Welcome. Ageing remains a physiological controversy. As we begin to understand the molecular basis of disease, we also discover the molecular basis of normal ageing. More importantly in clinical medicine, we appreciate the important differences between the phenotype of ageing and the underlying “-genomics”. Many examples from our own clinical experiences have served to enlighten us and stimulate our asking and examining provocative research questions. Is hypertension merely the result of atherosclerosis or another vascular pathology, or could it be genomically programmed to confer some evolutionary advantage? At what point is perimenopause truly differentiated from premature ovarian failure; why does this point change over time in human evolution; and why are the effects of estrogen distributed across all physiological systems? What accounts for the age-related differences in clinical expression of certain malignancies, such as thyroid and breast cancer? Can human ageing be expressed using new model system biology and can we grasp the extent of complexity associated with it? To study ageing is also to study the effects of lifestyle. This is accomplished at the molecular, cellular, and organismal level. The study of lifestyle and its effects on physiology may hold the key to understanding the various links among obesity, diabetes, and chronic degenerative diseases that compromise human longevity and make us feel “old”. From a global perspective, we are growing older and the imperative to understand mechanisms of healthy aging is much greater. The 2010 University of Pisa Multidisciplinary Conference will address Lifestyle and Aging. Our program covers many diverse hot topics including the role of stem cells, hormones and the cardiovascular system in ageing and addresses many medical (cancer) and social (nutrition, physical activity) issues. We thank all of you for participating in this Conference and we look forward to meeting you as well as collaborating with you in future initiatives.
Angelo Carpi Jeffrey Mechanick Nader Abraham