Lifting the lid on the Healthy Longevity Talent Incubator

Discover how the NUS Academy is shaping future leaders in healthy longevity through its unique Talent Incubator program.

Longevity.Technology: Al Hussein Elwan, Hans Meij and Andrea B Maier report on the NUS Academy for Healthy Longevity‘s very successful Healthy Longevity Talent Incubator.

Home to one of the most vibrant longevity ecosystems, as well as one of the most rapidly aging populations, Singapore served as the ideal location to establish the NUS Academy for Healthy Longevity. The first-of-its-kind academic institution, nestled at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore, is entirely dedicated to healthy longevity education.

Helmed by renowned figures in aging and healthy longevity research and education, Professors Hans Meij and Andrea Maier, the Academy launched its offerings in 2023 with the inaugural Healthy Longevity Talent Incubator (HLTI). This program sought out young professionals worldwide, equipping them with the knowledge and tools to become leaders in the emerging field.

This year, after organizing a three-day Intensive Course for mid-career professionals and hosting the world’s first conference on healthy longevity supplements, the Academy concludes the second edition of HLTI. With HLTI 2024, the Academy continues to grow the community, bringing in new perspectives, ideas, and stories.

Celebrating diversity and culture

HLTI 2024 welcomed 43 participants and Junior Mentors from 31 countries. From geneticists to plant biologists and medical doctors and nurses to corporate training managers, their career backgrounds were equally diverse. They stayed together with 5 senior mentors (Profs Suresh Rattan, Guenter Lepperdinger, Andrea Maier, Hans Meij and Dr Tine Hjorth) for 11 days on the NUS student campus.

To celebrate such diversity, the Academy introduced an International Talent Night as part of the program. The memorable event invited participants and staff to take the stage and showcase the talents they brought from home.

Diving into cutting-edge science

HLTI 2024 immersed participants in 22 hours of lectures and featured 19 esteemed guest speakers. The program covered a spectrum of topics essential to healthy longevity research, from the hallmarks of aging to integrating geroscience into clinical practice.

Forging standout careers

While science remained central to HLTI 2024’s curriculum, the program similarly focused on building participants’ careers. Networking was pivotal, with 19 career mentors engaging in over 200 speed networking sessions with participants. Additionally, HLTI 2024 highlighted critical skills for healthy longevity careers. Namely, Professor Meij conducted a three-part workshop on leadership in the healthy longevity field.

Engaging in SG City Missions

As a meaningful conclusion to HLTI 2024, participants engaged in special ethics approved graduation research projects named SG City Missions. Divided into five groups, each mission tackled a distinct topic critical to healthy longevity in Singapore:

  • Longevity, Wealth, and My Legacy
  • Mindful SG: Cultivating Mental Well-being in Workplaces in Singapore
  • Opinions of Singaporeans on the Use of Digital Health Intervention
  • Are Health Influencers Truly Influential?
  • Health Screening and Social Services: Government Support and Public Awareness

Contributing over 24 hours of community research, participants traversed the island to conduct quantitative and qualitative research and concluded with presentations of their findings and recommendations at the HLTI 2024 Open Day in front of a member of the parliament and guests from the public.

Set for success

As HLTI 2024 drew to a close, it marked a transformative chapter in the careers of its participants. Moving forward, the program is set to nurture lasting connections through its Alumni Council. Led by former participants, this council ensures the community stays connected and continues to drive innovation in healthy longevity.

About NUS Academy for Healthy Longevity

The Academy for Healthy Longevity, part of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore, is a leading educational institution focused on health and longevity medicine. Situated in Singapore, it aims to provide diverse courses and programs aimed at preparing individuals at all levels to excel in the emerging fields of geroscience and healthy longevity medicine. With a dedicated team of experienced educators and experts, it delivers cutting-edge content to empower future leaders for impactful contributions and fulfilling lives in this dynamic domain. 

The Healthy Longevity Talent Incubator (HLTI), hosted by the NUS Academy for Healthy Longevity, aims to attract young talents into the field of healthy longevity medicine and foster next generation leaders who will drive the promotion of healthy longevity in Singapore and around the world.

Photographs courtesy of HLTI