Hot Mandates: California-based Foundation

15 Mar

A Mountain View, CA-based foundation provides grants for research into rejuvenation biotechnologies that prevent or reverse age-related tissue damage. Historically grants have ranged from $40,000 to $200,000 although this range may change in the future. Grants are available to researchers worldwide. The foundation normally requests that grants not be used to cover overhead/facilities costs. At present, 15 projects are being supported.

The foundation is focused on projects that counter aging by applying one of seven areas of biotechnology; stem cells (induced pluripotent stem cells), gene therapy (specifically WILT; whole-body interdiction of lengthening telomeres), allotopic expression of proteins generated by mitochondrial genes, immunotherapies that target anergic killer T-cells or adipose tissue microphages, tissue engineering to repair collagen crosslinks and damage to elastin structures, antibodies/vaccines that target amyloid, and enzymes that target lysosomal waste. Only biotechnology projects are considered; the foundation does not give grants to medtech or bioinformatic projects in these fields.

As most of these fields of rejuvenation biotechnology are at early stages of understanding, the foundation primarily funds preclinical projects where the impact of their funding will be highest. However, the foundation does not rule out the possibility of supporting a clinical trial for a project

within the field of rejuvenation biotechnology provided that project is not a cell therapy or tissue engineering project.

Historically the foundation grants have mostly been provided to academic/non-profit researchers but the foundation is also open to working with commercial companies. When making funding decisions the foundation puts significant weight on the investigators’ publication records. The foundation does not normally seek any management/advisory involvement in a project. The foundation encourages sponsored investigators to collaborate with each other where synergy exists between projects.

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