Molecular biologist Attila Chordash has been conducting short interviews with the longevity science and advocacy community in recent months; along the way he has interviewed LysoSENS researcher John Schloendorn and MitoSENS researcher Mark Hamalainen – both sponsored by the Methuselah Foundation, as I’m sure you know.
John Schloendorn has a master’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Tuebingen, Germany. Currently he is a graduate student at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, USA. John is heavily involved in the LysoSENS project of the Methuselah Foundation, which aims to remove some intracellular waste products for example via microbe-derived hydrolases targeted to the lysosome. Yes, this is the aubreyesque way of thinking on and experimenting with life extension.
Mark Hamalainen is a young PhD student at Cambridge University at the mitochondrion lab of Ian Holt. Mark received a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in biochemistry and computing from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He also had research training as a visiting scholar at the California Institute of Technology and the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University. Mark’s research project is MitoSENS, the artificial transfer of mitochondrial genes to the nucleus in order to defend mitochondrial DNA from the high mutation rate. The technical difficulties of such a project are characterized in this article. The idea generator behind is Aubrey de Grey. I met Mark yesterday at the Eagle Pub and we had a very nice conversation on life extension technologies, strategies and philosophies.
It is good to see a growing community of young life scientists who support and are engaged in the fight against aging – these are the folk who will be building research groups and determining the direction of the field in the late 2010s. They get it – they understand the urgent need to save lives by tackling the aging process, and the possibilities inherent in the biotechnology of today and tomorrow.
The defeat of aging is a plausible, possible goal – but we need to work hard to get there.