Year End Charitable Donations to Help Advance Rejuvenation Research

As Giving Tuesday approaches once again, it is time to consider charitable donations for the end of 2022. If your priority is to reduce human suffering in the world, then by far the most cost-effective approach is to support scientific programs that enable the development of rejuvenation therapies. In comparison to the vast and inflated cost of medicine, the scientific research that produces the means to make new medicines is cheap. Given the right infrastructure of advocacy and networking between the scientific community and industry, new scientific results achieved at low cost can inspire a great deal of investment in further development.

Our community of patient advocates, scientists, fundraisers, and entrepreneurs has spent the past two decades building out that infrastructure: people and organizations that identify the most promising research programs, help to fund them, and then transfer the successful results into venture-funded biotech startups. That ecosystem grows with time, and the original efforts are now spread out over a number of non-profits, collaborating with a network of allied researchers. All of these non-profits merit ongoing philanthropic support, so that they continue to build a pipeline from academia to industry for the most promising approaches to human rejuvenation.

Firstly the SENS Research Foundation, spun out from the Methuselah Foundation, the original starting point for this community. SENS Research Foundation maintains a research group and laboratory that has led to a number of spin-out companies focused on aspects of rejuvenation via damage repair, such as Cyclarity. It further funds research in a number of allied institutions around the world, focused on enabling repair of the cell and tissue damage that causes aging, particularly in parts of the field that appear to be neglected or moving too slowly.

Secondly, Aubrey de Grey's new Longevity Escape Velocity (LEV) Foundation will perform similar work to the SENS Research Foundation, with an initial focus on combining approaches to demonstrate that repairing different forms of cell and tissue damage simultaneously will produce greater, synergistic gains, as expected from a damage-focused view of aging. If you were a supporter of the SENS Research Foundation, you might take a look at the projects that will be undertaken at the LEV Foundation and choose to support both organizations.

Thirdly, the Methuselah Foundation continues to perform a range of important work in the field of rejuvenation research, in combination with an allied venture fund, the Methuselah Fund. The primary focus is tissue engineering and production of replacement organs, but they are also involved in numerous other projects relevant to research into aging and rejuvenation.

The principals at all of these organizations are involved behind the scenes in networking, arranging connections between scientists and entrepreneurs, agitating for specific programs to receive support, and in general trying to move humanity closer to an era in which aging is a medical condition that can be controlled, repaired, reversed. Their actions over the past twenty years have helped bring us to the point at which a longevity biotech industry actually exists, and many formerly languishing research programs have made the leap to preclinical and clinical development.

We live in exciting times! A great deal of work remains to be carried out, however. Many scientific programs necessary to the repair of cell and tissue damage remain poorly funded. If a comprehensive toolkit of rejuvenation therapies is to be produced in our lifetime, something must be done about that. The field moves as fast as we collectively help it to move; science runs on funding as much as it runs on enthusiasm. So pick one of these worthy non-profits and make a donation!

Comments

I wish the LEV foundation would run a "Lifespan machine 2.0" series of lifespan studies on Daphina (water fleas) for combo therapies as sanity test before investing millions in years long mouse lifespan studies.

This may or may not turn out to be a good display technology. But if it does work out it could lead to the rapid testing of many more interventions than can be afforded for the same amount of money in mice.

Posted by: jimofoz at November 22nd, 2022 6:06 AM

We've put a great deal of thought into the choice of combination interventions for the first round of mouse lifespan (and healthspan) studies, which will begin shortly. We'll be announcing the details within the next week or two. Invertebrate models can tell us certain things, but there is plenty that they can't tell us, partly because of the phylogenetic distance and also because of the simple impossibility of some interventions (such as stem cell therapies).

Posted by: Aubrey de Grey at November 28th, 2022 9:14 PM
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