We don’t believe ill-health is an inevitable part of growing old, says Janet Lord, Professor of Immune Cell Biology at the University of Birmingham.
That one in five of the population will be aged over 65 by the year 2020 is a cause for celebration, but not for complacency. Some 25% of longevity is determined by genetics, leaving 75% available to be influenced by other factors. Influencing these other factors is key to having a fun and productive old age.
Professor Lord’s work is in understanding our immune system in sickness and in health. She is particularly interested in why our immune system deteriorates as we age making us more susceptible to infections such as pneumonia. However, this interest in immune function extends into developing treatments for a range of diseases that involve the ageing immune system, particularly chronic inflammatory disease (Rheumatoid Arthritis).
She’s also one of the top-notch scientists the University of Birmingham has identified as their “heroes‘. Hence you can see her face on adverts for UoB, including on the London Underground. She was also selected to be interviewed on film for the Royal Society at 350 series. And there’s our YouTube interview with her here: