Every man desires to live long; but no man would be old.” – Jonathan Swift, 1727. Aged 60.
Although many things have changed since the early 18th century, some fundamental truths remain constant throughout human experience. Of all that it means to be human, one facet of our destiny remains as unavoidable as it is certain – the slow march of time, and therefore age, and our inability to stop it. However, although any discourse on aging always elicits trepidation, we often neglect the positive corollaries of age – a life well-lived, lessons learned, wisdom gained and self-contentment as the trivialities and insecurities of youth fade away.
In this issue of IMMpress, we tackle the taboo topic of aging. We explore some of the physiological bases of aging (pg. 8), its effect on the immune system (pg. 12), the brain (pg. 15), and mechanical extensions of ourselves in medical devices and implants (pg. 28). Next, we examine how we contend with an aging population from a socio-economic context (pg. 20), as well as in our individual, infinite attempts at finding ways to slow down the clock (pg. 24). Although many consequences of “aging” are often met with apprehension, aging also means growth. It is in this vein, that we celebrate another year of IMMpress and take a look back at some of the achievements of Volume 5. Furthermore, we continue to keep you updated with our very own alumni (pg. 16) and by examining the career trajectory of the department’s PhDs in the largest employment outcome survey of PhD graduates in Canada (pg. 18).
As we enter 2018, we would like to thank our readers for their support and enthusiasm for this publication. We also would like to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to all members of the department to join the IMMpress family as writers or designers. This magazine is the result of the collective effort of our incredible team of writers, editors and designers, to whom we are so enormously indebted and whose hard work and dedication makes this magazine possible.
We hope you enjoy this issue and the many more issues to come!