There are three days left - until September 1st - in which to vote and comment on the submitted Amex Members Projects to determine the top 25 that will move on to the next stage. The combination of votes and public interest will ultimately determine how American Express awards $2.5 million in philanthropic funding. From the website:
We're inviting you to come together to share ideas for projects that could make a difference in the world. Then it's up to you to support, and ultimately vote on, which projects get $2.5 million in funding from American Express.
Create a program that utilizes college undergraduates to perform research in a variety of scientific venues surrounding fighting age related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Heart Disease and Cancer and overall extension of healthy human life. Hiring researchers is exceedingly expensive. By outsourcing projects to undergraduate students, laboratory use and labor costs are negligible, and the students receive college credit for their work.
People who believe that one day they will peacefully die in their sleep are living in ignorance. The vast majority of age related deaths are a slow, painful, and degrading process over many years of later life. Watching my beloved grandmother die as a result of an age related disease and seeing our adored family friend fall prey to cancer has inspired me to learn more about death and aging pathology, and more importantly, to do something about it.
This is a well-planned project, sized to the funds available. With the backing of the Methuselah Foundation, already very involved in organizing undergraduate and graduate research volunteers, it would do well if victorious. As the vote counts ramp up in the final days of selecting the top 25 projects, it's up to us to help keep longevity science in the spotlight. It is by far the most discussed project, but it needs more votes. Tell your friends!
You don't have to be an Amex cardholder, but you do have to be a US resident in order to register and vote. Some instructions via the Methuselah Foundation blog:
1. Go to this website: http://www.membersproject.com/
2.a. If you are not an Amex Card Member: Click on "Guest Members Log In" in the upper right corner of the screen. Then click on "Guest Members Sign Up Here" at the bottom of the next screen.
2.b. If you are an Amex Card Member: Click on "Cardmembers Log In" on the right side of the screen. If you don't already have an online login click on "Create a Log In" in the next screen.
3. Complete the Registration Form which will give you your Login ID.
4. Once you are logged in on the home page, you can either a) Enter 'Undergrads Fighting Age Related Disease' in the Search box or b) click on 'Health' then 'Diseases and Disorders' at the bottom right of the home page, and scroll down to 'Undergrads Fighting Age Related Disease'. Alternately, here is a direct link to the project page:
5. Click on the project and then click on the 'Nominate this Project' button. Then click on 'Post Your Comments' at the bottom of the screen to have your say, as discussion board activity counts towards the nomination of the top 25 projects.
Opportunities to take a few minutes to step in and help secure funds for research don't come along every day for most of us. Take advantage here and know that you made a difference!