A famous phrase or bit of wisdom is the saying, “the only sure things in life are death and taxes.” The SENS Research Foundation aims to make this saying obsolete. However, the effort required will be monumental. The mainstream medical community takes death as a given. It does not view death or even aging itself as diseases to be treated, but as inevitable. Therefore, the vast majority of medical research is directed at discovering more about the processes behind official diseases such as cancer, heart and vascular problems, high blood pressure and so on. This is valuable. And certainly if all these diseases could be controlled or cured, people would live much longer lives. However, that is not enough. SENS wants to get to the very basis for why people die in the first place, and stop it.
Because the SENS Research Foundation is a nonprofit organization, it depends on contributions. One of the founders, Aubrey de Grey, has contributed his fortune. The famous Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel has donated a large amount. And so has the futurist and philanthropist Jason Hope, a businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist living in Scottsdale, Arizona. Hope began supporting SENS with an awesome donation of $500,000 in December 2010. Hope first announced this at Breakthrough Philanthropy, an event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Hope spoke of the great work of the SENS Foundation, and how he wanted to support its efforts to extend human lifespan, to give back to humanity for the financial success he has experienced in his life.
The CEO of SENS in turn said Hope’s donation would allow SENS to go after a difficult problem caused by aging: advanced glycation end-products (AGE). AGEs occur when proteins bond. AGEs cause brown age spots in the elderly and and causes their skin to be stiff. More importantly, AGEs in the lining of our arteries makes blood vessels hard, less flexible. This results in high blood pressure. AGEs make people stiffer, so their bodies do not function optimally. It’s no coincidence that older adults seem “stiff” in many ways. It’s an intrinsic part of the aging process, and Hope’s contribution is working to find a solution. A drug to reduce or prevent AGEs would also help against diabetes and blindness.
Jason Hope graduated with a degree in finance and an MBA from Arizona State University. He launched a successful business in mobile communications.
Jason Hope’s Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/jason.r.hope