LISTEN: Good old life –Prof Brian Kennedy on helping Singaporeans live longer and more healthily

This content item was originally published on, a William Reed online publication.

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Singapore Healthy ageing

A greying population is the trend in APAC’s advanced economies and in the case of Singapore, a team of researchers is committed to the mission of identifying ways to help the population live a healthier, happier, stronger life as they age.

The endeavour is led by Professor Brian Kennedy, director at the Centre for Healthy Longevity at Singapore’s National University Health System (NUHS), who stars in the 10th​ episode of our NutraChampion podcast.

Prof Kennedy spent years studying the biological aspects of ageing in preclinical settings and now aims to validate the findings in human clinical studies in the role that he has taken up at NUHS three years ago. 

Prof Brian Kennedy
Professor Brian Kennedy

The upcoming trials, running for six months each, will include interventions ranging from exercise, dietary adjustment, and the intake of supplements such as calcium alpha-ketoglutarate which has shown anti-inflammatory effects.

The goal is to extend healthspan, referring to the biological age instead of the chronological age, by five years in Singapore’s population.

“I think that Singapore has a huge issue with ageing. By 2030, there will only be two workers for every retired person and that’s a recipe for an economic disaster.

“A lot of people who are older and have chronic diseases have poor life quality and so we think that if we can develop strategies that are cost-affordable and scalable, we can implement it into the Singapore population and keep people healthy for a longer time,” ​prof Kennedy said.

Prior to joining NUHS, he was the president and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing in California, with a focus on animal models research.

The start of his healthy ageing research journey could be traced back to the days when he did his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Working with renowned biologist Leonard Guarente, the team discovered how sirtuins – a family of protein – are linked to ageing.

Listen to find out more about his life and career.  

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