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Research Center for Silver Science

  • Research Center
  • Major Research Areas
  • Vision and Direction

Research center

Center Director

Professor Lee, Jong-ho

  • Ph.D. Clinical Nutrigenomics, Oregon State University
  • Associate Professor, Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Human Ecology,
    Yonsei University

Introduction to Research Center

The objectives of the Research Center are to identify risk factors of aging-related diseases by considering genetic aspects as well as environmental aspects, to develop preventive management programs, and to establish an aging-related disease prevention and management system.

Furthermore, the Research Center will be a leading research institute in the 21st century bioscience era by strengthening the competence of researchers by centralizing human resources for aging-related studies which are now distributed to natural science, medicine, and nutrition studies and by comprehensively conducting interdisciplinary studies.

One purpose of the Research Center is to foster human resources with comprehensive and specialized knowledge to confront the era of an aging society, which is a result of a distinctive increase in the elderly population, by developing an educational program for holistic aging-related concepts and performing needed education through the program.

In contrast to advanced countries where many studies have been conducted, there are a significantly small number of experts in aging studies. In addition, because aging science is essentially multidisciplinary, an integrated approach is necessary among various disciplines including fundamental aging science, applied aging science, and clinical aging medicine.

The educational program developed by the Research Center will be applied to foster specialists who have expertise in each of the academic areas as well as an integrated view on all aging studies. In addition, world-class aging science specialists will be fostered through active academic exchange with excellent education groups in Korea and international aging study groups.

Operation of Interdisciplinary Program of Aging Science

The Research Center operates the Interdisciplinary Program of Aging Science to foster excellent human resources that are in high demand in the society through a curriculum different from a conventional one by adding application theory, embracing clinical aging studies, and elderly health promotion programs to the curriculum which will help to acquire an integrated view required in the aging-related industry. The curriculum of the Interdisciplinary Program includes fundamental subjects related to aging so that basic concepts may be established, application subjects so that the basic concepts may be used, and genomics, clinical genetics, clinical aging studies, and metabolomics so that concepts about not only aging-related environmental factors but also correlations between aging-related diseases and genetic factors can be established.

Major Research Areas

  • Discovery of nutrition/metabolism markers for development of cardiovascular aging control program
  • Development of healthy aging customized nutrition by using nutrigenetic/nutrigenomic technologies
  • Evaluation of industrial feasibility of aging-related disease studies
  • Genomic studies of aging-related diseases
  • Establishment of aging-related diseases and dementia treatment strategy

Vision and Direction of the Research Center

In the past, studies in aging science were conducted on aging mechanisms and life span controlling mechanisms at an individual level. However, due to the rapid increase in the elderly population in recent times, the goal of aging studies has turned to ‘healthy and independent living without disease or disability based on understanding the causes and procedures of aging.’ Therefore, it is an international trend to conduct multidisciplinary studies including medicine, basic science, and applied science. The importance of practical research is increasing to prevent and treat aging-related diseases and to help health management of the elderly.

Accordingly, to prepare for such a trend from academic and practical aspects in advance, the Research Center will form a multidisciplinary integrated research organization, increase international research capability, increase industrial added value, and foster creative and specialized human resources capable of actively confronting the super-aged society by establishing the education model for the Interdisciplinary Program of Aging science.

1) Multidisciplinary research for investigation of aging mechanism and prevention and treatment of aging-related diseases
The Research Center for the Science of Aging has a structure in which multidisciplinary research can be conducted in the areas of basic aging science, applied aging science, and clinical aging medicine. Through integrated studies among the individual research areas, the Research Center will conduct aging genetic function and mechanism studies for, nutrigenomics/nutrigenetics studies, metabolomics investigation studies for aging-related disease treatment, and studies on health management methods for the elderly population depending on genetic and environmental factors. These studies are expected to increase the core research competence in prevention and disease treatment technologies.

2) Creation of world-class competence and increase in industrial added value
For internalization of research competence, the Research Center will create knowledge and competence in aging science and technology at an international level through joint research activities, short-term and long-term training programs, and visiting educational programs in cooperation with world-class aging science research institutes. In addition, the Research Center will prepare methods for the industrialization and commercialization of technologies based on the research results by increasing the industrial added value of aging science research by establishing an organic industry-education cooperative system.

3) Fostering of core research capability by establishing an education model for an Interdisciplinary Program for Aging Science
The Research Center will establish an educational model to form a world-class aging science research center and to establish an education and research environment for the Interdisciplinary Program of Aging Science with international competence so that human resources specializing in aging science research can be fostered. The Research Center will be a leader in the area of healthy and treatment technology by developing human resources.

Through these research and education activities, the Research Center will be able to fulfill its objectives which are as follows:
1) Secure a comparative advantage in education and research programs through multidisciplinary cooperation, 2) Foster creative human resources in healthy and treatment technology, and 3) Be a leader in the area of healthy and treatment technology.