Mountain View, CA / Berlin, Germany
We are happy to announce Dr. Ruth Itzhaki as a speaker for the 2019 Undoing Aging Conference.
Dr. Itzhaki’s first degree was in physics, her second was an MSc in Biophysics - being awarded one of the only two studentships then available in that subject - and finally a PhD in Biophysics - all London University degrees. She then moved to Cambridge, to the Department of Radiotherapeutics, holding a Beit Memorial Fellowship for Medical Research and the Wheldale-Onslow Memorial Fellowship at Newnham College. One paper she published there became a "citation classic". Her next move was to Manchester where she worked initially in the Paterson Laboratories (cancer research), and subsequently in the University of Manchester.
Her research topics have been diverse, most recently Alzheimer's disease, in particular, the role of viruses acting with a genetic factor in dementia, and the role of the genetic factor in determining outcome of infection by pathogens. For the virus work, she won an Investigator award from The Lancet, a Wellcome Trust Innovative award, two Olympus Foundation awards, an Alzheimer's Research Forum award and a Manchester City Council award. She is currently an emeritus professor at Manchester University, living in Oxford, where she has held an honorary senior research fellowship at the university of Oxford for the last 4 years.
"Ruth is a shining example of one of the qualities I most admire in a scientist: dogged perseverance in pursuit of one’s thesis, in spite of near-universal rejection of it by the mainstream community, until one finally wins them round. It’s only an admirable quality if you’re likely to be right, of course, so you’d better be a really good scientist in other ways too - and she sure is. Ruth spoke at a couple of my Cambridge conferences and I was always dismayed that such solid data and logic concerning the involvement of herpes simplex virus in Alzheimer’s disease was so widely ignored or dismissed for what seemed to be totally flimsy reasons. That’s not happening any more!", says Aubrey de Grey.