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WELL 03 — Live Longer, Live Better: Exploring the Science of Aging

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Oct 26—Dec 7
Time: 7:00—9:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Oct 28
Unit: 1
Tuition: $460
Instructor(s): Ronjon Nag, Artem Trotsyuk
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on November 23
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—9:00 pm (PT)
Oct 26—Dec 7
6 weeks
Refund Date
Oct 28
1 Unit
Ronjon Nag, Artem Trotsyuk
Please Note: No class on November 23
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Why do we get old? Is aging another disease that can ultimately be cured? Can our lifespans be extended? How are centenarians different from others? In this course, we will seek to unravel the mysteries controlling human lifespan by journeying through the science and technology of aging. We will begin by examining current theories explaining the process of aging. This includes an investigation into programmed longevity, which suggests organisms have an inherent set of genes that determine their lifespan, as well as the wear and tear theory, which claims the gradual accumulation of cell damage causes aging. We’ll then explore how men and women age differently (women experience menopause, with increased bone loss, whereas men tend to more quickly experience cognitive decline) and look at research programs at Stanford and elsewhere focused on aging science. We will conclude by examining innovations intended to improve the quality of life as we age, including how technology can help us live longer through enhanced monitoring, predictive diets, and exercise regimens; the ways that artificial intelligence can create robotic and software assistants; and even how we may be able to store our memories and personalities after we pass away. Students will leave this course with a fundamental understanding of human aging, its clinical relevance, and innovations to understand the aging process and treat issues associated with it.

No science background is required.

Adjunct Professor in Genetics, Stanford School of Medicine; Visiting Fellow, Stanford Center for the Study of Language and Information; President, R42 Group

Ronjon Nag has been building AI systems for 40 years and sold companies he co-founded or advised to Motorola, RIM/Blackberry, and Apple. He is a venture capitalist with his firm R42, which invests in AI and longevity companies. He became a Stanford Interdisciplinary Distinguished Careers Institute Fellow in 2016. He teaches AI, genes, and ethics courses at the Stanford School of Medicine. Nag received a PhD from Cambridge, an MS from MIT, the IET Mountbatten Medal, the $1 million Verizon Powerful Answers Award, and the 2021 IEEE-SCV Outstanding Engineer Award. He is co-founder and part owner of some 100 AI and biotech startups.

GSK.ai Ethics Fellow, Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, Stanford School of Medicine

Artem Trotsyuk teaches longevity science and bio–venture capital courses at the Stanford School of Medicine and School of Engineering. As an AI Ethics Fellow at Stanford, he looks at the dual use implications of AI in biomedical research. He is involved in the entrepreneurship ecosystem both at Stanford and in the Bay Area, broadly, as well as in New York and Boston. He advises early-stage founders on navigating the complexities of startup formation and fundraising milestones. Trotsyuk received a PhD in bioengineering and artificial intelligence and an MS in computer science from Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

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