Over the past 150 years, progress in medical care has allowed us to live longer but not necessarily healthier lives, opening a gap between lifespan (the total number of years we live) and healthspan (the years we live in good health). We’re now facing an ever-increasing problem of an ageing population that comes with both social and economic implications. Closing the gap between life expectancy and disease-free years should therefore be of utmost priority. Advancements in longevity research have skyrocketed over the past couple of decades, culminating in the elucidation of common molecular mechanisms of ageing that could now be used to develop safe and effective interventions aimed at extending healthspan. Thus, one of the major challenges that lies ahead is to translate this scientific innovation into products and services available to the wider public. Here we discuss the challenges of bringing science innovation to the market and why strategic investments in this sector have the potential to not only allow ageing populations to live healthier and more active lives but also provide a systemic relief from the economic burden associated with an ageing population.
Dr Elisabeth Roider is Harvard- and Swiss-trained, internationally renowned physician-scientist with a strong entrepreneurial background. She currently holds a position as an attending and principal investigator at the University Hospital of Basel, Switzerland, and a visiting scientist position at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA. Her scientific focus is in the areas of immunology, microbiology, biochemistry, redox biology and cell metabolism. Elisabeth leads a multidisciplinary team including clinicians, basic scientists, machine learning specialists, mathematicians, statisticians, and epidemiologists, allowing a bench-to-bedside approach to solve complex, medical questions in the most efficient way. Her work has resulted in various high-impact publications, patents and awards, including the ground-breaking discovery of a novel mechanism of skin pigmentation.
Driven by the mission to identify and solve the most relevant medical and public health problems, Elisabeth cofounded the Swiss Venture Studio Maximon as a Partner where she serves as a Chief Scientific and Medical Officer. In this role she combines her clinical, scientific and entrepreneurial experience to support scientists and physicians in transforming true innovation into solid solutions and products, helping patients and consumers to achieve a better, healthier and longer life.