By Cristy Lytal
Valter Longo, PhD, is out to prove that gerontology is a young man’s game. The 46-year-old USC professor of gerontology and biological sciences has dedicated his career to slowing the implacable process of aging.
Growing up in Genoa, Italy, Longo spent countless hours emulating the guitar stylings of rock legends Jimi Hendrix and Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits. At age 16, he moved to Chicago to take jazz guitar lessons before heading to the University of North Texas to continue his studies.
During his second year of college as a music major, Longo was tapped to direct the marching band. As his music sensibilities were deeply rooted in rock, he refused, and the music department told him to find a different major. “Without hesitation, I said, ‘I want to learn about aging,’” he said.
After receiving his PhD in biochemistry at UCLA, Longo decided to take a molecular approach to aging, so he joined the UCLA labs of chemist Joan S. Valentine, PhD, and geneticist Edith B. Gralla, PhD. … Read More »