The Methuselah Foundation

by / Monday, 21 October 2013 / Published in Philanthropy
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The Methuselah Foundation, or MFoundation, is a non-profit organization founded by Aubrey de Grey and David Gobel in 2000. The MFoundation sponsors a number of activities that are intended to increase the human lifespan such as My Bridge 4 Life, which is a program that helps people deal with the effects of aging. The MFoundation also awards the Mprize to researchers who extend the lifespan of mice.

Mission

The MFoundation’s mission is to find solutions for any age-related disease that result in the loss of productivity and functionality. This organization supports scientific research that extends the healthy lifespan through financial rewards and public recognition. The MFoundation also supports the technologies developed by companies such as Organovo, SENS and Silverstone Solutions, which facilitate the search for a comprehensive solution to age-related diseases. The founders of MFoundation expect this research to provide significant results within a timeframe that is meaningful to its supporters.

History

Dave Gobel founded the MFoundation as a natural result of turning obstacles in his life into opportunities for change. He cared for his mother over a long period due to a series of illnesses, and his father died at the age of 55. Dave became concerned about the effects of aging as he approached that age and formed the MFoundation to address issues such as health and aging.
Dave began an online correspondence with Aubrey De Grey in 2000 after discovering they shared a common interest in life extension. The MFoundation began attracting attention and receiving donations from around the world, and the Mprize was established in 2003. They also established the Methuselah Mouse Prize 300 during this period to sustain funding for the Mprize. Aubrey left the MFoundation in 2009 to found the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence Foundation, which conducts SENS research. The MFoundation also formed a partnership with My Bridge4Life in that year and the MFoundation’s New Organ Prize was created in 2010.

Leaders

David Gobel is the CEO of the MFoundation, and he has also founded other companies with financial backing from venture capitalists. He founded Knowledge Adventure, which was a highly successful developer of educational media. Worlds Inc. developed virtual worlds on the Internet, and Starbright World designed virtual worlds for hospital-bound children that allows them to interact with friends and family members.
Roger Holzberg is the Founder and CEO for My Bridge 4 Life. He is also a consulting creative director in the effort to modernize the websites for the National Cancer Institute and New Media. Holzberg is a former Vice President of Disney Imagineering, where he served as the Creative Director for a range of projects such as theme park rides and electronic games.
Keith Murphy is the President and CEO for Organovo. He was previously a member of the development team for Alkermes, Inc., the biotechnology firm that developed Nutropin Depot. Murphy’s experience in biotechnology totals 16 years, including 10 years with Amgen.

David Jacobs is the CEO of Silverstone Solutions, which he founded in 2006. He has substantial experience in software with proven success in building startups into successful organizations such as Macromedia, Marimba and Microsoft. Jacobs’ 25-year career ended prematurely when he was diagnosed with an inherited kidney disease in 2001, and didn’t receive a kidney transplant until 2004.
Robert Cohen is currently the CEO for Miromatrix, and a former CEO of Advanced Circulatory Systems, Inc. and Travanti Pharma Inc. He was a vice president at St. Jude Medical, where he led the development of business and technology. Cohen has also held top positions at Sulzer Medica and Pfizer Hospital Products.

Scientific Advisors

The Board of Scientific Advisors for the MFoundation is co-chaired by Dr. Andrzej Bartke and Dr. Craig Cooney. Dr. Bartke is the Director of the Aging & Longevity Research Laboratory at the Southern Illinois University. He also researches the effects of caloric restriction and growth hormones on aging, and holds the current Mprize. Dr. Bartke received an $8 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health in 2009.

Dr. Craig Cooney is an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He studies the effects of epigenetics and DNA methylation on the mammalian lifespan. Epigenetics plays an important role in cancer development, and can be modified by nutrients and drugs. Dr. Cooney’s research also includes gene modification to treat and prevent cancer.

Sources: http://www.mfoundation.org/?pn=mj_about_mission, http://www.methuselahfoundation.org/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methuselah_Foundation

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