Corporate innovator: Antonio Tataranni, Chief Medical Officer at PepsiCo

Steven Loeb · October 22, 2021 · Short URL:

Tataranni has been with PepsiCo since 2018, and was named Chief Medical Officer in November 2020

While most entrepreneurs want to be the one to discover the next Amazon or Twitter, oftentimes major technological shifts are coming from the big companies, the players that have been on the scene for years, if not decades. Those companies have survived because they know how to pivot. They're the ones who either seed new ideas or acquire them and distribute them. 

In this column, we talk to those companies and their innovators who are preparing them for what's coming.

In our latest interview, we spoke to Antonio Tataranni, Chief Medical Officer at PepsiCo, the second-largest food and beverage business in the world with products distributed across more than 200 countries, totalling $70.37 billion in revenue in 2020.

Tataranni has been with PepsiCo since 2018, and was named CMO in November 2020. He currently has three roles at PepsiCo: in addition to being the Chief Medical Officer, he is also the Senior Vice President for the Life Sciences department, and he's the corporate sponsor for the PepsiCo Fellows Program.

VatorNews: Let's kick this off by giving our listeners a little bit of context. I'm sure they'd love to learn about you and your background. And what led you to PepsiCo.

Antonio Tataranni: Yes, with pleasure. I am a physician by training, specifically an endocrinologist, and I came to the PepsiCo portion of my professional journey through two previous steps. I spent a decade as a clinical scientist at the National Institutes of Health here in the US in one of their very prestigious labs trying to figure out, together with a larger group of researchers and scientists, the cause of many chronic metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular, hypertension, and the like. And I started a long, long time ago as a special volunteer, which is even below the level of fellow, and then worked my way through all up the director of the Clinical Research Center in Phoenix, Arizona, which is one of the outposts of the NIH, a very illustrious collaboration with the tribe down there for many, many years.

After that, and perhaps a little bit predictably, I was hired into the pharma industry and then there were two chapters on my career: one in the US with Merck Pharmaceuticals as an associate director for clinical research working on lipid lowering drugs, and then I spent the next 10 years with a European company, Sanofi, where I started as an obesity expert working on one of the many attempts that the pharma industry has done to bring effective drugs for the treatment of obesity. And then, eventually, I again grew into multiple roles including, in the end, leading the entire medical organization of the company and overseeing a staff of approximately 900 people worldwide and an investment in that space of approximately €1 billion. And then, most recently, and in fact I just celebrated my third year anniversary here at PepsiCo a few days back, I decided to change direction one more time in my career and explore the possibility of bringing all the experiences that I had accumulated as a clinical researcher, and then as a pharmaceutical physician, to the food and beverage industry. I'm sure we will want to explore why that is the case, but it should be apparent at this point to your listeners that the common thread, and the true professional passion in my life, is the relationship between nutrition and health, which I've tried to explore, as you have heard, in multiple ways.

VN: Like you said, you've been with PepsiCo for three years now, and congratulations on that anniversary, but before you were Chief Medical Officer, you had a couple of other posts: you were Deputy Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Life Sciences. If I understand what your responsibilities were in those roles, it was how to keep your products healthy. Do I have that right? So, tell me about that strategy and how you implemented it.

AT: Before we get to that, I actually wear three hats currently within the PepsiCo organization. As you already said, I am the Chief Medical Officer of the company, and in that capacity I oversee all aspects of PepsiCo's efforts to protect our global workforce, our products, and, by extension, the communities that we serve, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. And, evidently, once that is done, which everybody hopes is going to be soon, but perhaps not quite in sight yet, that role will continue to evolve, regardless of a pandemic being the determinant of what I do as the Chief Medical Officer. 

As you said, I also am the Senior Vice President for one of the four departments in PepsiCo, the Global Research and Development organization. My department is called Life Sciences and, together with my team, we are responsible for leading the development and execution of a nutrition and bio sciences strategy that is in support of the company's portfolio transformation, and the PepsiCo Positive strategic agenda that we have just announced and launched. 

I have a third hat, which I'm very proud of as well: I'm the corporate sponsor for a very prestigious program within PepsiCo, which is called the PepsiCo Fellows Program. This was created in 2012 and is, overall, a very important aspect of the R&D career model and a key element of PepsiCo’s strategy to be recognized as a leading company for innovative research and development. It’s a program that targets our exceptional researchers who have, in their career inside the company and outside the company, proven to be world class researchers, and to have an impact, both strategic and commercial, with their work. And this is both life scientists and engineers. It's a highly selective program with an admission and retention that established primarily functional excellence and I'm glad to have been working with this group of people as well, basically since I came into the role at PepsiCo.

