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University of Iowa News Release

Release: March 26, 2003

Hayflick To Discuss Biology Of Aging At UI April 8

Leonard Hayflick, Ph.D., professor of anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, will deliver the 2003 Parkin Memorial Lecture on Aging Tuesday, April 8 in the Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility (MERF) at the University of Iowa.

The event will begin with a welcome reception from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the MERF atrium. Hayflick's lecture, "The Biology of Human Aging and Longevity Determination," will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Prem Sahai Auditorium, Room A-1110 in MERF.

Hayflick will discuss his assertion that all theories of aging are derivative of one fundamental concept: age changes result from increasing molecular disorder that changes adult homeostasis, leading to increasing vulnerability to disease and the likelihood of death. The failure to distinguish age changes from disease or pathology is a fundamental problem that has not only blurred efforts to understand the biology of aging and the determination of longevity, but has profound political and economic consequences that have compromised the field of biogerontology.

Hayflick, who received his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1956, has studied the aging process for more than 30 years. Often referred to as the "father of cellular gerontology," Hayflick discovered the finite replicative capacity of normal human cells, which he interpreted as aging at the cellular level and which became known as the "Hayflick Limit."

Hayflick is a past president of the Gerontological Society of America, a founding member of the council of the National Institute of Aging, and currently a professor of anatomy at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. He is the recipient of many research prizes and awards, including the 1991 Sandoz Prize for Gerontological Research. In addition, he has authored the popular book, "How and Why We Age," published in 1994.

The event is sponsored by the UI Center on Aging, the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and its department of anatomy and cell biology, and the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences department of biological sciences.

The Parkin lectureship was endowed by a gift from the Retirement Research Foundation of Chicago, Ill., in memory of Joseph Parkin, the former president of the foundation who attended the UI. The lecture focuses on aspects of research, practice or policies that affect the elderly population.

The reception and lecture are free and open to UI faculty, staff and students, as well as the general public. For more information, contact Trish Bonica at the UI Center on Aging at (319) 335-7731 or via e-mail at

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACT(S): Media: David Pedersen, (319) 335-8032, Program: Trish Bonica, UI Center on Aging, (319) 335-7731,