About this event

  • Date and time Mon 26 Oct 2020 from 5:00pm to 6:05pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Medical Genetics

The second webinar in The genetics of… series. This webinar will give you fascinating insights into the role that genes play in living a long life. We will explore whether there is sufficient evidence to support genetic determination of mortality, a journey that will take us round the epigenetic clock via the impact of the environment on health.

  • Discover how studies have given us insight into the role genetics in conferring longevity 
  • Find out what studies are going on world-wide and what lessons we can learn from them in improving population health 
  • Recognise that environmental exposures can influence your genetic health and how to reverse it 

The genetics of…… series has been developed following feedback from delegates attending the Genetics of COVID-19 webinars over the last few weeks. Presented by the Medical Genetics section of the Royal Society of Medicine, this series of talks will focus on the role of genetics in different areas of health and well-being.

A CPD certificate with CPD credit will be issued to those joining each webinar live and will be automatically issued after 7 days  to those who watched the webinar live in its entirety. Those who watch the webinar on-demand will receive a CPD certificate 30 days after the webinar has gone live.  

Join in the conversation online using #RSMLive 
Follow us on Twitter: @RoySocMed 


Key speakers

Professor Paola Sebastiani

Project Director, Center for Quantitative Methods and Data Sciences, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Tufts Medical Centre, Boston Hospital, USA

Speaker's biography

Paola Sebastiani, PhD, received training in Mathematics and Statistics in Italy and the United Kingdom and held faculty positions in Italy, the UK, and Boston University before joining Tufts Medical Center in 2020, where she is director of BERD, and the Center on Quantitative Methods and Data Science in the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies.

Dr. Sebastiani is a multidisciplinary biostatistician, with a long track record of developing new methodologies in Bayesian statistics, decision theory, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and statistical experimental design, in addition to teaching, mentoring, and leading interdisciplinary research projects. Paola has introduced innovative Bayesian techniques for the analysis of genomic and genetic data and was a pioneer in using networks to model the genetic and phenotypic basis of the complications of sickle cell anaemia. She is also a renowned biostatistician in the fields of the biology and epidemiology of human aging and longevity: she introduced original methods to design observational studies of human longevity, and to discover genetic and non-genetic risk factors that contribute to healthy aging. She is Co-PI of the NIH funded Longevity Consortium, and of the Long Life Family Study.

She is also multiple PI of a project to characterize the molecular targets of the protective APOE2 allele, and of a project that will generate multi-omics profiles of humans and other species to discover targets for healthy aging. Her current research focuses on the genetics and epidemiology of extreme human longevity, analysis of rare genetic variants, and integrative analysis of multi-omics data using statistical and machine learning methods.

Steve Hovarth

Professor Steve Horvath

Professor of Human Genetics and Biostatistics, UCLA School of Public Health, California, USA 

Speaker's biography

Dr Horvath's research lies at the intersection of aging research, epidemiology, chronic diseases, epigenetics, genetics, and systems biology. He works on all aspects of biomarker development with a particular focus on genomic biomarkers of aging. He developed a highly accurate multi-tissue biomarker of aging known as the epigenetic clock. Dr Horvath developed systems biologic approaches such as weighted gene co-expression network analysis which lend themselves for integrating gene genomic data sets. These methods have been used for a broad spectrum of age related diseases including neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease. Dr. Horvath received a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1995 and a Doctorate of Science in Biostatistics from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2000.


View the programme here

Welcome and introduction
Is human longevity inherited?

Professor Paola Sebastiani, Project Director, Center for Quantitative Methods and Data Sciences, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Tufts Medical Centre, Boston Hospital, USA 

Aging and the epigenetic clock

Professor Steve Horvath, Professor of Human Genetics and Biostatistics, UCLA School of Public Health, California, USA 

Living a long life: how genes can keep us young

Professor Irene Maeve Rea, Professor Emerita, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queens University Belfast

Panel discussion
Close of meeting



More from this series:

MGP51 Promo
Webinar CPD

The genetics of obesity: Episode 3

The third webinar in The genetics of… series. This webinar will explore the role of genetics in obesity. Join us to find out from leaders in the field about the role our genes play in contributing to the battle of the bulge. 

MGP53 Promo
Webinar CPD

The genetics of musicality, intelligence and sporting ability: Episode 4

The fourth webinar in The genetics of… series. In this webinar, specialists will be exploring the role that genetics plays in musical and sporting ability and whether there is evidence to suggest that intelligence could be inherited. We will also be joined by the incredibly talented musical guest Sheku Kanneh-Mason and his mother Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason

*Registration for this webinar will close 2 hours prior to the start time. You will receive the webinar link 2 hours before the meeting. Late registrations will not be accepted. 

Webinar recordings will be available for registered delegates up to 30 days after the live webinar, via Zoom. The link will be sent 24 hours after the webinar takes place. 

This webinar will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels.  

Man searching computer

Join the RSM and get free access to digital learning resources

The RSM has an extensive digital learning and online e-resources platform. As a member you'll enjoy free access to a wealth of online  resources, including 5,000 subscription and open access e-journals, 2,000 e-books and 5 key medical databases, to support your clinical decision-making and research.

Become a member