Finding the Fountain of Youth

marchant webPeople have been searching for the fountain of youth for centuries, buying bogus products and following charlatans who claimed they had the secret to extending human life. Only in the past few years, however, has real scientific progress been made in extending the duration and quality of human life through interventions that control the basic aging processes.

Gary Marchant, a professor of law at Arizona State University, will be in PebbleCreek at 10 a.m. March 19 to discuss what some of those interventions are and how legal and regulatory barriers are restricting their availability. Often, he says, those reviewing interventions base their conclusions on outdated medical models that assume aging is not a treatable or modifiable condition.  

Basic aging processes are the biggest risk factors for diseases of aging, such as cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and arthritis. Intervening could not only reduce the risk of chronic diseases, but also extend healthy life. 

Marchant will suggest ways to help overcome the obstacles to consumer access to these interventions, as well as the broader social and ethical implications of an extended human lifespan.

Marchant’s research interests include the use of genetic information in environmental regulation, legal aspects of personalized medicine and regulation of emerging technologies, such as nanotechnology. Prior to joining ASU's faculty in 1999, Marchant was a partner at the Washington, D.C., office of Kirkland & Ellis, where his practice focused on environmental and administrative law.

He received his Bachelor of Science and doctorate degrees in genetics at the University of British Columbia, before earning his masters degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government and his law degree from Harvard University.

Tickets to all Monday Morning Lectures are $4 at the door of the Renaissance Theater.

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