“Imagine a world where there is no donor organ shortage, where victims of spinal cord injuries can walk, and where weakened hearts are replaced. This is the long-term promise of regenerative medicine.”
—National Institutes of Health

New Organ Prize

Incentive prizes to advance human tissue engineering.

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University 3D Bioprinter

Got a 3D printer? We're ensuring top medical labs do.

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Organovo, a breakthrough biotech company that Methuselah has backed since its inception, was uplisted to the New York Stock Exchange (ONVO) in 2013. We're so optimistic about the potential impacts of its 3D tissue printing technology on cutting-edge biomedical research, we've initiated a partnership to help get more Organovo printers into prominent labs.

Under this program, Methuselah is donating at least $500,000 in direct funding for bioprinter research projects, to be divided among several institutions. This funding will cover budgeted bioprinter costs, as well as other aspects of project execution. Organovo is participating in selecting the best candidate institutions from all those that apply, and funding will commence as soon as selection is complete.

According to Organovo CEO Keith Murphy, “Organovo's technology has broad potential application in the life sciences. The opportunity to allow those working towards significant breakthroughs in organ bioprinting to use the NovoGen MMX bioprinter is exciting, and we're happy to be able to establish this joint effort with Methuselah Foundation to enable greater access to Organovo's powerful platform.”

One expected outcome from the program is a greater set of preliminary results to justify the granting of additional government research grants in the 3D bioprinting space. Together, Methuselah and Organovo are confident that this can become a springboard for much broader productive use of bioprinting in regenerative medicine.

For more information about this program, please email 3dprinters@mfoundation.org.

Cancer Treatment

Improving chemotherapy through personalized DNA sequencing.

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In July 2013, Methuselah awarded $5,000 to Dr. L. Stephen Coles, co-founder and Executive Director of the Gerontology Research Group and a prominent researcher on supercentenarians (people aged at least 110).

This grant, in support of Dr. Coles's own pancreatic cancer treatment, will also provide for an accompanying study of new methods of personalized gene sequencing and pre-testing of potential chemotherapy courses in immunodeficient mouse models. The research is being carried out under the auspices of Champions Oncology of Baltimore, MD, and promises to shed light on new prospects for the future of cancer care.

Bowhead Whales

Bowhead whales live for over 200 years. We want to find out why.

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Given the declining costs of DNA sequencing, all kinds of research that used to be prohibitively expensive even a few years ago is now becoming possible. For example, we recently awarded a $10,000 research grant to Dr. Joao Pedro de Magelhaes at the University of Liverpool to sequence the genome of the bowhead whale in order to study mechanisms for longevity in this warm-blooded mammal whose lifespan is estimated at over 200 years.

Not only are bowhead whales far longer-lived than humans, but their massive size means that they are likely to possess unique tumor suppression mechanisms. “These mechanisms for the longevity and resistance to aging-related diseases of bowhead whales are unknown,” says Dr. de Magelhaes, “but it is clear that in order to live so long, these animals must possess aging prevention mechanisms related to cancer, immunosenescence, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.”

The bowhead whale study will be conducted at the state-of-the-art Liverpool Centre for Genomic Research and results will be made available to the research community.

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Methuselah Mouse Prize

Accelerating longevity and rejuvenation research.

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Methuselah Foundation created a stir in the research community by introducing the Methuselah Mouse Prize (MPrize) in 2003. The MPrize was designed to directly accelerate the development of revolutionary new life extension therapies by awarding two cash prizes: one to the research team that broke the world record for the oldest-ever mouse; and one to the team that developed the most successful late-onset rejuvenation strategy.

Why mice? Mice are genetically similar to humans. They are small and inexpensive to maintain so studying large quantities is feasible. Their short lifespan, about three years, makes it possible to see if interventions result in longer, healthier lives — all in time to be of benefit to our own lives.

Through programs like the MPrize, we've helped change the conversation on aging and longevity, lending credibility and prestige to areas of research that once were openly frowned upon. Previous winners have already proven that healthy life can be extended; more wins are possible by researchers who can best previous winners' performances, and each new winner pushes the outer limits of healthy life back even further.

At present, $1.4 million is available for awarding. For more information about the MPrize and to inquire about entering the competition, please email mprize@mfoundation.org.

Previous Awards

The MPrize for longevity was first won by a team led by Dr. Andrzej Bartke of Southern Illinois University. The prize for rejuvenation first went to Dr. Stephen Spindler of the University of California. Additionally, in 2009, the first Special Mprize Lifespan Achievement Award went to Dr. Z. Dave Sharp for the successful healthy life extension of already aged mice using a pharmaceutical, rapamycin.

DR. Z. Dave Sharp

Special Mprize Lifespan Achievement

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DR. Andrzej Bartke

Mprize for Longevity

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DR. Stephen Spindler

Mprize for Rejuvenation

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DR. Andrzej Bartke

Director, Southern Illinois University Aging & Longevity Research Laboratory

DR. Craig Cooney

Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

DR. Huber Warner

Associate Dean for Research, University of Minnesota

DR. Don Ingram

Professor, Pennington Biomedical Research Center

DR. Tom Johnson

Professor of Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado at Boulder

DR. Christiaan Leeuwenburgh

Professor and Chief, Division of Biology of Aging, University of Florida

DR. John Speakman

Director, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen

DR. Stephen Spindler

Professor of Biochemistry, University of California, Riverside