PIONEERS

David Sinclair

David Sinclair TIME 100
Rick Groleau and Jake Miller

The geneticist who is making age reversal real

For David Sinclair, the pursuit of youth had a humble start — in yeast. A professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, he identified genes that allow yeast to get by on fewer calories and extend their life span by about 30%. Nice for yeast — not for hungry humans.

Last year, Sinclair upped his game and pinned down a chemical known as NAD that actually reverses the aging process in cells. NAD levels tend to drop by as much as 50% as we get older; if we could restore what’s lost, aging cells might behave as if they were younger. Immortality is out of reach, but living more years with a body that’s robust enough to make the most of them is a real possibility.

Agus is a professor of medicine and the author of A Short Guide to a Long Life

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser