The directors of the MPIDR, Mikko Myrskylä (left) and James W. Vaupel (right)

James W. Vaupel is Founding Director of the MPIDR and Head of the Laboratory of Survival and Longevity and the Laboratory of Evolutionary Biodemography.

James W. Vaupel studied mathematical statistics and received his PhD in public policy at Harvard University. After serving as a professor at Duke University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Southern Denmark, he became Founding Director of the MPIDR in 1996. James W. Vaupel is a leading scientist in the field of aging research, and has been instrumental in developing and advancing the idea of the plasticity of longevity. He pioneered research on the heterogeneity of mortality risks, and on the deceleration of death rates at the highest ages. More information


Mikko Myrskylä is Executive Director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) and Professor of Social Statistics at the University of Helsinki. He joined the MPIDR from the London School of Economics where he served as Professor of Demography, and where he continues to work as Research Professor and lead a research group funded by the European Research Council. Professor Myrskylä holds a PhD in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in Statistics from the University of Helsinki. His work focuses on population health, analysis of contemporary fertility trends, and demographic forecasting.