The search for a treatment for ageing

Policy Briefing

Published 10/01/2018

Ageing cover
Elderly person hand hold

The search for a treatment for ageing explores the latest scientific developments in the burgeoning field of ageing research, and identifies the key ethical and social issues raised.

In November 2016, we held a workshop to bring together experts from a range of fields to explore the ethical, social and policy issues raised by research that seeks to slow or prevent the biological processes of ageing. We also commissioned a background paper on longevity.


  • Geroscience research is exploring interventions that delay biological ageing and reduce the risk of age-related diseases and conditions.
  • Strong market demand is driving investment in geroscience research, particularly in the US. Investment in this area has been highlighted as a key opportunity for the UK in the future.
  • Animal research has led to the discovery of several potential interventions for ageing and some are already being tested in human clinical trials.
  • Many uncertainties remain about the effects that treatments for ageing would have on human health span and lifespan, the economy, models of care, health inequalities,personal identity, and how people work and live later in life.
  • There are calls for an ethical framework for geroscience research to help guide researchers, policy makers and consumers.

Project team


Ran Svenning Berg

Research and Policy Manager

Ranveig joined the NCOB in 2012 and leads the research and policy work in our Reproduction, Parenthood and Families priority area.

She has previously held communications and researcher roles at the NCOB, managing short projects on topics including surrogacy law reform, vaccine uptake and access, medical implants, experimental treatments, and AI in healthcare and research. Before that, Ranveig worked in communications for charities focussed on gun violence prevention and human rights.