VN: Is the point of that program to find researchers, essentially, to work at PepsiCo and recruit them?

AT: Well, yes, you can think of the program that way because the appointment into the program is of researchers that are already within the company and that have established themselves as excellent contributors, as I said, to the strategy and commercial go-to-market plans of the company. But, in that sense, because we have many exchanges on the program with other institutions, and even peers, it is a way of projecting the level of excellence that we require of our scientists and engineers outside. In that sense, it becomes a magnet for attracting new talent into the organization. So we're very, very diligent about communicating as much as possible about this program. 

VN: Since you wear so many hats, we want to focus mainly on your responsibilities as Chief Medical Officer, which you were appointed to this past November. A question people might have is, why does PepsiCo need a Chief Medical Officer? We generally think of Chief Medical Officers as being part of healthcare companies, digital health companies or insurance companies. So why does a company like PepsiCo need a CMO?

AT: Well, the simple answer is: because the company cares about the health and well being of our associates, and also of the consumers that we serve because, through the multiple hats that I wear within the company, this is the dual responsibility that I have to look after. Now, I'll make no secret that the decision of assigning this title and this responsibility to me was somewhat crystallized by the black swan event that the entire human race has gone through, and continues to go through, with the COVID-19 pandemic. Because that has forced, and will continue to force, corporate America in general, and corporations around the world, to look at healthcare a little bit differently. And, if you want, we can unpack a little bit of why that would be the case.

VN: Yeah, absolutely. I'd love to hear about how COVID has changed that. How did a company like PepsiCo view their responsibility toward their employees prior to COVID and how does the company now look at that, since the pandemic?

AT: That's a very, very relevant question. I don't think that the company has seen its responsibility changed from before and after the pandemic towards our associates; it’s that the pandemic has brought into focus a number of topics that are going to be timeless, and they're going to require continued answering, even after the pandemic, which we all hope is over very soon.

Let me try to identify a few of those for you: number one is the vulnerability of our workforce. It has been in front of everybody's eyes the fact that when something like a pandemic happens, and this will not be the last one, it's not the first one, of course, so there will be more such episodes, hopefully in a long time to come. But it has raised to everybody's attention that some of the diseases that I started my interest in at the beginning of my career, such as non-transmissible, chronic, metabolic diseases, represent a risk factor when overlying medical conditions get superimposed on basic health, which is not good. I'm not saying anything new when I say that people with obesity, with diabetes, with cardiovascular disease, with hypertension, have suffered the worst of the consequences of the pandemic. And the interesting thing, from a medical researcher's point of view, is that even myself, having dealt with these type of issues all my professional life, and it's inherent even in the way we named this, non-communicable, chronic, metabolic diseases, there is always the idea that, yes, you're a little bit sick today but untoward, or very dramatic things, will happen to your health many years down the road. And COVID-19 has shown that super imposing a severe infection on top of some of these conditions can mean the difference between making it through or ending up in the hospital and dying of that infection. So, that obviously raises the question of post-pandemic and it's certainly going to be high on my agenda: how do we help our 260,000 associates around the world to stay as healthy as possible and to be aware of these vulnerabilities?

This takes me to the second point that has come into focus with the pandemic, especially at PepsiCo, which has been communicating with our associates about the risks associated with a certain health condition, in this case the COVID-19 disease, and how to best combat it. I say this because, through the experience of this past year, it has become very clear to me how much a corporation can do, through the appropriate communication channels, to wrap their arms around their associates and help them sort through what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to health and health conditions. And we're certainly committed to continuing to do so as well post pandemic, but I'll make no secret that a large portion of my time, through the past few months, has been dedicated to this very aspect. 

And then the last point that I will make is that, as I said, we have a responsibility as a corporation, not only towards our employees but especially towards our consumers. PepsiCo is a corporation that is large, it operates basically in almost all the markets around the world, and one of our products is consumed approximately a billion times every 24 hours. So, you can understand that that responsibility is large and significant and it translates into how we think about the products that we put into the marketplace and how we think about being a company that is anchored into a portfolio that is predominantly indulgent, permissive, with a number of nutritional offerings. How do you continue to evolve that portfolio, while allowing our consumers to have all options in front of them? You accompany them in their journey towards better wellness and better health. And, in that sense, we have done a couple of things through the pandemic, number one, to sharpen up our pencils in terms of thinking about wellness and health management and that is the initiative that sits in my department, currently, which is helping the company sort through the science that is relevant to food and beverages in the space of promoting and supporting wellness and health. And the second one, something that I've always been convinced of throughout my entire career, is that one should always not only look inside this large organization, but also outside, just to be immune from the “not invented here” syndrome. We have also opened up our doors with a couple of initiatives to companies out there, startups for the most part, that are operating in the space of wellness and health management. Our most prominent initiative this year is an initiative that goes by the name of Greenhouse, where we have welcomed, for a few months, 10 startup companies in this space and collaborated with them on their business model, trying to provide some of our expertise on how you go-to-market with new ideas. And, in the meantime, learning from them what might be the newest trends for food and beverage in that space.

VN: Can you talk to me about those 10 companies that you partner with? Which companies are they? I want to make sure I completely understand, is that an effort to help your employees or is that more of an effort to help your customers?

AT: It’s both because we know that our own associates enjoy our products as well as our consumers. This is a reflection on what might be happening in the marketplace and it’s part of a set of initiatives of understanding what this space in the marketplace is all about. The Greenhouse Accelerator, as we call it, was a competition that eventually had 10 finalists exploring, emerging, and disrupting ingredients, but also technologies and services. The way this works is each of the 10 finalists received $20,000 in funding and participated in a six month business program designed to accelerate their growth through personalized mentorship offered by some of our most experienced R&D and commercial personnel. We named a final winner at the end of the six months and we awarded an additional $100,000 in funding to continue the expansion of the company; the winner was a company based here in New York, actually, by the name of our LifeNome and the product that we worked on with them, and which eventually beat the competition, is a program called 9Moons, which is a pregnancy nutrition and health companion that will be offered to OBGYNs and other providers around the world. 

Now, perhaps it will be too long to mention the other nine companies that participated in the competition; it’s easy to find them on our website under the Greenhouse name, but they span the range of companies working on natural structural fibers, sustainable functional food products, digital solutions to detect and treat cognitive dysfunction, artificial intelligence-based product superiority platforms. A couple of companies are really deep into the microbiome space, a couple of companies are emerging in the personalized nutrition space, and one company specializes in encapsulating ingredients for applications in food and beverages.

VN: I want to go back a little bit to what we were talking about in terms of how COVID changed the way companies think about their responsibility to employees. I'm wondering what efforts your company made to protect your workforce and what new technologies were included in those efforts?

AT: That's another very good question and I would start with the basics, which is, at the very beginning of the pandemic, the leadership team of the company gathered and we made an immediate commitment to ourselves and to our employees that, in front of such a dramatic event, and not knowing how long we would be in the trenches, we would be committed to each other and to our organization to make decisions solely based on scientific evidence. That has been the guiding compass for me, especially advising the entire leadership team of the company throughout the pandemic. It served us very well to make that early decision because, as everybody has experienced, that scientific true north, if you will, was called into question multiple times, perhaps not always for the right reasons. That being said, we have also been advised all throughout by a fantastic group of infectious disease and epidemiology experts, both in the US and outside of the US, and this has allowed us to calibrate our decisions against the better judgment of people that really understood what was going on in our field. Obviously, that was a great comfort for me, being the chief doctor in the company, but not being an infectious disease expert by education. 

Now, coming back to your question on some of the technologies that we have deployed to support our associates throughout the past few months: first of all, let me say that PepsiCo has provided a number of emotional and physical wellbeing resources and benefits. And we have been very purposeful about making sure that we kept our focus on physical safety, especially because we are a company that makes, moves, and sells products. So, we had associates exposed to different types of risk at different points in the pandemic, but also mental and emotional wellbeing. Let me give you a few more specific examples of the technologies that we have deployed in support of that. For example, we have deployed a virtual physical care service which combines physical therapists with easy to use technology by a company called SWORD Health. This allows for people to do certain musculoskeletal manipulations under the supervision of a physician while being in the comfort of their home. An initiative that has been very successful throughout the pandemic, given the constraints of people living in their apartment, or being confined for long periods of time, has been the deployment of on demand fitness, which was done in partnership with Wellbeats. This is a premiere, on demand, wellbeing benefit, which provides classes to help associates feel their best through workouts which are supervised by trained instructors. Back to the issue of personalized mental health, in collaboration with Spring Health, we have deployed a digital, in-app, mental health benefit that can personalize the path to mental well being. It's a very simple five minute assessment, followed by a conversation with a care navigator, and you can go deeper than that. And then, at the same time, we have continued the deployment of a tobacco cessation program, which under the circumstances, as you can imagine, with people being tempted to go back to old habits, has also been very important to have as a virtual support for our associates. 

