Háskólabíó Conference and Cultural Center



One of modern society’s greatest achievements is the dramatic rise in the average global life expectancy. A baby born in the early 1900’s could not expect to live much beyond 50 years old, but people in many countries now live well into their 80’s and 90’s. As a consequence of this rapid change in our society, we have seen a major shift in the leading causes of death, with a corresponding increase in chronic diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

However, most of us not only want to have a long lifespan, but also a long healthspan; to be fit and healthy throughout the course of our lives. As we move into this unprecedented era of human history, a question arises: how far can the human healthspan be extended, and what are the most effective ways to achieve longevity?

In September 2017, the Icelandic Health Symposium is bringing together some of the world’s best experts in health and longevity to help you discover:

  • What science has to say about the importance of lifestyle on our health and lifespan.
  • The extent to which our genes control our fate.
  • How to optimize our physical performance for longevity.

Lastly, but maybe even more importantly, you will learn how our species can achieve longevity in a way that harmonizes with nature, so both humans and our planet can have a long, sustainable future.

What better place to learn about the best ways to optimize your own health and longevity than Iceland? Home to some of the strongest and healthiest humans on the planet!


29.900 ISK



Dr. Tommy Wood is a research scientist and Chief Medical Officer of Nourish Balance Thrive, an online-based company using advanced biochemical testing to optimise performance in athletes.Tommy has a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge, a medical degree from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in physiology and neuroscience from the University of Oslo.

Alongside his career in medicine and research, Tommy has published and spoken on multiple topics surrounding functional and holistic approaches to health, including examining the root causes of disease (such as multiple sclerosis and insulin resistance) using engineering techniques.

He holds positions as the Chief Scientific Officer and President-elect of Physicians for Ancestral Health, is a Director of the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine, and a member of the Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance advisory board



Author of the New York Times Bestseller “Beyond Training“, Ben Greenfield’s balanced approach to fitness, nutrition and health comes from his extensive experience in the fitness and wellness industry as one of the country’s leading personal trainers and wellness consultants. In 2008, Ben was nominated by the NSCA as America’s top personal trainer, and in 2013 and 2014, Ben was voted as one of the top 100 most influential individuals in health and fitness.

He is currently the founder and owner of Greenfield Fitness Systems, a company that develops innovative and cutting-edge fitness and nutrition services and solutions to help people reach their physical and mental performance goals, whether that be to defy aging and achieve longevity, cross the finish line of an Ironman triathlon, or simply shed a few pounds.


Dr. Bryan Walsh has been studying human physiology and nutrition for over 25 years and has been educating others in health for 20 of those years. When he isn’t teaching, he spends his time pouring over the latest research and synthesizing his findings into practical information for health practitioners to use with their clients. He has lectured to members of the health care industry around the world and consistently receives positive feedback in his seminars and courses.

Dr Walsh is best known for his expertise in biochemistry and human physiology and his unparalleled ability to educate on these topics. As such, he has been sought out to consult with multiple companies, academic institutions, and wellness organizations.

Dr Walsh is a Scientific Advisor at Lifetime Fitness, where he designs laboratory panels and interpretation methods as well as provides ongoing education for the professional staff. He is a licensed, board-certified Naturopathic Doctor and has been seeing patients throughout the U.S. for the past decade.


Diana Rodgers, RD, LDN, NTP is a “real food” nutritionist and writer living on a working organic farm in Carlisle, Massachusetts. She runs a clinical nutrition practice, has written two books, hosts the Sustainable Dish Podcast, and speaks internationally about human nutrition, sustainability, animal welfare and social justice. Her work has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Outside Magazine, Edible Boston and Mother Earth News


Dr. Panda is a Professor at the Salk Institute. He has authored nearly 100 scientific and popular articles on the topic of circadian rhythm in health and disease. His discoveries are among the top ten breakthroughs of the year by the Science magazine, and he is considered as one of the top 50 influential scientists in the book “Brain Trust”. Research in his lab has shown daily light exposure pattern and daily eating-fasting cycle can have profound impact on the prevention and prognosis of diseases of aging.


Doug McGuff, MD became interested in exercise at an early age when he first read Arthur Jones’ Nautilus Training Bulletin No. 2. His interest in exercise and biology led him into a career in medicine.

In 1989, he graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio and went on to train in Emergency Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences at Little Rock where he served as Chief Resident. From there, Dr. McGuff served as Faculty in the Wright State University Emergency Medicine Residency and was a staff Emergency Physician at Wright-Patterson AFB Hospital.

