Reducing Human Aging:

Clues from How and Why We Age


David L. Wilson, Ph.D.


This is an online book presenting the case that we are within a generation or two of significantly extending human lifespan, perhaps as much as a doubling of longevity to 150 years. It includes a general outline of the way we are likely to succeed, and provides sufficient background to allow for an understanding of the recent advances in biology that will make this breakthrough possible. The ability to reduce the rate at which we age will have profound consequences for society, and some of these are described as well. The book is written for a general audience, and assumes only a reasonable level of intelligence on the part of readers. My hope is that this book can contribute to our being more prepared for the decisions that will have to be made by individuals and by society when human longevity is extended.

The book is free for personal use and may be downloaded as a series of pdf files, one for each chapter, by clicking on the links below. The author reserves copyrights. Anyone with an interest in making copies beyond one for personal use should contact the author for permission. I can be reached at davidwilson@miami.edu or David Wilson, Professor, Dept. of Biology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124-0421. This version of the book was completed late in 2007 and placed online in 2008.


Key words: aging, senescence, biology of aging, longevity, extending lifespan, human life expectancy, repair and maintenance.


About the Author: David Wilson is a professor of biology, and of physiology and biophysics, at the University of Miami. He obtained his B.S. degree in physics from the University of Maryland and Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Chicago, where he was a NIH fellow and James Franck Dissertation fellow. He was a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow at California Institute of Technology. At the University of Miami, he has served as deputy dean for academic affairs at the School of Medicine, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, chair of the Faculty Senate, associate provost for instructional advancement, as well as in other administrative positions. He received UM’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 1994 and 2006, as well as the Outstanding Biology Educator Award in 2001, 2006, and 2007. He was recipient of the James McLamore Outstanding Service Award in 2001. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Gerontological Society of America. His current research interests include biology of aging and biology of mind and consciousness. He has over 50 published research papers, and his last book, written with Zack Bowen, Science and Literature: Bridging the Two Cultures, was published in 2001. He is a 5-time state champion cyclist.


Acknowledgements and Dedication: I thank Rob Burgess for his help in getting the book online, and Mariah Wilson for suggestions that improved the readability of the manuscript. This book is dedicated to the memory of Peggy.



Contents and pdf files:

Download entire book here

Chapter-by-chapter downloads: