(Im)moral Immortality: Is it Right to Live Forever?

UPMC Enterprises Executive Vice President, Jeanne Cunicelli, will take the Thrival stage alongside the Director of the UPMC Aging Institute, Toren Finkel, MD, to dive into the question: Is it right to live forever?

As discussions around population growth, advances in medicine, and health care spending continue to increase, questions around aging and immortality are becoming more prevalent. Is it possible to cure aging? What therapies exist today? Where is medicine going? Jeanne Cunicelli and Dr. Finkel will address these questions and more over the course of a 40-minute session at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens on Thursday, September 20th, the second day of Thrival Festival’s innovation event.

“Immortality is a hot button topic that isn’t black and white,” said Dr. Finkel, Director of the UPMC Aging Institute. “Beliefs and views vary widely depending on a multitude of factors including culture, religion, and upbringing.”

From a financial perspective, the investments around aging are booming. According to Lux Research, since 2016, over $500 million has been poured into companies developing aging-related solutions. The market for anti-aging products is expected to grow to $216 billion by 2021.

The University of Pittsburgh and UPMC also sees this area as important. In February, the institutions made a $200 million commitment to establish the UPMC Immune Transplant and Therapy Center (ITTC). At the ITTC, aging represents one of the center’s core pillars alongside organ transplantation and cancer.

“When we talk about life changing medicine at UPMC, aging is a part of that discussion,” remarked Jeanne Cunicelli, Executive Vice President of UPMC Enterprises. “We know there’s a tie between aging and various health problems and that aging isn’t just about getting older. Today, our doctors and researchers are looking at someone’s entire lifespan. We’re trying to target how and why aging happens – and what we can do about it.”

But what happens when we find the answers to these questions? If we extend life spans, will that bring about more issues? At the end of the day, is living forever worth it?

For answers to these questions and more, be sure to attend Cunicelli and Dr. Finkel’s Thrival session:

(Im)moral Immortality: Is it Right to Live Forever?

Thursday, September 20, 3:20PM – 4:00PM

Botany Hall, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

For tickets and additional information, visit Thrival Festival.