Founding Director
Director Emeritus

James W. Vaupel

Chief Research Co-ordination

James W. Vaupel is Founding Director of the MPIDR and was Head of the Laboratories of Survival and Longevity and of Evolutionary Biodemography. From January 2013 to December 2017 he also headed the Max-Planck Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging. 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.

Since January 2018 James W. Vaupel is Director Emeritus of the MPIDR and is pursuing his research at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense. You can find his contact data here.

Full Curriculum Vitae

Portraits and Interviews

Positions and Memberships

  • Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science
  • Member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • Regular Scientific Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Honorary Doctor of Civil Law, Newcastle University, United Kingdom


Understanding Mortality Dynamics Projects details

MPIDR Publications

Selected Recent All

Vaupel, J. W.:
Nature 464:7288, 536–542. (2010)
Christensen, K.; Doblhammer, G.; Rau, R.; Vaupel, J. W.:
The Lancet 374:9696, 1196–1208. (2009)
Vaupel, J. W.; Canudas Romo, V.:
Demography 40:2, 201–216. (2003)
Oeppen, J. E.; Vaupel, J. W.:
Science 296:5570, 1029– 1031. (2002)
Vaupel, J. W.; Carey, J. R.; Christensen, K.; Johnson, T. E.; Yashin, A. I.; Holm, N. V.; Iachine, I. A.; Kannisto, V.; Khazaeli, A. A.; Liedo, P.; Longo, V. D.; Zeng, Y.; Manton, K. G.; Curtsinger, J. W.:
Science 280:5365, 855–860. (1998)

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The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.