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What do you think about the changes at the

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#1 Mind

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 08:32 PM

The Methuselah Foundation has split into two organizations, the Methuselah Foundation and the SENS Foundation. I don't understand the need for the change, but wish them well.

New Methuselah Foundation Website, looks pretty much the same.

Information about the 300 Monument - announced last month.

A new initiative My Bridge 4 Life.

Mass email about the changes:


From Dave Gobel
Founder and CEO, Methuselah Foundation

Hi Subscriber

Today I am extremely pleased to announce exciting developments in the delivery of our global mission. As you might be aware, Methuselah Foundation’s activities have always covered the twin threads of the Mprize and SENS research initiatives.

As of April 7th, 2009, the programs and resources of Methuselah Foundation’s SENS research arm will be divested to the independent charity, SENS Foundation. SENS Foundation will be directed by CEO Mike Kope, with Dr. Aubrey de Grey as Chief Science Officer. I will continue to have the privilege of leading Methuselah Foundation.

The restructuring of Methuselah Foundation allows us to be more nimble as we grow, and enables us to incubate and launch a variety of programs. I'm writing you today to share with you our short, medium and long-term strategies that advance our core mission of ending age-related diseases through awareness, education, scientific research, and direct community outreach.

Let me tell you more about our expanded and new strategies for short, medium, and long-term impact in our mission to end age-related diseases:


I'd like to introduce you to My Bridge 4 Life, an exciting new initiative co-sponsored by Methuselah Foundation. My Bridge 4 Life is an online and offline community tool that takes the overwhelming nature of a major health crisis; carves it into manageable phases; sets goals for each phase with the user/patient and their community – and builds a wellness plan for life in the process.

As you know, it is has been a challenge to communicate our message to the mainstream public. It is our belief that providing instant real world updates to those with life threatening diseases, and their support networks, will introduce a significantly larger audience to our overall mission while providing a beneficial program for people in need.

Today we are launching Phase 1 of the project, My Bridge 4 Life’s Tips4Life on World Health Day. Tips4Life is a global database of real world wisdom. If you, or anyone you know, have overcome a life threatening challenge please take a few brief moments and share your wisdom with the people who will be following in your footsteps at www.MyBridge4Life.com


The core focus in our fight to end age related diseases is found in the MPrize, a breakthrough approach to giving cutting-edge science the resources needed to solve one of the largest humanitarian crises of our time. The MPrize springs from a simple truth: the greatest innovations in human history have always been fueled by three things... competition, imagination and the entrepreneurial spirit. Science is no different.
To focus both the resources and vision of the world's most capable and passionate scientific teams, the MPrize rewards the vision and dedication of teams that discover new keys to extending healthy human life with sizable cash prizes. We've already seen promising results. In the coming months we will be adding new social media elements, outreach and community programs to the MPrize.


We remain firmly committed to continuing support for groundbreaking rejuvenative research, taking further strides in our global mission to develop, promote, and provide widespread access to regenerative medicine solutions and therapies to end the disabilities and diseases of aging. We have many exciting new breakthrough rejuvenation projects in the works, which we will be announcing in the very near future. Stay tuned...


I would like to take this time to thank you for making our growth and expansion possible. Methuselah Foundation and SENS Foundation are developing and sharing cures and programs that will help end the suffering of aging. It is a testament to the power of community that your donations, no matter how small, make a direct impact on finding the solution for a longer, healthier life for each and every one of us. You are changing human history for generations to come.

And again, if you, or anyone you know, have overcome a life threatening challenge please take a few brief moments and share your wisdom with the people who will be following in your footsteps at My Bridge For Life's website (www.MyBridge4Life.com)

Thank you again for your support!


Dave Gobel
Founder and CEO, Methuselah Foundation

The new SENS foundation website - pretty basic so far.

#2 Shepard

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 09:30 PM

It sounds like a good step forward to me.

Hopefully this will end the confusion that people have repeatedly had over the differences between SENS and the MPrize and where donated money is going.

