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Photo of Olshansky, S. Jay

S. Jay Olshansky, PhD


Epidemiology and Biostatistics


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1603 W. Taylor St.

Office Phone:

(312) 355-4668


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400 Springside Lane


S. Jay Olshansky received his PhD in Sociology at the University of Chicago in 1984. He is currently a Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Research Associate at the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Chief Scientist at Lapetus Solutions, Inc. 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. Dr. Olshansky is on the Board of Directors of the American Federation of Aging Research; he is the first author of The Quest for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Aging (Norton, 2001) and A Measured Breath of Life (2013); and co-edited Aging: The Longevity Dividend (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2015). In 2016, Dr. Olshansky was honored with the Donald P. Kent Award from the Gerontological Society of America, the Irving S. Wright Award from the American Federation for Aging Research, and he was named a  Next Avenue Influencer in Aging.

Selected Publications

Olshansky, S.J., 2017. Is Life Extension Today a Faustian Bargain? Frontiers in Medicine. 4: doi: 10.3389/fmed.2017.00215

Olshansky, S. J., Carnes, B. A., & Butler, R. N., 2015. If Humans Were Built to Last. Scientific American, 24, 106-111.

Olshansky, S. J., Goldman, D. P., & Rowe, J. W., 2015. Resetting Social Security. Daedalus 144(2):68-79.

Goldman, D.P., Cutler, D., Rowe, J.W., Michaud, P.C., Sullivan, J., Peneva, D., Olshansky, S.J. 2013. Substantial health and economic returns from delayed aging may warrant a new focus for medical research. Health Affairs 32(10):1698-1705.

Olshansky, S.J., Antonucci, T., Berkman, L. et al. 2012. Differences in Life Expectancy Due to Race and Educational Differences are Widening, and Many May Not Catch Up. Health Affairs 31(8):1803-1813.

Olshansky, S.J. 2011. Aging of US Presidents. JAMA 306(21):2328-2329.

Olshansky, S.J., Perry, D., Miller, R.A., Butler, R.N. 2006. In pursuit of the Longevity Dividend. The Scientist 20(3):28-36.

Olshansky, S.J., Passaro, D., Hershow, R., Layden, J., Carnes, BA., Brody, J., Hayflick, L., Butler, RN., Allison, DB., Ludwig, DS. 2005. A potential decline in life expectancy in the United States in the 21st century. New England Journal of Medicine 352:1103-1110.

Olshansky, S.J., Carnes, B.A., Cassel, C. 1990. In Search of Methuselah: Estimating the Upper Limits to Human Longevity. Science 250:634-640.

Carnes, B.A., Olshansky, S.J., Grahn, D. 1996. Continuing the Search for a Law of Mortality. Population and Development Review 22(2):231-264.

Notable Honors

2016, Next Avenue Influencer In Aging, Next Avenue

2013, Kathy N. Johnson Achievement Award, Home Care Assistance

2016, Donald P. Kent Award, Gerontological Society of America

2016, Irving S. Wright Award, American Federation for Aging Research


M.A. and Ph.D.; University of Chicago

Professional Memberships

Gerontological Society of America