If a job needs doing, there's something to be said for stepping up to help out directly. A number of younger folk in the healthy life extension community see that engineered longevity within our lifetimes is possible, and in response direct their studies and career goals towards biotechnology and aging research. A few of the braver older folk have mastered the challenge of switching careers in mid-flow, returning to university in order to become life science researchers, focused on the biology of aging.
Biogerontology is a sub-field of gerontology studying the biological processes of aging. It is composed of the interdisciplinary research on biological aging's causes, effects, and mechanisms in order to better understand human senescence. ... Biomedical gerontology, also known as experimental gerontology and life extension, is a sub discipline of biogerontology that endeavors to slow, prevent, and even reverse aging in both humans and animals. Curing age-related diseases is one approach, and slowing down the underlying processes of aging is another.
So how does a person go about steering studies or a career with the aim of becoming a biogerontologist? I note that academic researcher Joao Pedro Magalhaes maintains a good overview aimed at students in the university system:
By and large, biogerontologists work at research institutions, typically universities or laboratories, though a few also work in the industry and a few companies research aging. The vast majority of biogerontologists have a PhD (or sometimes an MD or both), so if you want to become a biogerontologist you should be prepared to go to graduate and/or medical school. While it is possible to study aging in a private company or as a staff member of a research institution, the majority of well-known biogerontologists have their own research group, like ours, at a research institution. Again, you can certainly contribute to research on aging in a variety of ways and even without making of it your main job, yet if you are serious about becoming a biogerontologist and doing independent research at the highest level then this usually implies developing an academic career.
One major doubt of students is which topics they should study to prepare themselves for a career in biogerontology. Because aging is a biological process I would suggest that you include biology courses in your education. With the sequencing of the human genome and recent progress in the genetics of aging and longevity, I would also recommend some basic knowledge of genetics. Nevertheless, many different techniques and skills can be employed to study aging. There are physicists, physicians, engineers, biologists, geneticists, computer scientists, mathematicians, and many other different professionals studying aging right now. Therefore, my advice is for you to learn different skills, understand the science of aging, and focus on the area you find more exciting or more adequate to your personal situation.
Where you wind up in life and the degree to which you enjoy success in your goals is all about the connections you make along the way. If you want to make progress in a particular field, you have to establish relationships within that field. For example, the SENS Foundation runs an academic initiative program - whose chief value to the students involved is the opportunity to make connections within the community of researchers interested in repairing the biochemical damage of aging.