In these circumstances, and I personally have learned this again and again throughout my career, but specifically through this crisis, you also resort to low tech solutions, so to speak, to keep your associates as well and as comfortable as possible through these situations. We have done a few of those as well; for example, I mentioned before that we were very committed from the beginning to helping our associates to sort through fact and fiction related to the pandemic and that translated all throughout the past year into a series of pieces that I wrote with the support of our international experts and that we broadcasted through multiple channels, emails, Yammer, etc. through the entire organization. And the second one is realizing that people wanted real answers to real questions, perhaps not the one that we imagined at the top, but the ones that people really were concerned about. We designed an Ask the Doctor series, where we collected the questions that were most top of mind for our associates, and then discussed them on a live interview, a little bit like this one, with some of our experts, and then, again, broadcasted those interviews through our channels through to our associates worldwide. So, a combination of high tech and low tech and, in doing so, the feedback that we have received has been nothing short of extraordinary.

VN: I want to go to what you said about sorting through the facts and fictions related to the pandemic. And you also mentioned a scientific true north and trying to find something that has been elusive for many people. Now it's come down to the point where there's different approaches within corporations, depending on the true north inside their corporations, perhaps, and this is around the mandates. I just see that many companies, from Amtrak to McDonald's to Google, have vaccine mandates but at your company, and this is from an Axios article, it says, “consumer packaged goods manufacturers like PepsiCo and Clorox are largely pushing a carrot rather than a stick approach.” That was from Jeff Freeman, the CEO of the Consumer Brands Association. So, talk about your thoughts about why you decided to have this carrot rather than stick approach.

AT: Well, as I said, we have been guided by science and where the evidence was at any turning point in our decision making process, and solely with the intention of protecting our associates with the best available knowledge at the time. And so, it is for that reason that we have, perhaps, not been in the front of these vaccine mandates. We wanted to make sure that that decision, which is an important decision, was taken with all the evidence that we thought was important for us to have in our hands.

We just issued our first vaccine mandate, which is, for now, aimed at our executive level associates and it is based on the fact that, at this point, there is absolutely no remaining doubt that vaccinating the majority of as many people as possible, not only here in the US but everywhere in the world, and, I'll say it it again, we are a large corporation that operates worldwide, is the preeminent lever that is in our hands to bring this pandemic under control, and perhaps push it back to where it should belong eventually, which is in the medical history books. So, that's what we're doing, that is currently in effect, and we will continue to review and revise our policy as we see fit and as more information becomes available.

VN: So this is for executives, but not company wide and certainly not for people who don't go to the office.

AT: That's correct. And, right now, our offices are partially open and only to associates that are fully vaccinated. Now, again, I don't make any major announcements but I will say that, here in the US, the federal government has taken a few actions moving the entire country in the direction of larger and larger vaccine mandates. We're waiting to see how that translates into language that is applicable to large employers like us, but our profound belief, at this point, is that vaccines are the way to beat this pandemic and as many of our associates should be vaccinated as early as possible. We're going to continue to move in that direction at a pace that is consistent with maintaining the business running.

VN: I don't want to belabor the point, we've spent a lot of time on COVID, but you talked about once the pandemic is over and in the history books, but former FDA Chief Scott Gottlieb has said that this is an endemic virus; that means it's something that we're going to have to live with. So, as you speak to the experts, what are your thoughts on how PepsiCo is going to view the virus?

AT: Yeah, that's an interesting question, and an answer that nobody can provide definitely. I will not be the one to make a prediction over much more competent people that have spoken to this, but I'll give you my sense as a researcher and as a clinician, and as somebody who has been exposed to this conversation for the past 18 or 19 months: some of the most bombastic predictions have been proven wrong over and over again by this virus, which is probably not surprising because we have never seen anything of this kind. And, therefore, it is impossible to go back to the history books, and to say, “this is how it's gonna work.” Now, people can start making educated guesses, especially based on experiences happening, not only in the US but also in other countries. We make no secret that we're looking very closely at Israel, where we have significant business there, as well as connections with some of the scientific leaders in that country. 

