Methuselah Foundation

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Methuselah Foundation
Methuselah Foundation Logo
Founded 2003
Type 501(c)(3)
Focus Life extension, rejuvenation, tissue engineering
Location
Area served Global
Method New Organ Prize, Mprize, Research Grants, Angel Investing
Slogan Extending Healthy Life
Website www.methuselahfoundation.org

Methuselah Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to extending the healthy human lifespan by advancing tissue engineering and regenerative medicine therapies. It was co-founded in 2003 by Aubrey de Grey and David Gobel, and is based in Springfield, Virginia, United States. To date, Methuselah has given more than $4 million to support research and development in regenerative medicine. [1]

Current Projects[edit]

Methuselah Mouse Prize[edit]

In 2003, David Gobel seed-funded the Methuselah Mouse Prize (Mprize) to encourage the development of new life extension therapies in mice, which are genetically similar to humans. So far, three Mouse Prizes have been awarded: one for breaking longevity records to Dr. Andrzej Bartke of Southern Illinois University; one for late-onset rejuvenation strategies to Dr. Stephen Spindler of the University of California; and one to Dr. Z. Dave Sharp for his work with the pharmaceutical rapamycin. [2]

On May 30, 2014, at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Aging Association [3], Methuselah awarded a $10,000 Mprize to Dr. Huber Warner for his founding of the National Institute on Aging’s Interventions Testing Program [4]. Dr. Warner is a former program director for the NIA Biology of Aging Program and former Associate Dean of Research for the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota.[1]

New Organ Prize[edit]

In 2013, Methuselah launched a second prize series, entitled New Organ [5], to accelerate solutions to the global organ shortage.[2] The first prize in this series, the $1 million New Organ Liver Prize, “will award $1,000,000 to the first team that creates a bioengineered replacement for the native liver of a large mammal, enabling it to recover in the absence of native function and survive three months with a normal lifestyle.” Future prizes under consideration include awards for the “heart, lung, and kidney.” [6]

Strategic Partnerships[edit]

Methuselah has also provided funding and strategic support to companies developing breakthrough technologies and clinical interventions in regenerative medicine. These companies include Organovo (NYSE: ONVO) [7], a pioneer in 3D tissue printing, and Silverstone Solutions [8], a maker of kidney-matching software that has enabled hospitals and transplant organizations to more quickly and accurately pair patients with compatible donors.

In 2013, Methuselah announced a new $500,000 partnership with Organovo to place 3D bioprinters in several U.S. university research labs as springboards for cutting-edge research.[3]

Past Projects[edit]

SENS Research Foundation[edit]

In 2007, under the auspices of the Methuselah Foundation, David Gobel and Aubrey de Grey initiated a new rejuvenation research program entitled “Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence” (SENS) in order to help identify, repair and remove cell-level damage before it causes systemic harm.

Through Methuselah, Gobel and de Grey established research programs focused on advanced human bioremedial biology at Rice University and Arizona State University—the world's first use of environmental remediation techniques to be directed at reversing "pollution" in human cells.[4] They also established a Mitochondrial Research initiative at Cambridge University aimed at improving the error correction and repair capabilities of fundamental energy producing organelles in humans.[9]

Under the continuing leadership of de Grey, SENS spun out from Methuselah as the independent SENS Research Foundation in 2009, and continues its work “to use regenerative medicine to repair the damage underlying the diseases of aging.” [10]

Advisors[edit]

Scientific Advisory Board:

  • Dr. Anthony Atala, Director, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
  • Dr. Stephen Badylak, Deputy Director, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
  • Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia, Director, MIT Lab for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies
  • Dr. Christopher Breuer, Co-Director, Tissue Engineering at Nationwide Children's Hospital
  • Dr. Scott Collins, CTO & VP of R&D, TeVido Biodevices
  • Dr. Gabor Forgacs, Scientific Founder, Organovo, Co-Founder, Modern Meadow
  • Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, Professor of Regenerative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet
  • Dr. Robert M. Nerem, Institute Professor Emeritus, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Laura Niklason, Professor of Anesthesiology & Biomedical Engineering, Yale
  • Dr. Harald Ott, Instructor in Surgery, Harvard Medical School
  • Dr. Doris Taylor, Director, Regenerative Medicine at Texas Heart Institute
  • Dr. Andre Terzic, Director, Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic
  • Dr. Andrzej Bartke, Director, Southern Illinois University Aging & Longevity Research Laboratory
  • Dr. Craig Cooney, Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Dr. Huber Warner, Associate Dean for Research, University of Minnesota
  • Dr. Don Ingram, Professor, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
  • Dr. Tom Johnson, Professor of Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Dr. Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, Professor and Chief, Division of Biology of Aging, University of Florida
  • Dr. John Speakman, Director, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen
  • Dr. Stephen Spindler, Professor of Biochemistry, University of California, Riverside

Executive Advisory Board:

  • Mr. Keith Murphy, Chairman & CEO, Organovo
  • Dr. Cathy Prescott, Founding Director, Biolatris, Co-Founder, univerCELLmarket
  • Dr. Alan Russell, Exec Director, Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative
  • Mr. Bernard Siegel, Founder & Executive Director, Genetics Policy Institute
  • Dr. William Wagner, Director, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
  • Mr. William Hinman, Executive Director, Regenerative Medicine Foundation

Donors[edit]

On September 16, 2006, Peter Thiel, co-founder and former CEO of PayPal, announced a pledge of $3.5 million to the Methuselah Foundation "to support scientific research into the alleviation and eventual reversal of the debilities caused by aging" (SENS research).[5]

The 300[edit]

Inspired by the famous 300 Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae, Methuselah founded "The 300" in 2005, a long-term membership program limited to 300 individuals who each commit to donating $25,000 over the course of 25 years. A monument in the island of St. Thomas is being constructed in their honor and is expected to be unveiled in early 2015.

References[edit]

External links[edit]