ANZOS-ASLM-ICCR 2019, Sydney, Australia

Prof Luigi Fontana

Luigi Fontana is an internationally recognized physician scientist and one of the world’s leaders in the field of nutrition and healthy longevity in humans. His pioneering studies on the effects of dietary restriction in humans have opened a new area of nutrition-related research that holds tremendous promise for the prevention of age-related chronic diseases and for the understanding of the biology of human aging. 

Professor Fontana is the Leonard P. Ullmann Chair of Translational Metabolic Health at the Charles Perkins Centre, where he directs the Healthy Longevity Research and Clinical Program. He is also a Professor of Medicine and Nutrition in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney and a Clinical Academic in the Department of Endocrinology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Fontana is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis, USA.

Professor Fontana was a Full Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Sciences at Washington University in St.Louis (USA) and Brescia (Italy) Schools of Medicine, and co-director of the Longevity Research Program at Washington University.  Fontana graduated with highest honors from the Verona University Medical School (1994), where he completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine (1999). He also received a Ph.D. in Metabolism and Clinical Pharmacology from the University of Padua Medical School (2003).

Professor Fontana has published over 120 manuscripts in prestigious journals including Science, Nature, Cell, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Cell Metabolism, Circulation, Journal American College of Cardiology, Diabetes, Aging Cell and PNAS.

He has been invited to present his work at international conferences and top medical schools and research institutes around the world, including Harvard University, Cambridge University, Yale University, Universitè Paris “Pierre et Marie Curie”, Max Plank Institute of Aging, Baylor College of Medicine, Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, National University of Singapore among others.

Dr. Fontana’s is the recipient of three prestigious awards: the 2009 American Federation Aging Research (AFAR) Breakthroughs in Gerontology Award and the 2011 Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging and the 2016 Vincent Cristofalo Award of the American Federation Aging Research. He is a Scientific Member of the Board of Directors of the American Aging Association.

Professor Fontana is also an environmentalist. In 2013, he wrote a perspective article with Daniel Kammen on the beneficial role of efficient use of energy and food in promoting human, environmental, and planetary health, and sustainable economic development. Fontana and colleagues believe that it is possible to substantially enhance human and environmental health, societal wealth and well-being, but this requires a profound transformation in the way we live, and a new environment-centered industrial and economic system. They argue that most of the knowledge and technology to transform the world and begin a new industrial revolution already exist today. We only need to relinquish the idea of producing more energy, food, and other products at lower cost in favor of a new paradigm that opts for less but high-quality energy, food and materials for a healthier life and environment. They also claim that “both individual and societal wealth, happiness, and well-being do not depend merely on the acquisition of material goods and on economic growth, but are powered by our physical and psychological health, the quality of life and the richness of our social relationships, and foremost by the health of the environment that supports all life on earth, our Natural Capital that must be preserved”

Major Media attention

  • Quoted in The New York Times, “Food for Holiday Thought: Eat Less, Live to 140?” by David Hochman, by David Hochman, Nov 23, 2003
  • Profiled on a NHK special documentary "Challenge the aging: You can live longer", 2004
  • Quoted in The Washington Post, “Seeking the Low-Calorie Fountain of Youth: Severely Restricted Diets May Slow Aging Process” by Rob Stein, May 4 2004.
  • Quoted in Science “Lean, Hungry, and Healthy” by Constance Holden, Apr 23 2004(Science 2004;304:514)
  • Quoted in New Scientist “Eat less and keep disease at bay” by Anil Ananthaswamy, Apr 24, 2004 (New Scientist 2004;182:2444)
  • Featured in the Korean documentary "Secrets of Living, Aging, Illness and Death " by Mia Lee (Korean Broadcasting Systems), 2005
  • Quoted in The Times of London, “Eat less — and live to 130” by David Mattin, Oct 3, 2005
  • Profiled in an Italian TV documentary on nutrition and longevity “Calorie restriction and aging” by Piero Angela (“SuperQuark” series), 2005
  • Quoted in The Wall Street Journal, “Reducing Your Daily Calories by 40%: The Science Behind 'Starvation' Diets”, by Tara Parker-Pope, Jan 31 2006.
  • Quoted in The Washington Post, “High Protein Diets May Boost Cancer Risk” by Steven Reinberg, Dec 7, 2006
  • Featured in the BBC4 documentary “Live longer: Caloric restrictions and ageing of the heart”, 2007
  • Quoted in Newsweek, “Never say die”, by Anne Underwood, Dec 12 2008.
  • Quoted in The New York Times Magazine “The Calorie-Restriction Experiment” by JON GERTNER, Oct 7 2009.
  • Quoted in the Los Angeles Time, “Permanent diet may equal longer life” by Karen Kaplan, July 9, 2009
  • Quoted in the Time Magazine, “Health Checkup: How to Live 100 Years - Eat Less, Live Longer?”, by Bryan Walsh, Feb 11 2010.
  • Quoted in New Scientist “Eat less, live longer?” by Laura Cassiday, Jun 3, 2010
  • Quoted in Nature News “Live long and prosper” by Katherine Bourzac, Dec 6 2012
  • Time Magazine - "9 Healthy Snacks That Prevent Overeating", by Markham Heid, Aug 11, 2016.
  • Featured in the BBC2 Horizon documentary Eat, Fast & Live Longer by Michael J. Mosley, 2012

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