It is prudent to say that large organizations like ours will be well served at this point to do a little bit of planning with two or three scenarios in mind, and then try to chart the course of potential actions across those three scenarios. Three that are reasonable to consider at this point is, number one, especially here in this country, once boosters go into place and younger kids are vaccinated, we push the COVID virus, including the Delta variant, into the background and that's where he stays. So, we declare victory and we go back to our normal lives. Now, talking to the experts, since you asked me about the experts, what is the likelihood of that scenario happening? Somewhat low, and that's because the pace at which we're capable of vaccinating people, not specifically here in this country, but worldwide, is very slow. And, last time I looked, the vaccination rate worldwide hovered around 30 to 35%, which leaves an enormous pool of individuals where this virus can continue to do what it does very well, which is replicate and mutate. That brings me to the other scenario: mutations. Is it likely that a variant will emerge that mutates so significantly that it escapes the immunity coverage that is afforded right now? It's possible; the likelihood of that scenario happening is somewhat medium to low because, in the eyes of the experts, the virus would work against its evolutionary strategy if it became extremely deadly, but it's still a possibility that we have to watch out for. If that happens, unfortunately, we would have to go back to the drawing board, waiting for vaccines to be completely reconfigured, and to start doing again the job that they're doing very well right now. Therefore, that leaves the most likely scenario, which is probably what the ex-FDA Commissioner was referring to: that this pandemic becomes indolent, becomes endemic, meaning it goes through ups and downs, just like it happens with the flu virus, and that we find ourselves in a situation where we co-exist with the virus under the protection of a vaccination strategy that is still to be completely defined, as you know very well. Will it be two vaccines and a booster and then we're done? Or one vaccine and one booster for the one dose vaccines? Will it bring us to a situation like the vaccination strategy for flu, which is nearly a vaccination strategy? Again, it's too soon to imagine or to say definitively, but I think we are going towards this most likely scenario. And the next few months will be crucial to say how exactly it will shape our lives in general, and for corporations like us, the way we have to run our business.

VN: No one knows for sure what will happen, obviously, over the next six months to a year, and forward, but one thing is for sure: COVID has created this new responsibility inside the corporations and that is to care for their employees’ physical safety, as well as mental health. I'm wondering if you could look out beyond PepsiCo and to other corporations, do you see the rise of the Chief Medical Officer as a new trend? And do you see the budgets of Human Resources expanding to meet the needs of these expanding benefits of the employees?

AT: I'm glad you asked that question because not only do I see that rising trend, but I can say that I'm part of two initiatives that have very much to do with what you were describing. So, first of all, there is a group of us, 15 of the largest US corporations that have a Chief Medical Officer or a Chief Health Officer, that have decided to congregate into a quarterly meeting just to exchange notes, initially around the impact of the pandemic on our organizations, but now progressively to discuss what's going to be the impact of this role on our individual corporations in corporate America going forward and post pandemic. And the second one is a similar group that is animated by the World Economic Forum; it's a community that includes, again, six or seven of the Chief Health Officers or Chief Medical Officers of the largest corporations. And, again, a very similar discussion about transitioning from the role of these physicians guiding their companies through the pandemic to imagining a post pandemic world where we take the learnings and we apply them back in a durable form to the well being of our associates. Now, I cannot predict whether this will result in expansions of budgets or roles; that's probably not so interesting as much as the possibility that one of the silver linings of this horrific event is the coming together of these professionals across corporations, which are not necessarily involved in healthcare delivery, to identify opportunities for a different way of delivering healthcare, and they might become a force for good, in that sense, and I’m certainly very optimistic that that might be the case.

VN: You talked a lot about your mental health initiatives and, it's funny, when you were listing them off I wrote down, “smoking cessation,” and then you talked about how you had a tobacco cessation program as well, so you definitely seem to be very broad in terms of the types of services that you're trying to offer your associates, as you call them. When you brought these services in, and typically this is under human resources, the benefits person will look at these services, are you called in to take a look at all of these services because you provide the expertise around the clinical efficacy of these services and programs?

