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WELL 03 — Aging: Science and Technology

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Jul 22—Aug 26
Time: 7:00—9:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jul 24
Unit: 1
Tuition: $410
Instructor(s): Sohila Zadran, Ronjon Nag
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—9:00 pm (PT)
Jul 22—Aug 26
6 weeks
Refund Date
Jul 24
1 Unit
Sohila Zadran, Ronjon Nag
Registration opens May 17, 8:30 am (PT)
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Why do we get old? Does aging have to be a problem? Or is deteriorating as we age just another disease that can ultimately be cured? How our body reacts to aging relates to our biology, which includes the aging processes for molecules and for humans. This course will begin with a survey of the biology of aging, starting with changes occurring at the molecular and cellular level and then analyzing the consequences at the systems level, including how age-related diseases manifest and their current clinical prognoses. From there we will transition to the biology of extending human lifespan, looking at research on how centenarians have managed to reach their advanced age. Lastly, we will take a deep dive into how technology could help us live longer through enhanced monitoring, predictive diets, and exercise regimens, as well as ways to store our memories and personalities after death. Our specific topics will include molecular theories of aging, the impact of oxidative stress on cell and organ function, age-related diseases, the quest for immortality, and innovations not only to extend life but also to improve the quality of life as we age. Students will leave this course with a fundamental understanding of the human aging process, its clinical relevance, and current innovations to both understand the aging process and to treat issues associated with aging.


Sohila Zadran received a PhD in neuroscience and neuroengineering and was a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech. She has founded or co-founded four biotech companies and serves as an advisor to several companies and accelerators including Berkeley SkyDeck and QB3. She has also worked for various Silicon Valley venture capital firms including Pacific Capital, BCG Digital Ventures, Founders Fund, and Khosla Ventures. She is a venture advisor at R42 AI and Longevity Fund and an associate partner at GreatPoint Ventures. Zadran is also executive director of AI Foundation’s nonprofit board.

Fellow, Stanford Center for the Study of Language and Information; President, R42 Group

Ronjon Nag has invented and deployed artificial intelligence systems for over three decades. He received a PhD in engineering from Cambridge, an MS from MIT, and the IET Mountbatten Medal at The Royal Institution. He is a Stanford Interdisciplinary Distinguished Careers Institute Fellow. Companies he has co-founded or advised have been sold to Motorola, BlackBerry, and Apple.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.