In 1995, Dr. McGuff moved to Seneca, South Carolina where he joined Blue Ridge Emergency Physicians with whom he continues to practice full-time emergency medicine.

Throughout his career Dr. McGuff maintained his interest in high intensity exercise. Doug realized a lifelong dream when he opened Ultimate Exercise in November, 1997, where he and his instructors continue to explore the limits of exercise through their personal training of clients.

In addition to his work at Ultimate Exercise, Dr. McGuff is a full-time practicing emergency physician who lives in Seneca, South Carolina with his wife of 30 years, Wendy, and their children Eric and Madeline.


Dr Chatterjee, 38, is the star of the new BBC One series Doctor in The House, which sees the GP live with three different families in their own homes for a month at a time. He scrutinises them at work, at play, shopping for food and cooking, eating and sleeping.

After qualifying from Edinburgh University Medical School in 2001, Dr Chatterjee spent his first six years in hospital medicine. He completed his internal medicine examinations gaining Membership of the Royal College of Physicians.

However, He soon realised that his passion was in connecting with people and building relationships, so he made the decision to move to General Practice. He didn’t want to spend his whole career seeing problems in one single specialty. To him, the whole body is connected and so it was a natural decision for him to move to General Practice.

Within a few years, it became clear to him that he was only really helping about 20% of the patients that were coming in to see him. So he began searching for solutions.

He soon became aware of where the gaps in his training were. For acute problems such as trauma, infections or catastrophic events like heart attacks, the medical training from Edinburgh University Medical School was superb.

However, for the majority of problems seen on a day to day basis – headaches, joint pain, gut problems, indigestion, weight gain, stress, diabetes and skin problems – He realised that the training was lacking in certain areas.

There was a key turning point Dr Chatterjee‘s life when his son was six months old. He nearly died from a preventable vitamin deficiency. Modern medicine saved his life but taught him nothing in terms of how to prevent the long-term complications from his condition.

Dr Chatterjee immersed himself in nutritional science and came across new research that was not being utilised in conventional medical care. In his mind doctors are practising a type of medicine suitable for acute care but not as relevant for the new epidemic of chronic lifestyle-driven conditions.

Since then, Dr Chatterjee has studied Movement Science, Stress Reduction, Ancestral Health, Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He has also completed a BSc Honours Degree in Immunology. This has proven invaluable in navigating the exciting new field of mucosal health and the gut microbiome.

Dr Chatterjee currently work as an NHS GP in Oldham where he looks after a deprived and socially isolated patient population. Dr Chatterjee also works privately one day per week where he sees patients for 60–90 minutes so that he can delve deeper into what is causing their problem. When he sees patients today, he uses a hybrid approach, integrating all of his experience and research from these different areas. He also draws from his personal experience both as a father and caring for his own father who was ill for 15 years.

Every patient is unique. I advocate for personalised medicine specific to the individual. However, I believe lifestyle and nutrition are always the bedrock upon which all chronic medical management should be founded.

Dr. Lilja Kjalarsdóttir

Dr. Lilja Kjalarsdottir is a research scientist whose work focuses on the metabolic underpinning of lifestyle and age-related diseases. Whilst studying biochemistry at the University of Iceland she was also a key player in the Icelandic premier league soccer team Stjarnan, a successful fitness competition competitor, personal trainer, and a soccer coach.

She has a PhD from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and did her postdoctoral work at Duke University, where she studied insulin resistance in skeletal muscle and the effect of over-nutrition on mitochondrial health.

Lilja later led the R&D department at the Icelandic biotech company Genis, where she quickly got promoted to Chief Scientific Officer. However, wanting to go back to research, and with the inner drive to influence public health through new discoveries in basic science, Lilja is currently focusing her time on research of bioactive glycans and their role in aging and regeneration.




The conference takes place in Háskólabíó


Registration Price: 29.900 ISK

Rangan Chatterjee

Reversing Chronic Diseases

The magic bullet intervention that works for acute illness does not work as well for chronic problems – they require a different approach.  Dr. Chatterjee discusses the balance of his Four Pillars of Health: Relaxation, Food, Sleep and Movement to optimise anyone’s health but also to treat & reverse conditions like type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, depression or even dementia.  He will elaborate further on Professor Dale Bredesen’s groundbreaking work reversing cognitive decline in early Alzheimer’s Disease. He will show how these fundamentals of health are applicable to anyone who wishes to optimise their health but as chronic disease evolves more specific interventions can be added. He will discuss the threshold effect and how different interventions complement each other. He will discuss how the practice of medicine needs to evolve from a organ based approach to a systems based one.

