Day 1, Drayson Center  |  Day 2, Drayson Center
Videos of each presentation require a password and can only be accessed by conference attendees.

Program - Day 1, Drayson Center




7:00 AM

Registration Opens

8:00 AM

Roy Ice
Loma Linda University Church

8:10 AM

Building a Culture of Health: Perspectives from a Blue Zone
Helen Hopp Marshak, PhD, MCHES
Dean, Loma Linda University, School of Public Health

8:20 AM

Session Context: hosted by Joan Sabate, MD, DrPH

8:25 AM
















What are the latest research and findings on blue zone areas in Sardinia, Ikaria, Okinawa, Nicoya, and Loma Linda? Technical issues: definitions, demographics, geographic vs. population-based zones, additional blue zone areas, etc. For the first time in the same room, researchers studying each of the five demographically and epidemiologically confirmed blue zone areas will present their most recent information.

Session Moderator: Joan Sabate, MD, DrPH

Sardinia, The First Validated Longevity Blue Zone
Michel Poulain, PhD
Sardinia Blue Zone, AKEA Study
Watch Dr. Michel Poulain's presentation online

Latest Research Findings: Ikaria
Christina Chrysohoou, MD
Ikaria Blue Zone, IKARIA Study
Watch Dr. Christina Chrysohoou's presentation online

Latest Research Findings: Okinawa Blue Zone, Okinawa Centenarian Study
Makoto Suzuki, MD, PhD
Okinawa Blue Zone, Okinawa Centenarian Study
Watch Dr. Makoto Suzuki's presentation online

Latest Research Findings: Nicoya
Xinia Fernández-Rojas, PhD (invited)
University of Costa Rica, San Jose

U.S. Adventists as a Blue Zone
Gary Fraser, MD, PhD, MBChB
Loma Linda Blue Zone, Adventist Health Study

11:00 AM

Healthy Living Break  

11:10 AM

Blue Zone Area Principal Investigator Roundtable
Watch the Roundtable discussion online

12:00 PM

Healthy People in Healthy Communities Expo

1:00 PM

​Roy Ice
Loma Linda University Church

1:05 PM


















This session will be devoted to uncovering the complex web of interconnected biological (genetic and epigenetic factors), behavioral (lifestyle), environmental and societal factors common throughout each blue zone area that lead to longevity and healthy ageing. Integrative studies are beginning to emerge which examine the dynamic interplay of these factors across the course of life; now we want to know what commonalities and unique characteristics have been identified and how their essence can be extrapolated to cultivate practical solutions. With the determinants manifesting differently in each place, how do we translate the findings into practice? A better understanding of blue zone areas as exemplars of exceptional health and wellbeing can benefit both clinical practice and public health action aimed at addressing adverse conditions in vulnerable communities.

Session Moderstor: Nico Rizzo, PhD

Biology & Genetics of Okinawan Longevity
Bradley Willcox, MD, MS
Okinawa Blue Zone, Okinawa Centenarian Study
Watch Dr. Bradley Willcox's presentation online

Longevity secrets from IKARIA Study
Christina Chrysohoou, MD, PhD
Ikaria Blue Zone, IKARIA Study
Watch Dr. Christina Chrysohoou's presentation online

Contextual Environment: Built vs. Non-Built
Gianni Pes, MD, PhD
Sardinia Blue Zone, AKEA Study
Watch Dr. Gianni Pes's lecture online presented by Dr. Michel Poulain

Sociocultural Connectedness: Religious Beliefs, Attitudes and Health within the Adventist Blue Zone
Jerry Lee, PhD
School of Public Health, Loma Linda University
Watch Dr. Jerry Lee's presentation online

Diet and Nutrition
Craig Willcox, PhD
Okinawa Blue Zone, Okinawa Centenarian Study
Watch Dr. Craig Willcox's presentation online

3:40 PM


3:50 PM

Healthy brain, Healthy Life: The Role of Adult Neurogenesis
Mirjana Maletic-Savatic, MD,PhD, FAAP
Baylor College of Medicine
Watch Dr. Mirjana Maletic-Savatic's presentation online

For more than a century, we thought we were born with the same number of neurons we have as adults. We thought that the brain cannot regenerate. Now, we know this is not true – every day, our center for learning and memory generates new neurons throughout life, replacing about 30% of the region over the life-span. This remarkable capacity of the brain to regenerate has captured the mind of scientists, clinicians, and the public alike. Adult neurogenesis may hold the key for life-long capacity to learn and memorize, curb stress and remain happy. The environment plays a key role in modulating adult neurogenesis: our diet and behavior directly affect it. Recently, we have discovered a molecular signature of this process that enables us to measure neurogenesis in the live human brain. Here, I will present our international study involving eight medical centers around the globe that sheds new light on the biology and functional importance of neurogenesis. Our data provide the foundation for the exploration of neurogenesis in the live human brain and exciting prospects for futures studies in centenarians.

4:30 PM

CO-PI Roundtable with Dr. Maletic-Savatic
Watch the roundtable discussion online

4:55 PM

Closing Remarks: Nico Rizzo, PhD

Healthy People Mixer | Drayson Center, Basaraba Gardens
Homecoming Kickoff Event and Wedgewood Trio Concert, Drayson Center, Super Field
5:00 - 6:30 PM


Program - Day 2, Drayson Center





8:00 AM Welcome
​Roy Ice
Loma Linda University Church

8:05 AM


President's Welcome Address: Blue Zone Culture of Health
Richard Hart, MD, MPH
President, Loma Linda University Health

8:15 AM


Dan Buettner, Author
Blue ZonesTM Project, National Geographic Fellow
Watch Dan Buettner's presentation online

9:00 AM Healthy Living Break
9:15 AM

Este Geraghty, MD, MS, MPH, GISP
Chief Medical Officer, Esri
Watch Dr. Este Geraghty's presentation online

Blue zone areas show us that a healthy community goes beyond the need to manage illness. Healthy communities ensure that diverse populations can access the medical and social resources, and they enjoy green spaces, parks, walkable amenities and more. Learn how to leverage location intelligence to create healthier, happier, and ‘bluer’ communities.

9:45 AM  

9:45 AM













The implications of blue zone area research for public health practice will be discussed within the futuristic context of what public health fore thinkers are referring to as “Public Health 3.0” or a “public health of consequence” that engages in action to improve conditions that make us healthy.  Can we gain insight from the blue zone areas to help us deal with present issues? Can current systems can be modeled according to these demographic outliers? The concept of blue zone areas creates value to inform us about what public health should be striving towards in the 21st century. 

Session Moderator: To be announced

The Making of a Healthy City
Dan Buettner Author
CEO and Founder, Blue Zones™ , National Geographic Fellow
Watch Dan Buettner's presentation online

Childhood Experiences and Resilient Centenarians & Seniors:  Implications of the North American Blue Zone Region for Improving the Health of our Nation’s Children
Rhonda Spencer-Hwang, DrPH
Associate Professor
School of Public Health, Loma Linda University
Watch Dr. Rhonda Spencer-Hwang's presentation online

Transforming Communities: It's About Geography! 
Timothy J. McKinney
CEO, United Global Outreach
Watch Timothy McKinney's presentation online

11:10 AM Session III Speaker Roundtable
Watch the roundtable discussion online

12:00 PM End of Conference