The Rolex Awards for Enterprise
Professor Dame Linda Partridge is an internationally respected British biologist and geneticist who has spent her career studying the biology of ageing in order to unmask the secret processes that cause human bodies to deteriorate. “My goal is to try to help people stay healthy as they age,” says Partridge. Encouraged to love nature by her parents, Partridge earned B.A. and Ph.D degrees in zoology at Oxford. Her studies in evolutionary biology led to her research on how the rate of ageing evolves in nature and the mechanisms by which healthy lifespans can be extended in laboratory model organisms. Today, Partridge holds several senior positions at University College London (UCL): She is Weldon Professor of Biometry, director of the Centre for Ecology and Evolution, and director of the Institute of Healthy Ageing. In 2008, she became the founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, Germany, where she spends half of her time. Her current work focuses on factors such as diet, which can extend life by protecting against age-related diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and on developing pharmacological treatments that ameliorate the human ageing process. When asked why she conducts dementia research, Partridge simply states: “Because it might help people to have better lives.” Among her many honours, Partridge was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire for her services to science in 2009. In the same year, she was given a Women of Outstanding Achievement Award for Science, Discovery, Innovation and Entrepreneurship by the U.K. Research Centre and presented the Royal Society Croonian Prize Lecture, the premier lecture in the biological sciences. She is a fellow of the Royal Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the European Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Published in 2014