Cellular and organismal aging is influenced by multiple parameters, such as telomere length, telomere shortening rates, the DNA damage response machinery, dietary restriction, mitochondrial metabolism, and the insulin-signaling pathway. Currently it is not well understood how these pathways interact, how the determinants of organismal life span influence cellular aging, and how or if the cellular clock limits organismal longevity. It remains a unique challenge to the aging research community to integrate the various aspects of the field, to realize the connections to age-related diseases, and to exploit these realizations for healthy aging.

Acknowledgements We would like to thank the NIH and NIA for funding, and Marcela Raices and Regina Kirchweger for comments on the manuscript.

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