OncoSENS is the cancer-related project in the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS). In typically ambitious fashion the plan is to remove the ability of humans to generate cancer by blocking all processes that can lengthen telomeres, as telomere lengthening is a function that all cancers must abuse in order to bypass normal limits on cell replication.
No other commonality between all cancers is presently known, and this blocking of telomere lengthening looks very likely to work, but for my money I'd prefer a more traditional approach to building robust cancer therapies - or perhaps adapting the mechanisms by which mole rats render themselves immune to cancer. The reason for this preference is that a person unable to lengthen telomeres would, at a minimum, require replacement of all stem cell populations once a decade or so - and if you miss that procedure, you will decline pretty quickly with many of the symptoms of an accelerated aging condition.
The SENS Foundation is presently hiring for a research group lead position in the OncoSENS project; pass it on to anyone you know who might be interested:
SENS Research Foundation is hiring for our research center located in Mountain View, CA. We are seeking a team lead for our OncoSENS group to work both on established projects and new independent research geared towards understanding the genetic mechanisms of telomerase-independent telomere elongation; for example, see the project Identifying and Disrupting Mediators of ALT. Research is focused on developing therapies against cancers that maintain their replicative potential using alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT), and more generally the mission of the Foundation, toward overcoming the diseases and disabilities of aging.
Qualified candidates will have a Ph.D. in the chemical/biological sciences. Duties will include bench work, management of a small team of lab researchers, the preparation of grant proposals, internal and external progress reports, individual and collaborative publication. The project lead will develop, interpret and implement standards, procedures, and protocols for the OncoSENS research program and may collaborate on determining strategic directions in the research program.