Gerald P Murphy masthead

Geroscience in Action: The Old Grey Muzzle Tour 2016

Welcome to The Old Grey Muzzle Tour 2016,a scientific expedition to uncover the secrets of successful aging and cancer avoidance. Beginning in March, Iím embarking on a 74-day, cross-country trek to study the oldest-living Rottweilers in North America in their homes.

My research team is proud to be innovating research on healthier aging by committing ourselves to the intensive study of these exceptional dogs. We believe that dogs with extreme longevity — equivalent to humans who reach 100 years — hold the keys to unlocking the mechanisms that connect cancer resistance and successful aging. That explains this yearís mantra of Geroscience in Action: Advancing the Science of Cancer Resistance.

From our Exceptional Longevity Database of more than 325 canine centenarians, we have learned a lot about the lifetime health and medical histories of exceptionally long-lived dogs. But our desire is to understand more deeply the biology behind highly successful aging. Thatís why I am heading out of the laboratory and into the living room. Thereís just no substitute for making first-hand observations. So Iím hitting the road to connect the dots.

Ultimately, our goal is to develop a national resource for scientists trying to understand what it takes for dogs and humans to achieve healthy longevity and avoid lethal cancers. That is why we have established the Longevity Biorepository at the Center for Exceptional Longevity Studies — the worldís first collection of serum, blood cells, DNA, and autopsy tissues from exceptionally long-lived dogs. Just imagine: The Oldest Dogs as Our Greatest Teachers.

I believe strongly that as investigators we have a dual role: To Discover, To Educate. The Old Grey Muzzle Tour 2016 embraces this theme by including Educational Stops along the way where I lead thought-provoking discussions with the goal of informing groups who have extended their support for the research. We see it as a vital opportunity for academic and non-academic folks to celebrate our stories of solid progress, to get caught up in the process of discovery, catching a glimpse of far horizons.

Thanks for joining us on this journey that is sure to secure a spot for us at the forefront of scientific discovery — applying new tools, new attitudes to expand our capacity to translate research ideas into practical ways of promoting healthy longevity for both pets and people. Follow us on Facebook at

David J. Waters, DVM, PhD

Center for Exceptional Longevity Studies
Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation