The Pineapple Fund Donates Millions to the Organ Preservation Alliance and Methuselah Foundation

The anonymous principal of the Pineapple Fund is a long-term holder of bitcoins, one of a number of people who have achieved considerable wealth in this way. Unlike most of the others, this individual holds the - eminently sensible - viewpoint that, after a certain point, the only real use for wealth is to craft a better world. Since the human condition, society included, is determined by technology, crafting a better world largely means supporting the development of new technologies that will allow us to overcome sources of suffering and limitation. In this context, by far the greatest cause of suffering and death in the world is aging.

One of the first donations made by the Pineapple Fund was a $1 million gift to the SENS Research Foundation, to accelerate ongoing work needed for the development of rejuvenation therapies based on periodic repair of the cell and tissue damage that causes aging. Another $1 million was added a little later. More recently, the Pineapple Fund has now given $2 million to the Organ Preservation Alliance and $1 million to the Methuselah Foundation, both deserving organizations in the same network, focused on advancing the state of medical research to help address the causes and consequences of aging.

The Methuselah Foundation should need little introduction for the audience here. It was the original home for the first SENS rejuvenation research projects, back when the budget was tiny and obtaining a five figure donation for the cause was a very big deal. The Methuselah Foundation has since generated the New Organ network of groups and researchers focused on tissue engineering, with the production of whole organs as a goal. Over the years, the foundation has invested in and incubated a number of startup companies such as Organovo (tissue printing), Oisin Biotechnologies (senescent cell clearance), and Leucadia Therapeutics (addressing protein aggregates in the brain). Those efforts have given rise to the Methuselah Fund, now that ever more venture funding is showing interest in the field. The Methuselah Foundation has less of a vocal public face than the SENS Research Foundation, but if you look at any of the activities and initiatives that take place in the broader rejuvenation research community, you'll usually find the Methuselah Foundation is connected in some way, behind the scenes. They play an important role.

The Organ Preservation Alliance is one of the more influential parts of the aforementioned network of groups focused on accelerating progress towards tissue engineered whole organs. Their specific area of interest is in the long-term preservation of large tissue sections. One of the important themes of recent years has been the meaningful signs of progress towards reversible cryopreservation, for example. If organs can be reliably vitrified and thawed with minimal damage, this will greatly simplify the logistics and reduce the costs inherent in both tissue engineering and the present organ donation industry. Being able to put an organ, donated or manufactured, into storage for the long term will change near everything about the way in which the field must presently operate. This isn't just important for the mainstream of medicine, however, as success in reversible cryopreservation will also provide considerable support for the cryonics industry, which is both vital and neglected.

The actions of the Pineapple Fund principal appear to be inspiring others in the cryptocurrency community to make donations of their own, and that, I think, is a useful outcome to see spreading through any community of high net worth individuals - or indeed, any community at all. The worst thing that one can do with wealth is nothing. There are any number of ways in which the world might be improved given a sensible approach to philanthropy, guided by personal principles of what is and is not important.


Im a heart transplant patient which were born in mid 80-ies and grown up in the 90-ies. every child I met who were heart or lung transplanted died 1-10 year after transplant and the donation to OPA was welcome. 60-70% of donated hearts and lungs are discarded. If they could be better preserved a double digit of that percentage could be used. Im on social health care money and donates 1000 NOK of 17.000 NOK pr month to OPA. I also donate 1000 NOK to Solving Organ Shortage (SOS). I cant understand how this research have been ignored for decades. I also donated to MAPS because trauma hinders me from taking up studies.
Many of the projects PAF donated to I support but I think there should be more focus on technological fixes and not to much "be kind to each other" organisations.

Posted by: Norse at January 29th, 2018 11:45 AM

I hope that some point in time some can put up a matching grant to OPA. Then I will donate heavily. Have saved up funds for that to come.

Posted by: Norse at January 29th, 2018 11:46 AM

@ Norse :

Thanks for sharing your story. You're doing the right thing by sending some of your state-funded income to organisations which could eventually save and improve your life. (It's really astounding and angering that the majority donated organs end up being discarded.)

I'm doing exactly the same - redistributing some of my state handouts to the SRF and other health-related foundations.

Posted by: Spede at January 29th, 2018 12:11 PM

I also donated 1000 NOK to MAPS which is supported now by PAF with a 4 mill matching. PTSD costs US if not remember wrong 17 billion USA annually.

Posted by: Norse at January 29th, 2018 12:17 PM

@Spede + Norse - good work. Big donations by big donors like the Pineapple fund often follow large amounts of small donations by the public. Big donors (except anonymous ones) don't want to look stupid or controversial, or row with their inevitable dependents that what they are doing is stupid or wrong. So a crowd of small donors is evidence that they are not risking either of those.

Posted by: Jim at January 29th, 2018 2:11 PM

The community are growing too slow. But I hope for an uptick next decade.

Posted by: Norse at January 29th, 2018 2:18 PM

Take a look at this chart.

The community is growing exponentially for some years now and it doubles once a year. If that trend holds - and there's no reason why it shouldn't - the next decade will start with 50.000 and end with 50 million people. That also means we'll see some major breakthroughs on the science front to convince them.

Posted by: Matthias F at January 29th, 2018 6:01 PM

We are seeing rapid growth on our SM platforms and in traffic, there is demand and support for the field and it is growing. It is an uphill slog but the tide is turning.

Posted by: Steve Hill at January 30th, 2018 5:52 AM

@steve hill do you think public interest is growing better too?

Posted by: scott emptage at January 30th, 2018 6:26 AM

I was wondering if Aubrey cashed in the crypto or if they decided to Hodl it :)

Here's a really good talk from Aubrey recently posted.

The first half is stuff you have all seen before. Skip ahead to the 28 minute mark to get the story of what happened over the last month as far as the cashflow.

Aubrey is quite touching in this vid. Highly recommend.

Aubrey, if you ever read this, keep fighting the fight. You really are making a difference and you could save us all.

Posted by: Mark Borbely at January 30th, 2018 9:56 AM

Thanks Mark.

@55:17 - Aubrey states that they have basically got another couple of mitochondrial genes working from the nucleus.

This would be very good news if confirmed by further testing. I think the $5 million in end of year funding is a big help, but there was/is the gnawing fear that it won't be repeated, and if it takes another 10-15 years of basic research to get mitochondrial allotopic expression working then SENS *could* run out of money. But if they get this technology to a VC startup company ready level in the next 24-36 months, well they definitely have enough runway for that.

Posted by: Jim at January 30th, 2018 4:14 PM
Comment Submission

Post a comment; thoughtful, considered opinions are valued. New comments can be edited for a few minutes following submission. Comments incorporating ad hominem attacks, advertising, and other forms of inappropriate behavior are likely to be deleted.

Note that there is a comment feed for those who like to keep up with conversations.