Buck CEO Brian Kennedy Travels to Central America

Recent Trip Highlights Preventative Care and Potential Collaborations

February 1, 2012  Novato, CA  Buck Institute President and CEO Brian Kennedy, PhD recently traveled to Costa Rica and El Salvador, setting the stage for scientific collaborations that would bring postdoctoral fellows to Buck Institute labs and exploring the possibility of scheduling a Buck symposium on aging that would take place in Latin America.

Kennedy met with officials of Fusades: The Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development located in La Libertad. In Costa Rica, he was hosted by the former Vice President of that country, Jose Miguel Alfaro, in a meeting with officials of the Omar Dengo Foundation for Education and Technology.

“Healthcare policymakers in the U.S. have much to learn from the successes taking place in Central America,” said Kennedy, who noted that life expectancy in Costa Rica matches that of the U.S. even though that country spends far less per capita on healthcare. “It’s all about preventative medicine – keeping people healthy throughout their lifespan. It’s an area where the U.S. lags far behind.”

At the same time Kennedy discussed the growing concern over the increase in obesity and type II diabetes in the Central American countries. “The increased availability of fast food and the effects of a more sedentary lifestyle are starting to take a toll in these countries,” he noted. “Officials are aware that they have to answer an eminent wake-up call if they are to maintain the progress they’ve made in keeping their populations healthy.”

About the Buck Institute for Research on Aging
The Buck Institute is the U.S.’s first and foremost independent research organization devoted to Geroscience – focused on the connection between normal aging and chronic disease. Based in Novato, CA, The Buck is dedicated to extending “Healthspan”, the healthy years of human life and does so utilizing a unique interdisciplinary approach involving laboratories studying the mechanisms of aging and those focused on specific diseases. Buck scientists strive to discover new ways of detecting, preventing and treating age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, cancer, cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, diabetes and stroke.  In their collaborative research, they are supported by the most recent developments in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics. For more information: www.thebuck.org.

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