Guest article by Jason Hope
The SENS Research Foundation, or SRF, continues its original mission to “change the way the world researches and treats age-related disease.” Today, the organization performs SENS-related research, education and public relations aimed at improving acceptance and interest in regenerative medicine. SENS believes it is possible to create a world free from age-related disease and they think it could happen in our lifetime.
SENS is the acronym for Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence. The foundation dedicates its efforts to reducing senescence, which is the deterioration of health associated with aging, to negligible levels. SENS believes senescence is an engineering problem, solved not by voodoo or a magic bullet, but through organized collaboration between the scientific community, policymakers, and the public. SRF works to foster this collaboration in a way that permanently ends the debilitating signs of aging that cause misery and early death.
SENS Research Foundation is a research-focused, outreach organization. They participate in a variety of activities, such as summits, general advocacy and speaking engagements. It’s their goal to inform the public and policymakers about using a damage-repair approach to ending age-related disease.
Research, Outreach and Education
At its core, SRF is a research foundation. Scientists and administrators associated with the foundation conduct and coordinate research into developing the fundamental technologies capable of halting the aging process. SRF also funds research at universities around the world and in SENS own SRF Research Center in Mountain View, California.
The SRF Research Center houses their internal research laboratory, where their scientists perform advanced rejuvenation biotechnology research. The focus of this work is to address the root causes of aging on a molecular level in a systematic and comprehensive way. Currently, the work of the SRF Research Center focuses on the Mitochondrial Mutations Research Project, LysoSENS, and OncoSENS.
The Mitochondrial Mutations Research Project strives to correct time-related damage to the “powerhouse” of human body cells, mitochondria. Researchers with LysoSENS work towards clearing out the waste that accumulates in cells over time. The OncoSENS research objective is to make cancer mutations harmless.
The SENS Research Foundation reaches out to scientists, policymakers, administrators, celebrities and everyday people – everyone and anyone affected by aging. They know it will take a concerted effort to end senescence. They do outreach through conferences, summits, and general advocacy.
Every other year, SRF holds its biennial conference at Queens’ College in Cambridge, UK. The purpose of this conference is to expedite the development of anti-aging therapies through a series of invited talks, short oral presentations, roundtable symposiums, and poster sessions featuring world-leading speakers and rejuvenation technology specialists.
SENS is building an organization that helps end senescence, so they invest in providing young people the tools they will need to cure age-related diseases. They engage in educational work through SRF Education, their student program that provides education, guidance, mentorship and materials grants. The SRF Education summer internship program brings students to the SRF Center and outside institutions. Additionally, they are developing online coursework so that they can reach an even greater number of future SENS-related researchers.
SENS Research Foundation has already come a long way in its short existence. The LysoSENS at Arizona State University project helped scientists identify an enzyme associated with the vision problem, age-related macular degeneration. SRF worked with scientists at Pierre and Marie Curie University to discover that the human body makes “backup copies” of mitochondrial genes that scientists may someday use to prevent age-related mutations of mitochondria, the energy factory for the cells.
Professor Daria Mochly-Rosen at Stanford University paired with Dr. Yogalingam from SRF to work on two projects relating to vision – one works with specific enzymes that affect retinal cells in the eyes and another to develop effective treatment for age-related macular degeneration.
During 2008 – 2009, SRF co-sponsored a project with Drs. Leonid Gavrilov and Natasha Gavrilova from the University of Chicago to assess the potential national effects caused by significantly extended lifespan. The results, which conclude that extending lifespan would have a negligible effect on population, are available through the National Library of Medicine.
Through these activities and others, the SENS Research Foundation links the present, a time when scientists finally have enough information to lay out such a strategy, to the future when researchers have actual prototype therapies capable of rejuvenating laboratory animals and then, someday, humans.
Bio of Jason Hope
Jason Hope is an entrepreneur, futurist, philanthropist, and investor located in Scottsdale, Arizona with a passion for technology and giving back to his community. As an Arizona native, Jason grew up in Tempe and received a degree in finance from Arizona State University, and an MBA from ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. Along with his philanthropic and business initiatives, Jason has a dedicated interest in politics as related to business throughout the state of Arizona as well as nationally.