AT: Of course but, as you can imagine, some initiatives preceded me even being at PepsiCo, let alone being named Chief Medical Officer of the company. Through this initiative that I just mentioned, we are, obviously, analyzing and scrutinizing the archetypes of these roles in different corporations, which I can tell you are very different in terms of focus, scope, and types of responsibility. And, again, by exchanging what might fall under the responsibility of a Chief Medical Officer in these large corporations, we will identify best practices and then, individually, we’ll go to our CEOs and to our executive committees and inform them of those best practices and, eventually, each of the corporations will land where they feel most comfortable with evolving this role. But I'm pretty sure that the role will continue to evolve.

VN: You listed a lot of digital health services that you're offering your employees, and I wonder how you determine which of those make a good fit. What values in those companies are you looking for?

AT: Well, obviously, associates’ feedback. And, as always, all of these things have to materialize into the overall good impact on how people feel about coming to work and being part of a corporation that takes care of their own. Without talking about KPIs, which is very unique to any given organization, what's much more interesting is that we're all part of a very special social experiment, where the old notion of what office is, or was, has been taken away for a year and a half and people have started to reflect on when to come back to the office or whether to come back to the office at all. It is in that context that how you take care of your own associates and employees will come into the fore. I’m watching this experiment with great interest, because it goes beyond the walls of any individual corporation, and it's also one of the things that the Chief Medical Officer roundtables that I mentioned are looking at very, very carefully because it's a question mark, it’s an unknown. What will people value to make the decision to come back to work and to come back to work in the same place where they started? Some of the employee wellness related initiatives are going to be part, if not a big part, of that decision making process, but let's see. I mean, I think we are in front of it right now, the next few months will be very critical to see that experiment unfolding, and it'll be important to continue to watch it and discuss it. 

VN: One of the changes that we haven’t talked about in healthcare over the last few years, and this was happening before COVID and all that, was the rise of value-based care. Is that, in any way, changing PepsiCo’s model for providing care for its associates?

AT: This is not something I have spent a lot of time on yet looking into, so I wouldn't be able to give you a very articulated answer. As I said, I've lived in three different industries, so to speak. So, the research enterprise of the government, the pharma industry, and now food and beverage, and I can tell you that, through those three experiences, I have matured a very significant conviction that, especially for some of the diseases that we discussed at the top of this podcast, those non-transmissible chronic mental diseases, the way to put a dent into the epidemiology of these ailments is, unfortunately, not through expensive, technological, technical, pharmacological solutions. No disrespect to my colleagues who are still in the pharma industry, those make the lives of many patients with the disease much better, but the battle to be won here for some of these conditions is one of prevention. And so, that's one of the important reasons why I made the third transition in my professional career to work for a large food and beverage company, because I profoundly believe that food and beverages have a place in self care, and in maintaining wellness and wellbeing, before people get sick. So, how this transition happens between sick care, which is what we are doing today, and healthcare, which is around prevention, wellbeing, and taking care of oneself through low tech, low cost solutions, is one of the big trends in healthcare to be watched. How the food and beverage industry will contribute to that is something that, as you can imagine, I’m extremely involved in.

VN: We always like to end by asking what the future of healthcare is going to look like. Obviously, we've talked a lot about the evolution, with value-based care, there's so much happening with virtual care, COVID has changed so many things. So, what is healthcare going to look like a few years from now when all the dust settles, and where is PepsiCo going to fit into that?

AT: That's an excellent question. I have already shared my bias: I think there needs to be a shift from sick care to health care. There needs to be much more emphasis on preventing diseases before they happen, especially in the Western world, but this is not unique to the Western world, this is true for the rest of the world as well. The role of self care will increase significantly and one trend to watch is something that goes under the definition of “food as medicine.” Now, this has many potential tactical applications, from prescribed meals all the way to, on the other end of the spectrum, functional ingredients in food and beverage. I personally and passionately think that the whole spectrum will be deployed in due time in support of the idea that increasing health span, whatever the length of our life might be, is probably the most significant thing that we can do for this generation and the next generation. And that's because one of the most undeniable, timeless, most unquestionable health trends that we are staring at is the aging of the population. So, the worldwide population is aging at a pace that is way faster than its growth, which means this is creating a tsunami of people that will live long past 50, 60, 70. And, if we, and I say the royal we, meaning everybody who’s interested in health care, can maintain these people that will live long into their silver years in good health, that will accomplish a lot in terms of not only allowing the largest number of people to live long, fulfilling lives, but also to unburden the healthcare for the healthcare systems of many countries around the world of a financial burden that otherwise wouldn’t be sustainable.

This interview has been edited for clarity. You can listen to the podcast of our conversation with Antonio below:

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