BU researchers are exploring why certain families produce members who live well past their eighties. The Long Life Family Study, made up of investigators from other universities and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, will try to determine which environmental, behavioral and genetic factors contribute to longevity. Boston University Associate Professor Dr. Thomas Perls, one of the lead investigators, is also the director of the New England Centenarian Study. In a TIME Magazine Special Report: How to Live 100 Years, Perls says:
“When it comes to rare genetic variations that contribute to longevity, family (analysis) is particularly powerful. But just because something occurs in a family doesn’t mean it is necessarily genetic. There are lots of behaviors and traditions that happen in families that play a role in longer life expectancies. We want to use these families to ferret out what these factors are.”
Dr. Perls can be reached at 617-638-6688.