#3 Brainbox

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 10:03 PM

Indeed, good development. :)

I wonder what the MFoundation forum is going to look like. Somewhat like imminst minus the noots area? ;)

#4 Shepard

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 10:13 PM

Probably like this:


Sadly, they've been hit with a ton of PM spam.

#5 DJS

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 10:40 PM

The MF forum has been around for a while but has very low traffic. That being said, there are lots of valuable nugs deposited all over the forums by Michael (and other high quality posters). So if you're trying to expand your knowledge base in biology, doing a little exploration over there isn't a bad idea.

#6 Johan

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 10:44 PM

So the SENS Foundation takes care of research-related things, and the Methuselah Foundation does the rest (changing the general opinion on anti-aging research, etc.)? Sounds good. I wonder if MFURI will be transferred to the SENS Foundation as well, or if it will be a part of both organizations?

#7 DJS

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 10:45 PM

What do you think about the changes at the, Methuselah Foundation?

I'm still trying to figure out what to make of it. My initial assessment is the same as Shepard's - it creates a clear demarcation between MPrize and SENS. Reducing confusion is always a good thing.

However I'm still a little confused about how funding is going to be dealt with.

On the SENS site it says:

An important message for supporters with an on-going recurring donation commitment to Methuselah Foundation, made before April 2009. If your donation is entirely or partly for the purposes of funding SENS research, you can be assured that your donations will continue to support SENS activity at SENS Foundation. No change or action of any kind is necessary, and we strongly urge you to continue with your existing commitment.

#8 tunt01

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 11:09 PM

looks like SENS Foundation will give Aubrey and Co. more ability to be directly involved in funding and pushing direction in certain research related to SENS.

The long-term MPrize laying out there is probably a bit of a novelty that is interesting to researchers, but SENS Foundation seems to allow Aubrey to get active on a daily/short-term basis to fund and push on projects without necessarily involving the Mprize directly.

Part of getting the answers/M-prize is going to involve babysteps and taking risks in research. Hopefully Aubrey can make things happen. I hope he can raise the capital to make it happen.

#9 Shepard

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 01:51 AM

So the SENS Foundation takes care of research-related things, and the Methuselah Foundation does the rest (changing the general opinion on anti-aging research, etc.)? Sounds good. I wonder if MFURI will be transferred to the SENS Foundation as well, or if it will be a part of both organizations?

The MFoundation will still have the MPrize, which is a general prize that's independent of SENS research.

Since MFURI seem to have non-SENS research projects, I imagine they'd stay under the MFoundation umbrella.

#10 Prometheus

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 07:38 AM

Decidedly corporatized and sleek. Looks like the two heads are following their hearts.

#11 ag24

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 03:58 PM

Hi everyone,

Yes, you've all pretty much got it - except that actually MFURI will move to SENSF - this will happen next week we hope. A few other clarifications:

1) This move may not seem obviously necessary, but a lot of thought has gone into it. It's a strategic move motivated by the growth and progress of all the programs under the MF. In recent months Dave and I discussed at length the best way to take MF's various projects forward at maximum speed. We came to the conclusion that the separate outreach and operational needs of SENS and MF's Mprize and other growing programs would be best served by having two independent foundations."

2) MF donors who have a recurring donation commitment set up before April 2009 need do nothing: their donations to MF will continue to support SENS activity, through SENS Foundation, to the same extent as previously, just as their past donations to SENS are coming to SENSF. It's business as usual from the point of view of both donors and researchers, and I very much urge everyone to leave their donation arrangements unchanged.

3) Notwithstanding (2), Methuselah Foundation and SENS Foundation are independent entities. Methuselah Foundation has contracted with SENS Foundation as a responsible party to carry forward on the progress it has brought to SENS programs. Specifically, MF is transferring existing SENS research funds and research funding contracts to SENSF so that SENSF can maintain MF's SENS grant funding, and MF is also acting as "fiscal sponsor" of SENSF so that SENSF may solicit tax-deductible donations while it acquires 501©(3) status.

