SENS Research Foundation has an established Advisory Board for its research programs. These distinguished specialists play a key role in our work: guiding our research budget and ensuring our focus on scientific projects that will open up the bottlenecks in progress toward a comprehensive panel of age-reversing biomedicine. In doing so, they are guided by the Advisory Board Statement of Principles, to which all members are signatories.
Statement of Principles
Two thirds of all deaths worldwide, and about 90% of all deaths in the developed world, are from causes that only rarely kill young adults. These causes include Alzheimer's, cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes and most cancers. They are age-related because they are expressions of the later stages of aging, occurring when the molecular and cellular damage that has accumulated in the body throughout life exceeds the level that metabolism can tolerate. Moreover, before it kills them, aging imposes on most elderly people a long period of debilitation and disease. For these reasons, aging is unarguably the most prevalent medically-relevant phenomenon in the modern world and the primary ultimate target of biomedical research.
Regenerative medicine can be defined as the restoration of an individual's molecular, cellular and/or tissue structure to broadly the state it was in before it experienced damage or degeneration. Aging is a degenerative process, so in theory it can be treated by regenerative medicine, thereby postponing the entire spectrum of age-related frailty and disease. But in practice, could regenerative medicine substantially postpone aging any time soon? If so, it will do so via the combined application of many distinct regenerative therapies, since aging affects the body in so many ways. Recent biotechnological progress indicates that many aspects of aging may indeed be effectively treatable by regenerative medicine in the foreseeable future. We cannot yet know whether all aspects will be, but extensive scrutiny has failed to identify any definite exceptions. Therefore, at this point there is a significant chance that such therapies would postpone age-related decline by several years, if not more, which constitutes a clear case for allocating significant resources to the attempt to develop those therapies.
Unfortunately, the regenerative medicine approach to combating aging is not yet being adequately pursued by major funding bodies: only a small number of laboratories worldwide are funded (either publicly or privately) to develop therapies that could rejuvenate aged but otherwise undamaged tissues. SRF has risen to the challenge of filling this void in the biomedical research funding arena. Research is chosen for funding on the basis of the following major criteria:
- It is demonstrably relevant to the development of regenerative medicine targeting some aspect of aging.
- It is poorly funded by other sources.
- Funding from other sources seems unlikely to be forthcoming in the near future.
As and when it is developed, this panel of therapies may provide many years, even decades, of additional youthful life to countless millions of people. Those extra years will be free of all age-related diseases, as well as the frailty and susceptibility to infections and falls that the elderly also experience. The alleviation of suffering that will result, and the resulting economic benefits of maintained productivity of the population, are almost incalculable. In our capacity as the overseers of SRF's research strategy, we urge you to do all you can to help SENS Research Foundation carry out this mission with maximum speed.
Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University
Director, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Director, Molecular Oncology Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO)
Professor, Buck Institute for Research on Aging; Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Professor, Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
Assistant Professor, Department of Bioengineering, UC Berkeley, and Berkeley Stem Cell Center
Research Director, Fondation Voir et Entendre, Institut de la Vision, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie
Professor, Biophysics Laboratory, University of Missouri-Columbia; Founder, Organovo, Modern Meadow
Senior Research Scientist, Center on the Demography and Economics of Aging, NORC and the University of Chicago
S. Mitchell Harman, PhD
Director and President of Kronos Longevity Research Institute
Chair, Haseltine Global Health
Executive Director, FutureMed, Singularity University
Chair of Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing, University College London
Global Director of R&D, Cell Technologies, GE Healthcare
Chair, Department of Immunobiology and Co-Director, Center on Aging, University of Arizona
Professor of Experimental Immunology, Tübingen University
Director, Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University
Director, Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute
Chair in Geriatrics, Department of Cell Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Director, A.N. Belozersky Research Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Moscow State University
Associate Professor of Chemistry, Yale University
Group Leader, Stem Cell Biology and Regeneration, Fraunhofer Institute
Director, Genetics and Aging Research Unit, MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, Harvard University
Head, Advanced Genomics Technologies, Sangamo Biosciences; Associate Adjunct Professor, UC Berkeley
Chair, Department of Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
CEO, Biotime Inc.