Methuselah Foundation

The Methuselah Foundation is a non-profit organization with declared mission to 'make 90 the new 50 by 2030' by supporting tissue engineering and regenerative medicine therapies.[1] It was co-founded in 2003 by David Gobel and Aubrey de Grey.[2] Their work includes:

Methuselah Foundation
Methuselah Foundation Logo
Founded2003; 18 years ago (2003)
FoundersAubrey de Grey & David Gobel
Type501(c)(3)
FocusLife extension, rejuvenation, tissue engineering
Location
Area served
Global
MethodNew Organ Prize, Mprize, Research Grants, Angel Investing
Websitewww.mfoundation.org

The charity was named after Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah in the Hebrew Bible, whose lifespan was recorded as 969 years.

In 2000, the foundation was originally conceived by David Gobel as the Longitude Prize Society,[7] named after the British government's Longitude Act, which set up monetary rewards for anyone who could devise a portable, practical solution for determining a ship's longitude. In 2003, the organization was made public as the Methuselah Foundation at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the American Aging Association,[7] where they awarded the first Methuselah Mouse Prize to Andrej Bartke for his work on mice that lived the equivalent of 180 human years.[8]

Current projectsEdit

Methuselah FundEdit

The Methuselah Fund was created as an LLC subsidiary of the Methuselah Foundation to incubate and invest in early-stage companies. The first investments were made in:[9]

New Organ AllianceEdit

The Methuselah Foundation fiscally sponsors the New Organ Alliance, — an initiative aimed at raising awareness and facilitating research to help alleviate organ donation shortages.[15][16] In 2013, the foundation announced the New Organ Liver Prize, a $1,000,000 award to the first team that can create a bioengineered or regenerative liver therapy for a "large mammal, enabling the host to recover in the absence of native liver function and survive three months with a normal lifestyle."[17][18]

The initiative is held in partnership with the Organ Preservation Alliance. New Organ Alliance worked out a technology roadmap report for organ banking and bioengineering solutions to help address organ shortages.[19] The roadmap was developed through a workshop on May, 2015 in Washington, D.C., along with a subsequent roundtable held by the Office of Science and Technology Policy. It is funded from the National Science Foundation[20] and Methuselah Foundation. Two follow-up perspectives were published, "The Promise of Organ and Tissue Preservation to Transform Medicine"[21] and "Bioengineering Priorities on a Path to Ending Organ Shortage".[22]

In 2016, NASA in partnership with the New Organ Alliance announced the Vascular Tissue Challenge.[23][24] Creating a sufficient blood vessel system – vasculature – is often seen by biomedical researchers as a primary impediment in engineering thick tissues.[25][26] The Vascular Tissue Challenge offers a $500,000 prize "to be divided among the first three teams that successfully create thick, metabolically-functional human vascularized organ tissue in a controlled laboratory environment."[27]

In November 2016, in conjunction with the Vascular Tissue Challenge, the New Organ Alliance hosted at the NASA Research Park the Vascular Tissue Challenge Roadmapping Workshop, with funding from the NSF.[28][29]

Methuselah Mouse PrizeEdit

The Methuselah Mouse Prize (Mprize) was created to increase scientific and public interest in longevity research[30] by awarding two cash prizes: "one to the research team that broke the world record for the oldest-ever mouse; and one to the team that developed the most successful late-onset rejuvenation strategy."[31] The Mprize was announced publicly in 2003 by David Gobel and Aubrey de Grey at the American Aging Association.[7] The prize for longevity was first won by a research team led by Andrzej Bartke of Southern Illinois University.[32] The prize for rejuvenation first went to Stephen Spindler of the University of California, Riverside.[33] Additionally, in 2009, the first Mprize Lifespan Achievement Award went to Z. Dave Sharp of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio for extending the lifespan of already aged mice using the pharmaceutical rapamycin.[34]

In May 2014, at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Aging Association, Methuselah Foundation awarded a $10,000 Mprize to Huber Warner for his founding of the National Institute on Aging's Interventions Testing Program.[35][36][37]

