The Okinawa Centenarian Study More about the Okinawa Centenarian Study Meet the centenarians Meet the research team Contact the OCS team

We would like to thank the following Collaborators:

University of Georgia's Georgia Centenarian Study

Research Project: International Centenarian Survival Characteristics

Tokyo Centenarian Study

Research Project: Genetic and Environmental Correlates of Successful Aging

Japan Team

The University of the Ryukyus, Faculty of Medicine and School of Health Sciences.

Dr. Masafumi Akisaka - Genetics, Personality Profiles
Professor Liu Asato - Nutrition
Dr. Hiroshi Ishizu - Mental Health, Mind-Body Medicine
Dr. Seizo Sakihara - Medical Sociology, Social Gerontology
Dr. Koichi Naka - Clinical Psychology, Religion, Aging and Health
Dr. Hidemi Todoriki - Epidemiology, Nutrition

Okinawa International University

Dr. Ikuya Ashitomi - Public Health and Aging
Professor Shotoku Yasura - Social Correlates of Healthy Cognitive Aging

Institute for Medical Science of Aging, Aichi Medical University

Dr. Hisashi Tauchi - Pathology

The Japan National Cancer Center Research Institute

Dr. Satoshi Sasaki - Epidemiology, Nutrition

Okinawa Prefectural University - College of Nursing

Dr. Yoshihide Kinjo - Epidemiology
Kaori Higa, R.N., M.H.Sc. - Adult
Health and Nursing
OCS Team

Makoto Suzuki MD PhD is a cardiologist and geriatrician. He is Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Department of Community Medicine at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. Currently, he is Director, Okinawa Research Center for Longevity Science, in Urasoe, Okinawa. He recently retired from his position as professor in the Department of Human Welfare at Okinawa International University. He is Principal Investigator of the Okinawa Centenarian Study, a Japan Ministry of Health-funded study of the world's healthiest and longest-lived people. The study is entering its 36th year and is the longest continuously running centenarian study in the world. Dr. Suzuki has over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications and his total publications number over 700 including scientific manuscripts, conference proceedings, books and book chapters on aging and health. As the first scientist to make a comprehensive study of Okinawan longevity, he organized a conference in 1995 in which the Director of the World Health Organization supported the declaration of Okinawa as a World Longevity Region. He was recently presented with the Nishi-Nihon News Award to recognize his lifetime contributions to health and well being in Japan.

Dr. Bradley WillcoxBradley Willcox MD, MS is a Physician-Investigator in Geriatrics. He currently holds the post of Medical Director, Department of Research and Planning, The Queen's Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii as well Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Geriatric Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii. Dr. Willcox is also an Investigator at the Pacific Health Research and Education Institute (PHREI) in Honolulu and Investigator, Geriatrics and Gerontology at Kuakini Medical Center. Additionally, Dr. Willcox works as Staff Physician, Orthopedic and Long Term Care Hospitalist Programs, The Queen's Medical Center and Medical Team Care Attending Physician, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii.

Dr. Willcox is Co-Principal Investigator of the Okinawa Centenarian Study and Principal Investigator of the U.S. NIH-NIA funded "Hawaii Lifespan Study". He received his Bachelor and Master of Science from the University of Calgary and his MD from the University of Toronto and subsequently trained in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic and geriatrics at Harvard Medical School. He has published and lectured extensively in aging, nutrition and health, especially with reference to Okinawan longevity and has won numerous awards for his work. Dr. Willcox is currently funded by several research grants from the US National Institutes of Health including the Hawaii Lifespan Study (NIA) and the Prostate, Lung, Colon, Ovarian Cancer Trial (NCI) to study gene-environment interactions that lead to healthy aging and screening to lower cancer risk.

Dr. Bradley WillcoxDr. Craig Willcox, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized expert in healthy aging and cross-cultural gerontology with training in medical anthropology, gerontology and public health sciences.

A native of Calgary, Canada, he is currently Professor of International Public Health & Welfare and Gerontology, at Okinawa International University, and a Co-Principal Investigator of the Okinawa Centenarian Study, a U.S. National Institutes of Health and Japan Society for Promotion of Science funded study of the genetic and lifestyle determinants of exceptional longevity. Dr. Willcox is also Research Associate at University of Hawaii, Faculty of Medicine, Pacific Health Research Institute, where is a co-investigator on several NIH projects exploring the genetic epidemiology of healthy aging. He is also researcher in residence at Okinawa Research Center for Longevity Science.

After completing undergraduate work at the University of Calgary, Dr. Willcox trained in medical anthropology, gerontology and public health sciences at the University of the Ryukyus, where he earned his Master's of Health Sciences degree and at the University of Toronto where he earned his doctorate. He has published and lectured extensively over the past decade in the areas of human ecology and aging, as well as nutritional and public health approaches to successful aging. Besides the epidemiology of healthy aging, Dr. Willcox's current research interests include exploring the interconnections between aging and the disability process among the oldest old in both Okinawa and Hawaii.

Dr. Willcox is a member of several professional societies including the International Epidemiological Association and Gerontological Society of America, among others. His research work has been supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Institute on Aging, Medical Research Council of Canada, University of Toronto, The Japan Society for Promotion of Science, and the Japan Foundation, among other sources.

Dr. Willcox is also an adjunct associate editor for several top gerontology journals including the Journal of Gerontology: Medical and Biological Sciences and has co-authored two best-selling books on public health approaches to healthy aging, The Okinawa Program and The Okinawa Diet Plan. The Okinawa Program was a New York Times bestseller and nominated as Best Wellness Book of the Year (Books for a Better Life Awards) as well recognized as one of the Top 50 Books of the Year by both Barnes and Nobles and Amazon.com in 2001.

More information on Dr. Willcox's research and academic publications can be found at: okicent.org and orcls.org