Lilja Kjalarsdóttir

How to make your cells act young on the molecular level? 

Metabolism and mechanical force, these are two critical factors for healthy aging. As we age, our metabolic system becomes deregulated at the molecular level. One key player in this process is the mitochondria. The mitochondria are cell organelles which serve as the power plant of the cell. I will discuss how lifestyle changes, including exercising, can improve mitochondrial function and in turn make your cells act younger. However, exercising does not only promote a healthy metabolism, it also has a major role in maintaining a healthy skeletal system; something everyone should be concerned about as they age.  

Satchidananda Panda

Daily Rhythms – The Master Conductor of Health and Disease

Circadian clock regulates majority of our genes to orchestrate metabolism, physiology and neuronal functions to right time of the day or night.  Lifestyles that sustain robust circadian rhythm will prevent chronic diseases and increase healthy lifespan.

Break for lunch

Ben Greenfield

4 Hidden Variables That Are Stripping Years Off Your Life

Ben Greenfield trains the world’s top mental and physical athletes to fully optimize their bodies and brains using the same cutting-edge techniques that you get to delve into in this intimate personal setting with Ben. Prepare to discover hidden variables that fly under the radar and that barely anyone is talking about – variables that go beyond training and nutrition but that drastically affect your longevity, your mind and your body, and make or break your health.

Doug McGuff

Area Under the Curve: Physiologic Headroom Across a Lifetime

The average American begins to experience a physical decline that begins as early as their mid-20’s and continues throughout the course of their life, terminating in the final decades of their life in a state of dysfunction and dependence. While this is becoming commonplace, it is certainly not normal. Our ancestors, as well as modern hunter-gatherers experienced a high level of physical functioning and health, that barring injury or infection, continued into advanced age. In this lecture Dr. McGuff will discuss the concept of physiologic head room and discuss the notion of a quality life not just measured in years, but in “area under the curve” based on high physiologic headroom throughout a full lifespan. He will show how a brief and infrequent regimen of high intensity exercise can reverse the diseases of modern civilization and how the new science of myokines (hormone-like substances released by working skeletal muscle) serve as a bridging technology to life extending technologies yet to be developed.

Break for coffee

Bryan Walsh

Mind over Age: The Science of Thought-Driven Physiology

Many of the strategies, supplements, and diets claiming to promote longevity either don’t work or in some cases, may even decrease longevity. Perhaps we’ve been looking for the secret to a long life in the wrong places. Rather than doing or taking something, current advances in science show us that longevity is an inside job. Learn why we need to consider approaching longevity from the inside out. Armed with a deeper understanding of longevity, you will be able to explain and unlock our innate potential to live a long and healthy life.

Diana Rodgers

Kale vs. Cow

Learn why a plant based diet might not be optimal for human health and the environment nor the obvious moral choice that often is portrayed. We have an opportunity right now to change the course of human existence, or sink our own ship. Nature will continue on, but will it be with us or without us? Learn why more kale may not save the human race, but how cows just might.



September 7th

Brain & Body Biohacking Bike Ride with Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield is an expert in combining the latest science with the best parts of the natural environment to optimize health. If you are looking for a unique experience during which you get to learn how hidden elements can profoundly affect your body, and put those theories directly into practice, then this is the event for you! 

In this workshop you’ll cycle in and around the Reykjavik area (don’t worry, this is open to any and all fitness levels!) with one of the most influential people in health, nutrition, exercise and anti-aging, gaining direct access to his wealth of knowledge on how to optimize your performance. 

Among the things you will learn along the ride:
  • Breathing biohacks to enhance your longevity and health
  • Modern and ancient techniques to harness the natural magnetic fields of the planet we live on
  • How to use heat and hypoxia to increase blood flow and maximize your response to training
  • Basic and advanced techniques for cold thermogenesis and heat training– how to use both cold and heat exposure effectively

And much, much more!

Schedule :
  • When: The Ride starts at 16:30 on the 7th of September
  • Where: Meet up in Nauthólsvík at Kaffi Nauthóll.  From there we’ll cycle through Heiðmörk nature reserve with a few stops along the way where Ben will share his infinite biohacking wisdom.
  • Duration: Approx 2.5-3hrs

Note: Gravel, cyclocross  & mountain bikes are appropriate for this route

Need to rent a bike? No problem! Our friends at Bike Rental have got you covered.

