November 24th 2015

November 24, 2015

SENS Research Foundation Joins the Global #GivingTuesday Movement
Every Dollar Contributed Up to the First $5,000 Will Be Quadrupled, Turning into $20,000
The SENS Research Foundation (SRF), a non-profit organization focused on transforming the way the world researches and treats age-related disease, has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and celebrate generosity worldwide. Every dollar donated to SRF up to the first $5,000 will be quadrupled, making every dollar raised turn into $20,000.
Occurring this year on December 1, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.   
SENS Research Foundation is aiming to reach a goal of $20,000 with the help of contributors who have pledged to match each dollar raised up to the first $5,000. The Croeni Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to giving, the environment and health, has pledged to match the first $5,000 raised dollar for dollar. The foundation gave SRF an unrestricted $5,000 earlier this year, as well. Aubrey de Grey, CSO of SENS Research Foundation, has offered a dollar for dollar matching challenge up to $5,000. And Fight Aging! will match every dollar up to $125,000 through December 31, 2015. Fight Aging! encourages the development of medical technologies, lifestyles, and other means to help people live comfortably, healthily, and capably for as long as they desire.
“We are looking forward to participating in #GivingTuesday for a second year, and offer our thanks to Jan Croeni and the Croeni Foundation, as well as Aubrey de Grey and Fight Aging! for their support,” said Jerri Barrett, vice president of outreach, SENS Research Foundation. “Today’s cost for the treatment and care of chronic diseases of aging costs around $40,000 per second in the United States and will only continue to go up, as we spend more money per patient, while the number of patients is increasing. As a society, we need to change our ways and start treating age-related diseases more intelligently. The funds we raise on #GivingTuesday will help facilitate our efforts to do just that, as we work to continue learning how to prevent or reverse age-related diseases.”
Those who are interested in joining SENS Research Foundation’s #GivingTuesday initiative can visit To learn more about #GivingTuesday participants and activities or to join the celebration of giving, please visit:

Want your Amazon purchases to help fight age-related disease? will make a donation to SRF every time you buy using AmazonSmile.

Make sure to use AmazonSmile when you do your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. $125,000 Challenge Grant Update 
Thank you to everyone who has donated so far to support SENS Research Foundation's year-end challenge grant from We're more than halfway to the goal with a new total of $68,941.58 -- help us get the rest of the way there!

Remember, Fight Aging! will match up to $125,000 in donations from you, our supporters -- meaning SRF will get $250,000 to apply to the fight against the root cause of age-related disease if we are successful in the remaining 6 weeks of the campaign.


To donate go to 


2016 SRF Summer Scholars Program:

Applications Available November 30, 2015


Applications for the 2016 SENS Research Foundation Summer Scholars program will be available starting November 30, 2015. All interested students meeting eligibility requirements are encouraged to visit our website for details and apply in advance of the February 1, 2016 deadline.


The SRF Summer Scholars Program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct biomedical research to combat diseases of aging, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s Disease. Under the guidance of one or more scientific mentors, each Summer Scholar is responsible for his or her own research project. 



The Summer Scholars Program emphasizes development of not only laboratory skills but communication skills as well. Students participating in the program will develop writing skills via periodic reports throughout the internship and presentation skills via a poster presentation at a SRF-sponsored conference at the end of the Program. Paid positions are available at world-renowned research institutions throughout the country.


Curious to see what last year's program participants thought of their experience? Click below to watch the 2015 Summer Scholars video on our website.



2015 SRF Education Summer Scholars Spotlight: 

Buck Institute for Research on Aging 


This month we are pleased to introduce our three Summer Scholars that were stationed at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging during summer 2015: June Hope, Federica Sartori, and Sumner Kilmarx. Click each student's photo or name to view more detailed project descriptions on our website -- and be sure to watch the video featuring these and other 2015 Summer Scholars.


June Hope recently graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Cell Biology and a minor in Microbiology. Her summer 2015 work at the Buck Institute took place in the lab of Dr. Gordon Lithgow under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Edgar, and focused on investigating the relationship between alterations in metals that affect cell homeostasis and how these changes in turn affect the aging process.


June Hope


Federica Sartori is a third year cellular biology major at the University of California, Davis (UCD), planning to become a research scientist in cellular or computational biology. This past summer, she worked in the Brem laboratory at the Buck Institute focusing on developing computational tools to identify novel, tumor-speciific changes to certain gene regions called 3'UTRs and to furthermore devise experimental strategies to assess the impact of these changes on tumorgenesis.


Federica Sartori


Sumner Kilmarx is a junior at Dartmouth College, majoring in molecular biology. His summer 2015 work at the Buck Institute via the SRF Summer Scholars program took place in the laboratory of Dr. Judith Campisi. Under the guidance of Dr. Marco Damaria, he focused on characterizing cellular senescence, particularly in terms of the dichotomous role it plays in cancer growth.


Sumner Kilmarx



Question of the Month #12: Energy-Carrying Molecules to Boost Aging Mitochondria?


Q: In recent months, I’ve seen quite a lot of promotional material — and some coverage from well-established news venues — for a dietary supplement called nicotinamide riboside (NR). The companies involved say that Harvard researchers showed that this supplement restores mitochondrial function in the cells of aging mice, completely reversing the aging process in muscles. Some of them add that other research has shown that it improves metabolism, fights fat and obesity, and is protective of brain function. What do you think of this supplement?
A: Before getting into the matter of nicotinamide riboside (NR)’s potential benefits to humans, it must be clarified that the substance used in the Harvard research was not actually NR, but another compound called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). But NMN is unsuitable for oral supplementation, as it is rapidly hydrolyzed in the intestine, so the Harvard researchers (like a previous team of scientists from the Washington University School of Medicine at St. Louis and others thereafter) injected their mice with NMN rather than giving it to them in their feed.
With the excited coverage that greeted the Harvard NMN research, supplement companies have promoted NR as a substitute, because it was already in production and can be taken orally. Because NR is a precursor to NMN, which in turn is used for the synthesis of the energy shuttle molecule nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), many supplement vendors assert or imply that the results with NMN can also be gained with NR. Promoters of NR also point to studies showing that NR yields improvements in metabolic health in rodent models of diabetic obesity promoted by a high-fat/high sugar diet that are similar to those reported for injected NMN.These vendors furthermore note positive results of NR supplementation in mouse models of genetic neurological and mitochondrial disorders, and in mice genetically engineered to develop liver cancer.
That all may sound promising, and it certainly makes for effective marketing copy.But no study has actually been done demonstrating that NR has similar effects to NMN in the muscles of otherwise-healthy aging mice.

The "Question of the Month" column is your opportunity to submit your research-related queries to SRF's expert science writer Michael Rae. Please send your questions to and they may be featured in a future newsletter.

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