3D bioprinter grantsEdit

In 2013, Methuselah Foundation began a partnership with Organovo to fund the use of their 3D bioprinters at academic research centers for biomedical research.[38] Under the grant program, the foundation committed "at least $500,000 in direct funding for research projects across several institutions."[39] The first recipients were Yale School of Medicine,[40] UCSF School of Medicine,[41] and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute.[42]

Past projectsEdit

Bowhead Whale GenomeEdit

In 2015, with funding from the Methuselah Foundation and Life Extension Foundation, the bowhead whale genome was sequenced by João Pedro de Magalhães and his team at the University of Liverpool.[43] The bowhead whale is possibly the longest-lived mammal, capable of living over 200 years.[44] The genome project was undertaken to learn more about the mammal's mechanisms for longevity and resistance to age-related diseases, which are unknown.[44] An assembly of the bowhead whale genome has been made available online to promote further research.[45]

Organ Preservation AllianceEdit

In 2013, Methuselah began fiscally sponsoring and collaborating with the Organ Preservation Alliance, an initiative coordinating research and stakeholders for the preservation of tissues and organs.[2][46][47][48] The organization's activities have included:

Supercentenarian Research FoundationEdit

In 2006, Methuselah contributed capital and fiscal sponsorship to launch the Supercentenarian Research Foundation (SRF).[2] SRF was formed to study why supercentenarians, people over 110 years of age, live longer than most, and why they die.[56] Eight autopsies of supercentenarians were conducted by SRF, with six indicating senile cardiac transthyretin amyloidosis at the time of death. With this desease, a defective protein "amasses in and clogs blood vessels, forcing the heart to work harder and eventually fail."[57][58]

SENS Research FoundationEdit

From 2003–2009,[2] Methuselah Foundation served as the backbone organization for the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) program, a long-term research framework developed by Aubrey de Grey.[59] The SENS program aims to prevent or reverse seven forms of molecular or cellular damage associated with aging.[60]

During that time, de Grey and David Gobel established SENS-related research programs on human bioremedial biology – "getting the crud out" in Methuselah's parlance[61] – at Rice University and Arizona State University.[4] The programs were the first use of environmental remediation principles directed at reversing "pollution" in human cells.[62] Additionally, Methuselah sponsored a series of SENS-focused roundtables and conferences,[63] and funded the writing of Ending Aging, co-authored by de Grey and Michael Rae.

Under de Grey's continued leadership, SENS spun out from Methuselah as the SENS Research Foundation in 2009.[2]

DonorsEdit

Due to the close relationship between Methuselah Foundation and SENS Research Foundation and their common activities, during reading articles and public reports there are sometimes misundestanding about their budgets, directions and amounts of donations which can be distributed between these organizations for various purposes.

In 2004, Methuselah Foundation began a donor initiative called "The Methuselah 300" ("The 300"),[64] a community of philanthropic donors pledging $25,000 over 25 years, at a minimum of $1,000 annually, toward the organization. The initiative was named after the 300 Spartans who held the pass at Thermopylae in 480 BC during the Greco-Persian War. In addition, in 2015, the foundation began memorializing The 300 donors with a monument[65] at St. Thomas Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

On September 16, 2006, Peter Thiel, co-founder and former CEO of the online payments system PayPal, announced that he is pledging $3.5 million to the Methuselah Foundation and the SENS programs "to support scientific research into the alleviation and eventual reversal of the debilities caused by aging".[66]

In 2007, Justin Bonomo, professional poker player, has pledged 5% of his tournament winnings for SENS research.[67][68]

In January 2018, the anonymous principal of the Pineapple Fund donated $1 million to the Methuselah Foundation,[69] that's in addition to $2 million donated to SENS Research Foundation.[70][71]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Page "About Us" on the site of Methuselah Foundation (Retrieved 2021-04-06)
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  70. ^ Bitcoin Transaction 10dd3b4bb1…
  71. ^ Bitcoin Transaction f0aa1cc5bc…

External linksEdit