive way the correlation of the two major stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol in health and disease and as such contributed to our understanding of adrenal regulation and adrenal disease, which is closely linked to aging, looking at both the chromaffin and cortical cell system. He performed pioneering work in the field of neuroendocrinology, metabolic disease and stress. His main current research interests focus on steroid- and catecholamine metabolism, immune endocrine crosstalk, type 1 diabetes, and geronto-endocrinology where he studies the complex adrenal microenvironment, the recently discovered adrenal stem cells and the regulation of the adrenal cellular crosstalk and its effect on aging. Furthermore, he has established the only active islet transplantation program in Germany and is currently directing the largest diabetes centre in the country.

Find out more about Professor Bornstein on the King's Transcampus webpages, or the Transcampus website (external). 

Professor Andreas Birkenfeld

The scientific interest of Andreas Birkenfeld's group is focused on basic mechanisms of a healthy ageing process and longevity as well as the interaction between metabolism and ageing. Specifically, they are interested in better understanding how ageing leads to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome and how metabolism can be modelled to promote a healthy ageing process. Moreover, they study the role of plasma membrane transporters of TCA cycle intermediates in healthy ageing. The approach is to combine clinical and basic research in order to bring topics from bench to bedside and from bedside to bench and to identify targets for inducing a healthy ageing process in model organisms as well as human volunteers.

Find out more about Professor Birkenfield on the King's Transcampus webpages, or the Transcampus website (external). 

Professor Lorenz Hofbauer

Lorenz C. Hofbauer, MD is Professor of Endocrinology and Medicine, Chair of the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes and Director of the Center for Healthy Aging at TU Dresden Medical Center. His research focus is on mechanisms of muskuloskeltal aging; including osteoimmonology, osteoporosis, interactions of diabetes and bone, and the development of novel smart biomaterials to promote bone regeneration. His group runs phase 3 clinical studies on novel therapies against age-related bone loss and sarcopenia. He is involved in the EU consortium DO-HEALTH which assesses the effects of lifestyle intervention, omega 3 fatty acid, and vitamin D on the health of 2100 healthy European seniors. The Center for Healthy Aging provides state-of-the art prevention as well as medical care for age-related diseases by focusing on physical and nutritional intervention and interdisciplinary in/out-patient management.

Professor Gerd Kempermann

Gerd Kempermann is Professor in the Center for Regenerative Therapies at TU Dresden (CRTD) and Speaker of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Disease in Dresden (DZNE). Main topics of his work are the function and activity-dependent regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis and how both interact in health and disease, especially during healthy cognitive aging. More information about Professor Kempermann's biography can be found at CRTD and at DZNE.

Professor Henning Morawietz

The scientific interest of Henning Morawietz's group is focused on the impact of risk factors (e.g. aging, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, smoking, physical inactivity) on atherosclerosis and heart failure. Experimental and clinical studies analyse oxidative stress, oxidised low-density lipoprotein, aldosterone, different types of blood flow and increased physical activity. The group aims to develop strategies of healthy cardiovascular ageing.


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