Methuselah Foundation has successfully promoted the extension of healthy human life – the science of aging has gained acceptance and broad-based support thanks to your ongoing contributions. Now we are strongly supporting science that will lead to tissue engineering and organ regeneration. We will be the catalyst to speed up the development of organ replacement.
I am continually delving into every area of science, the work being done in universities, labs and biotech companies, to see the latest research and how it might contribute to longer life. I am convinced that there are many viable solutions but we, uniquely, are in a position to move them to a practical place. With this mission in mind we created the NewOrgan Prize. Based on our success with the Mprize, we anticipate this new prize will accelerate the rate of research and bring us closer to practical solutions. WE MUST continue to accelerate practical scientific solutions related to aging. You and I – not just our children and grandchildren – should benefit from the advances in tissue engineering that are already on the table.
This is why I need your input. We are contemplating a number of initiatives in support of this drive but we want to have the greatest possible impact. I would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. Please continue reading and I believe you will have a clear understanding of the potential and, hopefully, will have some thoughts to share.
What is the NewOrgan Prize?
It is an award that will be given to the first team of scientists to duplicate and successfully transplant a fully functioning new organ made from a patient’s own cells.
In support of this initiative, Methuselah Foundation has invested in two companies that show great promise: Organovo, the organ printing company I have written about before and Silverstone Solutions, a company that is matching organs to donors in a very sophisticated way through their product, Matchmaker. This is a “right now” solution for the thousands facing transplants today and it holds promise for additional applications.
I asked Reason, one of the first members of the 300, to share his thoughts on our role as longevity pioneers in this new challenge:
“We supporters of longevity science are a community in search of the next stage of growth and progress. To this end, we can find many new friends who understand the desire to live a longer, healthier life amongst the broader community of enthusiasts for tissue engineering and organ regeneration.
Through the NewOrgan Prize and related initiatives we can both push forward the science of new organs, grown from a patient’s own cells, and gather new allies to advocate and build the next stage of enhanced human longevity.”
His thoughts reflect my own.
Now, back to my question…
I value your input and would like to have it more now than ever. We are at an important point in our development. We have been fortunate to have the support of donors like you, farsighted individuals and foundations that see the possibilities for longer, healthier living.
Your generosity and ability to make a sizable contribution are noteworthy. The 300 has been an important part of the Methuselah Foundation from the beginning. Your donations make a considerable difference and they inspire others to give. Look what we, together, were able to do with SENS and Mprize!
In 2011 we would like to greatly expand our base of support. We realize that many of those who need an organ and can’t get one, or who have had a transplant and know too well the limitations it imposes, are not in a position to make large contributions. But they care about the work we are doing. Many others share our concern for expediting science that will allow us all to live a long life. But, especially in these difficult economic times, they may only be able to make a small contribution.
We are now exploring building a system to generate a large number of smaller donations. We believe there is a sense of urgency in this appeal because many, many people the world over are experiencing the impact of failed organs. Not just the elderly but young people too. Last week I attended TEDMED in San Diego and 26 year old opera singer, Charity Tillemann-Dick, opened the conference. She told of her journey from a diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension to a double lung transplant. This was a reminder of the threat to all of us and the timeliness of our work.
Won’t you take a minute to give me your suggestions? Maybe there are features we could add to our website that would attract a broader audience. Or you may know of some connections that we have overlooked. We anticipate offering matching gifts for new donors and will be announcing that initiative in the days ahead; is that initiative appealing to you?
Methuselah Foundation is busy working towards real solutions. Thanks again for your support and encouragement. And please email me; I would like to have your input today so we can make plans for growth and development in 2011.
Founder, Methuselah Foundation
PS The organ crisis is apparent in my life as it probably is in yours. I personally know three people right now in various stages of organ failure, one young father, a Methuselah Foundation supporter, recently received a transplant. But the transplant model is not solving the problem. While it is lifesaving for some, even they face a shorter, less productive life as a result.
PPS Please respond, I value your input and seek your suggestions.