Dr. Valter Longo is a Gerontology and Biological Sciences Professor and the Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California–Leonard Davis School of Gerontology in Los Angeles, one of the leading centers for research on aging and age-related disease. Dr. Longo is also the Director of the Longevity and Cancer Program at the Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) in Milan, Italy.
His studies focus on the fundamental mechanisms of aging in simple organisms and mice, and on how these mechanisms can be translated to humans. The aim of Professor Longo’s decades-long scientific research has been to identify the genetic mechanisms that predispose individuals to ageing, and in turn, develop treatment strategies to slow down and even combat age-related diseases. The Longo laboratory has identified some of the key genetic pathways that regulate aging in simple organisms and has demonstrated that the inactivation of such pathways can reduce the incidence or progression of multiple diseases in mice and humans. His laboratory has also developed dietary interventions, like short periods of calorie restriction, that protect normal cells while sensitizing cancer cells to chemotherapy. These interventions are now being tested in many US and European hospitals. The Longo laboratory recently published key findings on a randomized 5-day periodic dietary intervention and found that it reduces the risk factors and markers associated with aging and diseases.
Professor Longo has received numerous awards for his work: the 2010 Nathan Shock Lecture Award from the National Institute on Aging (NIA/NIH), the 2013 Vincent Cristofalo “Rising Star” Award in Aging Research from the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR), the 2016 Merz Professorship, the 2016 Boerhaave Professorship, the 2016 Jubilee Professorship, and the 2016 Glenn Award for research on aging. In 2018, he was named by Time Magazine one of the 50 most influential people in health care for his research on the Longevity Diet as a way to improve health and prevent diseases.
Professor Longo’s objectives are to offer treatment and other health services to patients with serious diseases and to those who seek to halt the onset of such diseases; to educate the public–both adults and youth–about how to live a long and healthy life; to sponsor research to develop innovative, creative, and integrative treatment strategies that are affordable and accessible to all; and to identify ways to prevent specific diseases.
To achieve these goals, Professor Longo devolves all profits from his books to research and programs, some of them named above and all made possible by his Foundations, Fondazione Valter Longo Onlus in Milan and Create Cures Foundation in Los Angeles. These books include the best seller The Longevity Diet and the 2 Italian books Alla tavola della longevità (At the Longevity Table), and La longevità inizia da bambini (The Seeds of Longevity are Planted in Childhood).