Any other questions, please fire away - I'll do my best to respond promptly. Note that I may not have time to check this board too often, so if I'm slow to reply I welcome an email bugging me to do so. My email address is still aubrey@sens.org (naturally!).

#12 reason

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 03:16 AM

My thoughts here:


Back a few years, it seemed self-evident that the Mprize and SENS Research were synergistic programs for a single organization to operate, the growth of each boosting the other. Advocacy and encouragement for scientific research into extending healthy life on the one hand, and a specific research program aimed at doing just that on the other hand. That sounded sensible. It still sounds sensible.

As it turned out, it didn't work that way in practice, however. The people and strategies best employed on the two sides of the house were different and really didn't operate in synergy. Instead of an engine, you have something more like a gentle tug of war on resources and goals.

This is probably best illustrated at the present time by looking at the founders and board of the SENS Foundation versus who's who and the Mprize advisory board at the Methuselah Foundation. You'll see different circles of people with different backgrounds, career paths, and talents. Quite dissimilar.

and Dave Gobel was kind enough to offer some insight in the comments:

Your estimate as to the reasons for the change are quite correct. The needs of a research panel that has 7 different major strands that ultimately requires many years of 9 figure funding are quite distinct from a prize program that leverages funding at least 16:1. They are entirely different animals with differing needs and imperatives.

The Mprize grew from nothing to $1.5 million within just 2 years from 2003 to 2005. Since 2005, the prize corpus grew only by another 250k, while SENS, starting in 2005 grew by several million. It thus became very clear during this time in the light of the dramitically slowed growth of Mprize that both projects need distinct and dedicated fundraising efforts, and it was for this reason that the change was made.

As to deviation/diversion of purpose, events that transpire will make it clear that Mfoundation has zero intention of following the path of many organizations that deviate from effectiveness. Specifically, I and the other volunteers at both the Mfoundation and Sens.org have not spent the last 8 years of our lives of devoted effort and risking of our reputations just to squander those efforts into useless wheel spinning. Far from it. Methuselah Foundation will remain a "Type A" organization.


I forgot to comment on the rationale for My Bridge 4 Life. While many have been working to educate the public on the merits of healthy life extention, the vast majority of the donating public are still committed to Foundations that say they are pursuing cures for point diseases such as Cancer, Alzheimers, Heart Disease et al. In order for the mission to succeed as early as possible, it absolutely must appeal to and reach these mainstream donors so that they either increase their donations and include us in the mix (which is unlikely in the current financal climate) or, we must help them in two ways - give them useful life saving/extending benefits now that are mission aligned, and then leverage their involvement and appreciation such that they redirect all or part of their donor capacity to our mission. As one sage long time life extensionist put it - "WE'VE GOT TO STOP TRADING COCONUTS ON OUR LITTLE ISLAND"

The simple fact is that most people start donating due to a close brush with or direct experience with one of the point diseases of aging - we cannot ignore this fact - we must address what is and channel this donor energy to more productive ends. The theory behind MB4L is that if we attract and materially help those who have severe life threatening needs (and their friends and family) today using web 2.0 approaches then they will be vastly more inclined to go the rest of the intellectual distance and support the mission.

The leap to go from donating to the American Cancer Society or March of Dimes to donating to our mission is as high as the Cliffs of Dover - we must lower the intellectual hurdle for them while keeping faith with the actual mission. It is our hope and expectation that MB4L will do just that.

#13 trumann

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 12:10 AM

At the MF site the menu under 'strategy' delineates the initiatives according to what looks like a chronologically based intervention timeline:
Near term - My Bridge 4 Life (MB4L)
Medium term - MPrize
Long term - SENS


I think MB4L is a fantastic project but I'm wondering if it is intended to become more than acute disease patients sharing their experiences with a view towards helping others in similar circumstances? (however, even if it did just that it is still a great resource)

I'm finding it hard to reconcile placing MPrize before SENS along the chronological timeline because the former is restricted to development of interventions in mice whilst the latter may include humans and therefore would move up the timeline.

Edited by trumann, 13 April 2009 - 12:19 AM.

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