Institute for Aging Research

Longevity Genes Project

Meet the Super Agers

Lilly Port, age 96

Lilly Port's suitcase doesn't spend much time in her closet. In the first half of this year, Lilly traveled to Israel, Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore and Australia. Her love of adventure began early in life. In 1941, she left Vienna with a doctorate in economics to come to the United States, where she became a radio talk-show host and author of one of the first books written to empower people with disabilities. Lilly owns an apartment in a retirement community—but says she's too young to live there. She still lives independently in her own house, enjoying regular walks and exercise classes at the community center.

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Harold Laufman, age 98

Harold Laufman lives every moment by the motto "never waste time." His inexhaustible curiosity fueled his drive to become a combat surgeon, violinist, commercial artist, entrepreneur and author. Harold, who put himself through medical school by selling his illustrations, became a leader in experimental surgery techniques. He served as professor of surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and director of the Institute for Surgical Studies at Montefiore Medical Center. Harold has been working on his latest book, To Thrive Past 95, which details his personal experience with aging.

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Irma Daniel, age 103

Fleeing Hitler's regime, Irma Daniel, her husband and five-year-old son left Germany in 1938. They arrived in Hoboken, NJ, with no belongings and no jobs. Despite their hardships, Irma saw this tumultuous time as a "fantastic beginning." Taking up residence in a tiny attic apartment, Irma seized every opportunity that came her way. She took a variety of jobs—from scrubbing floors to selling clothes to taking care of the elderly. She believes that working and "never sitting still" are the best ways to stay young. Today, Irma lives in her own home, exercises regularly and leads an active social life.

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Irving Kahn, age 104

Investment advisor Irving Kahn began his career before the stock market crash of 1929 and is widely respected in the field of value investing. In 1978, he founded Kahn Brothers Group, Inc. Today, the company manages over $700 million in assets. Irving, who is chair of the firm, goes into his Madison Avenue office five days a week, where he works with his son and grandson. Irving reads at least two financial newspapers daily, keeps in touch with friends and clients all over the world via the Internet and says it would be foolish to retire.

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Nir Barzilai, M.D., Principal Investigator

The Longevity Genes Project at Einstein is a study of more than 500 healthy centenarians, near-centenarians and their children. In this video, principal investigator Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research and director of the Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging, discusses the findings to date. Dr. Barzilai also explains his personal and professional quest for ways to significantly delay age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and to help people live longer, healthier lives.

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The Longevity Genes Project

Nir Barzilai, M.D.

In the Longevity Genes Project at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Nir Barzilai and his team conducted genetic research on more than 500 healthy elderly people between the ages of 95 and 112—and on their children.

The identification of longevity genes by Einstein researchers could lead to new drug therapies that might help people live longer, healthier lives and avoid or significantly delay age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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Contact Us

Director 

Nir Barzilai, MD
Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research
Professor of Medicine and Genetics
Director, Institute for Aging Research
(718) 430-3144
Fax: (718) 430-8557
nir.barzilai@einstein.yu.edu 

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