Chaos of Delight – Episode 14
I’ve completely changed field.
I think, actually, the thing that’s happened to me most recently is that I’ve completely changed field. I’ve gone from doing a PhD in sort of magnetism and physics over to looking at biology and trying to understand the ageing process. So I think what was a real revelation for me was understanding how important it is that we do understand the ageing process, because 85% of deaths in the developed world result from diseases which predominantly affect people who are older, everything from heart disease and cancer and that sort of stuff down to even the flu, to which you’re much more susceptible when you’re older because your immune system is weaker. I think coming to an understanding that the underlying ageing process is something that’s tractable, something that we can understand and something that we can potentially do something about to either slow down or maybe even reverse it, to maybe get rid of this massive, massive toll of death and disease is something that’s really revolutionised the way I think about medicine. So rather than seeing it as this piecemeal attack on various different diseases, sort of almost the physicist in me has been excited by this fundamental underlying principle that might allow us to create preventative medicine for a whole spectrum of different conditions which are arguably the deadliest thing happening in the world today.