An Interview with David Gobel, Methuselah Foundation CEO

Today I noticed a fairly long interview with David Gobel of the Methuselah Foundation - a lot of interesting detail in there as to the Foundation's goals and arrangements. For example:

Q: What collaborations, partnerships, or other types of relationships does Methuselah Foundation have with other longevity funding organizations, if any. One example would be the Ellison Foundation.

A: Ellison has been a donor to the Methuselah Foundation. We've had many organizations that have been supporters such as the Thiel Foundation, the Ellison Foundation, The Paul Glenn Foundation.

Q: Are there any other collaborations with any funding or research-focused organizations?

A: We are, I suppose closest to SENS foundation, we do many things together. We also co-founded the Super Centenarian Foundation which did the world's first autopsies on super centenarians to figure out not how they lived so long, but what exactly they died from, which is a question I posed during the discussion about founding that organizations so they did the autopsies and there's a paper talking about what came up and what can be done about it.

Q: What is your relation with SENS in particular?

A: We are their fiscal sponsor. They recently received their 501c3 tax-deductible exemption from the IRS but from the 2 or 3 years where they did not have that, we were their fiscal sponsor. We also continue to provide them donations from donors and they recently donated funds to help fund the NewOrgan Prize that we're producing.

Q: How far into the future do you think you and your team plan the strategy and goals of the organization?

A: We are looking at what we can accomplish and deliver to end users within 18 months and 5 years and SENS is focused on 10-15 years.

That last point is an important one, and keeping it in mind will illuminate a great deal of the thinking behind the activities of the two organizations. The Methuselah Foundation invests in technologies likely to emerge within the next few years, for example, like organ printing development by startup Organovo. The SENS Foundation, on the other hand, spends a fair amount of effort on building the foundation for the next generation of the research community - outreach amongst people who are in college now, studying life science, but who may have their own laboratories and companies in the biotech space ten years from now.


So what notable achievements have Methuselah Foundation and SENS reached over the years?

Posted by: Bill Sardi at June 19th, 2011 5:59 PM

The SENS Foundation is two years old, give or take, and you can read in detail the results of their research programs and outreach in their annual reports:

Methuselah Foundation's activities are described in various places at their website:

and in addition there is a great deal of networking and persuasion that has taken place behind the scenes. The sea change in attitudes towards aging and longevity research in the US research community over the last five years didn't come about through chance.

Posted by: Reason at June 19th, 2011 7:05 PM
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