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Plenary Speakers

Professor Tom Kirkwood CBE

Tom Kirkwood was until recently Dean for Ageing at Newcastle University, having been Director of the Institute for Ageing and Health since 2004. During his directorship the institute developed to become the largest on ageing in the UK and one of the foremost of its kind in the world. He also recently began a part-time position as professor at the University of Copenhagen. His research has been on the scientific basis of ageing and its relationship with age-related disability and disease, including the impact of social and behavioral factors. He leads a major population-based investigation (the Newcastle 85+ Study) which has examined in unprecedented detail the spectrum of health and associated biological, functional and psychosocial measures in a cohort of very old people. He has advised the UK government on aspects of population ageing.  He has also worked with organizations in the business and voluntary sector, including the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (of which he is an honorary fellow).


Matthew Edwards

Matthew Edwards is Head of Mortality and Longevity in the UK life insurance practice of Willis Towers Watson, with 25 years’ experience in the insurance sector – UK and overseas, life and P&C. He has a particular interest in developing medically informed disease-based and driver-based models of mortality. 


Chris Martin

Chris Martin is a practising General Practitioner and Health Informatition with an MSc and PhD from the Centre from Health Informatics and Multi-professional Education at UCL. He has specialised in cause of death and risk factors based mortality and longevity modelling to support health care decision-making at the clinical and policy level for over twenty years, and in the pensions and insurance industry since 2008.

He is a Fellow and former Council member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, and is a former chairman of the Essex Faculty of the RCGP and the Essex Primary Care Research Network.

He is the co-founder of Crystallise Limited which provides medical modelling software to the finance and pharmaceuticals industries, and the Clinical Modelling Consultant at Legal and General.


Joseph Lu

Joseph Lu leads a multidisciplinary team of experts to research and develop innovative ways to improve the understanding of the risk of people living longer than expected, commonly called longevity risk.  He works for Legal & General, one of the UKs leading annuity providers. 

Joseph gained a bio-medical research background from University of Leicester’s College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology before becoming an actuary.  He is active in research & development with the Actuarial Profession which includes being the co-author of 2 prize-winning papers ‘Longevity in the 21st Century’ and ‘Two Dimensional Mortality Data: Patterns and Projections’ presented to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.  

He has been voted Life Actuary of the Year by the actuarial community through the Actuarial Post.


Paul Johnson

Paul has been director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies since January 2011. He is a visiting professor at UCL.

Previously Paul has worked at the FSA, the Department for Education and Frontier Economics. He was director of public spending in HM Treasury, and has served as deputy head of the UK Government Economic Service.

He is currently a member of the council and executive committee of the Royal Economic Society, is a member of the Climate Change Committee, and is a member of the Banking Standards Board. Paul was a founder board member of the Pensions Policy Institute. He carried out a review of auto-enrolment for government in 2010.


Carol Jagger

Carol Jagger is the AXA Professor of Epidemiology of Ageing at Newcastle University and she is Deputy Director and theme lead for ‘Ageing: Economic and Societal Impact’ in the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing.

She studied mathematics at the University of Leeds and in 1984 received a PhD in Statistics from the University of Leicester where she worked until 2010, being awarded a personal Chair in 2000. Her research programme spans demography and epidemiology with a focus on mental and physical functioning in ageing and has three themes: Understanding variations in Healthy Active Life Expectancy; Disability and Functioning in Later Life; and Ageing Population Projections for Policy. She is the leading UK researcher on healthy life expectancy, and has been involved in the design or analysis of most major UK cohort studies of ageing including the MRC Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies and the Newcastle 85+ Study. Nationally she has advised the Office for National Statistics and the Scottish Public Health Observatory on Healthy Life Expectancy and has provided evidence to various government committees and has recently completed a review of trends in life and healthy life expectancy for the Foresight Ageing project.


Dame Karen Dunnell

Dame Karen Dunnell is a social scientist and statistician. She spent the first seven years of her career working as a healthcare researcher in a research institute and a medical school. She then joined the Government Statistical Service. For 20 years she carried out large scale survey and epidemiological research mainly in health and demography. She became the Chief Medical Statistician in ONS , then Director of Social Statistics, and finally National Statistician in 2005. After retirement in 2009 she developed a portfolio of non executive positions which include membership of PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Interest Bodyv(2010-2015), Chair of L&Gs Longevity Science Panel and membership of the Governing bodies of a University and a secondary school.


Professor Elena Kulinskaya

Professor Elena Kulinskaya holds Aviva Chair in Statistics at  the School of Computing Sciences, University of East Anglia where she is  also  the Director of Machine Learning and Statistics Laboratory (from 2010).  Before moving to UEA, she was the Director of Statistical Advisory Service at Imperial College London.  The main areas of Elena’s research are statistical evidence and meta-analysis, and, from recently, statistical methods for Big Data analysis, and their applications in insurance, health and environmental sciences. She is an author or a co-author of ca 100 published research papers in peer-reviewed journals, and she is involved in a number of joint research projects.

Elena is the Principal Investigator on the IFoA funded ARC grant on Use of Big Health and Actuarial Data For Understanding Longevity And Morbidity Risks (2016-2020), heading a multidisciplinary UEA and Aviva team.


Jay Olshansky, Ph.D.

Jay Olshansky is currently a Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Research Associate at the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The focus of his research to date has been on estimates of the upper limits to human longevity, exploring the health and public policy implications associated with individual and population aging, forecasts of the size, survival, and age structure of the population, pursuit of the scientific means to slow aging in people (The Longevity Dividend), and global implications of the re-emergence of infectious and parasitic diseases, and insurance linked securities.

Dr. Olshansky is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Federation for Aging Research, he is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Biogerontology, he is on the editorial board of several other scientific journals, and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the New York Academy of Sciences, and he is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.


Dr. Amlan Roy

Dr Amlan Roy is an experienced researcher with nearly 30 years of experience across markets, policy advisory and academia. Amlan is a Global Macro Researcher/Thought Leader specialising in innovative research connecting Global Demographics to growth, debt, asset prices, pensions & insurance, asset allocation and risk management sectors, allocation, health, migration and unemployment. He presents to a global client base (across 30+ countries) that includes fund managers, hedge funds, insurance companies, pension funds, SWFs, governments and central banks. Amlan also speaks at 70+ global conference events annually. He is a Senior Research Associate of London School of Economics' Financial Markets Group and guest professor for London Business School's Finance department. He is also on the S&P Index Advisory Committee