Bike rental –>

Maximum Number Of  Participants: 50
Price 19.900 ISK
September 8th

Dinner With The Speakers
At The Blue Lagoon Restaurant

Want to know more? This is the chance for you to sit down with some the brightest minds in health and fitness, enjoy their company in relaxing surroundings, and exchange questions, thoughts and ideas while eating delicious food made from high-quality Icelandic ingredients. 


When:  September 8th at 20:00

Where: At the wonderful Blue Lagoon Restaurant

Transportation to  and from the Blue lagoon is not provided for participants

Maximum Number Of  Participants: 20


Price 29.500 ISK
September 9th

Practitioner workshop:

Understanding and treating chronic disease

The majority of doctors and health practitioners are faced with a rapidly increasing burden of patients with chronic disease. At the same time, the time available to spend with each patient is decreasing, and nationalised health care systems are under pressure to do more with less. However, as we better understand what causes chronic disease, we’re better-equipped to handle those challenges. As part of IHS 2017, we’re holding a workshop with some of the brightest and hardest-working minds in medicine to discuss the underpinnings of chronic disease, how to maximise the utility of basic blood testing, and real-world approaches being used to dramatically improve the lives of patients with chronic metabolic disease.

  • Where: Happ resturant, Höfðatorgi í Borgartúni
  • When: September 9th. Class starts at 11:00
  • Duration: Approx 4 hrs
Press for further information

Dr. Bryan Walsh

  • The metabolic aetiology of chronic disease
  • How to get the most out of your blood biochemistry

Dr. Bryan Walsh has been studying human physiology and nutrition for over 25 years and has been educating others in health for 20 of those years. When he isn’t teaching, he spends his time pouring over the latest research and synthesizing his findings into practical information for health practitioners to use with their clients. Dr Walsh is best known for his expertise in biochemistry and human physiology and has been sought out to consult with multiple companies, academic institutions, and wellness organizations. In two lectures, he will cover the basic metabolic underpinnings of chronic disease, as well as how to use ratios and narrower reference ranges of common biochemical markers (i.e. blood glucose, HbA1c, and liver function tests) to truly understand what is going on in your patients. Fantastic lunch included!

Dr. Deborah Gordon

  • A holistic approach to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Managing hormones to maximise cognition and longevity

Dr. Deborah Gordon trained in medicine and Family Practice through the University of California at San Francisco. She lives in Southern Oregon, where she has had an integrative medical practice for 30 years, rows competitively, and directs the Siskiyou Challenge Relay for athletes and farms. She writes about nutrition and lifestyle issues at, Spirituality &Health Magazine, and Paleo Magazine. She trained and continues to consult with Dr. Dale Bredesen, considered the world’s leading authority on reversal of cognitive decline, at the Buck Institute of Aging in Northern California.

Dr. Mark Cuccuzzella

  • Treating obesity and diabetes in the trenches

Dr. Mark Cuccuzzella is Professor of Family Medicine at West Virginia University, Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force Reserves, and Chief Medical Consultant to the Air Force Marathon. As part of his medical practice, Dr. Cuccuzzella treats chronic metabolic diseases in the “trenches” of West Virginia, which has the 2nd highest obesity rate in the USA. As part of his military work, he is designing programs to promote health and better fitness in the military with the  USAF Efficient Running Project. In military and civilian community he has been a tireless promoter of healthy movement, nutritional interventions in patients with any spectrum of the metabolic syndrome, and injury free training for running. Mark’s work has been featured in, amongst many other, the New York Times, NPR, Outside Magazine, Running Times, Runner’s World, The Washington Post, and JAMA.

Maximum Number Of  Participants: 25
Price 24.900 ISK
September 10th

Barefoot running with Dr. Mark Cucuzzella

Come and learn the simplicity and joy of minimal and barefoot running with dr Mark Cucuzella (30yrs of running a full marathon under 3hrs). Workshop will focus on principles of elastic movement, stability and mobility for injury free running, and safely building endurance and speed.

For further information about minimal/barefoot running visit

And if you want to run with Dr. Mark in your favourite running shoes then that’s ok too.

  • Where: Víkin, Traðarland 1
  • When: September 10th. Meet up at 10:00.
  • Duration: Approx 2hrs
Price FREE
The workshop is free of charge for those who purchase a ticket for the conference. Just register for the workshop when signing up for the conference.










Háskólabíó Conference and Cultural Center

Háskólabíó | Conference & Cultural Center