An interview with one of the Thiel Fellows: "The goal is to extend the healthy human lifespan. In the past couple of decades, we've learned a lot about the basic science of aging. Now it's time to start translating the basic science into marketable therapies. I want to find and fund the projects creating those therapies. ... When I was eight, my mom told me about death and I couldn't stop crying for days. What a tragedy! Life is incredible, but death is inevitable. I already knew biology was fantastic fun. But that moment, for me, made science more than fun. It made it into a power that could save lives. And I couldn't imagine doing something more fascinating or important. ... When I was twelve, I was lucky enough to meet Cynthia Kenyon (biogerontologist and molecular biologist), who is a pioneer in the field of anti-aging research. She is amazing. I ended up working in her lab, at the University of California San Francisco, for a few years. She had a way of describing scientists as detectives, trying to solve mysteries and catch genetic culprits. Growing up at UCSF, getting to tinker with tiny worms in a biology lab and sit in on classes about genetics and biochemistry ... that was an incredible experience. ... Anti-aging is such an important field, but it is underfunded. Building business around an anti-aging therapy is no mean feat, especially when the FDA does not recognize aging as a disease. The goal here is to create a profitable, self-sustaining structure that will fund a portfolio of anti-aging projects, and then commercialize the research. It will be important that scientists get a stable source of funding for long-term lifespan projects, and a cut of the revenue from the projects they create."