Intro to Rapamycin, An Interview with Arlan Richardson, Geroscientist

Listen to the full interview by clicking on the “Play” button below:

“One of the things that is very exciting is that this is a very robust finding. In other words, sometimes in science people see something and then it’s not replicated – Rapamycin’s impact on lifespan has been replicated. When I started researching this area 50 years ago, I never felt that we would find a pill that would have an impact on aging and lifespan. Aging is very complex – to find one thing that would have an impact was highly unlikely. So when this happened in 2009, I had a small part in this, it was really very exciting because for the first time we had something that could potentially work in humans. The really exciting thing was this was a drug that was already being used in humans so we the knew the downsides and upsides to this particular compound.

Podcast Information

Episode Description: We begin by recognizing that many longevity researchers, including Professor Richardson, anticipate that Rapamycin dosed intermittently will lead to significant lifespan and healthspan improvements. This has not yet been shown in humans though it has been robustly demonstrated in all animals tested. Its ability to improve immunologic functioning in individuals over 65 years of age has been demonstrated. We discuss the improvement in animal models of Alzheimer’s Disease, and there has been some indication that these animal effects also apply to human subjects. The fascinating history of the discovery of Rapamycin from a soil sample from Easter Island (Rapa Nui) is described, and the role of serendipity in the history of science is recognized.

Note: One of Professor Arlan Richardson’s recent papers on rapamycin is here: Effect of rapamycin on aging and age-related diseases—past and future (Oct., 2020)


Dr. Schwartz,

Thanks for posting your podcast! Great coverage of the rapamycin Alzheimers research. I highly recommend people listen to it. Arlan Richardson is one of the leading figures in longevity research, and has been for decades. He’s a great researcher that doesn’t get interviewed very often.

Its also interesting to have a psychiatrist covering rapamycin on a podcast, and I find it encouraging that rapamycin is getting covered more broadly by people in different fields. I’m just starting to listen to the podcast. Not sure if you cover it in the podcast, but did you get a sense for whether Arlan Richardson is taking rapamycin?

Papers mentioned or related to the discussion in the podcast:

Rapamycin and Alzheimer’s disease: Time for a clinical trial? Matt Kaeberlein and Veronica Galvan

More information on Arlan Richardson:

And more good podcasts on rapamycin at this link:


This is should be pinned at the top as a great intro piece for newcomers. I really enjoyed the podcast and learned a bit in the process. Great piece.