Molecular Biologist & Gerontologist Focused on Finding a Cure for Human Aging; Founder of Biotechnology Company Sierra Sciences
The Cure for Aging. I run a biotech company called Sierra Sciences in Reno, Nevada that has been in operation for 10 years seeking the cure for aging. We employ about 30 scientists focused exclusively on finding ways to induce the expression of the telomerase gene to prevent the shortening of our telomeres. Telomerase is the enzyme that prevents aging of our reproductive cells. You came from cells from your parents. If those cells aged when your parents aged then you would have been born as old as they are. But, you weren't because reproductive cells contain an enzyme called Telomerase.
I led the research that discovered Telomerase in 1994. When we inserted the telomerase gene into normal skin cells we were able to show that the skin stopped aging and actually became younger by every method of measurement that we know of. All cells in our body have the ability to produce telomerase. Unfortunately, it is turned off in all our cells except our reproductive cells. For the last 10 years Sierra Sciences has been searching for drugs that will turn on the telomerase gene in all our cells. We found our first drug about 18 months ago and now have 32 such drugs. All these have the potential to cure aging in humans. We are presently developing these drugs further to enter them into clinical trials. We estimate that we could have drugs on the market in 10-12 years.
We have no idea how long people will live if they take our drugs. There is a 125 year theoretical maximum that has been published in several peered reviewed papers, but no one knows why this 125 year maximum exists. The shortening of our telomeres explains this 125 year maximum very well. We expect our drugs to allow people for the first time ever to exceed this maximum. But, 200, 500 years is not out of the question. We also expect that our drugs will extend peoples heath spans. So, our first milestone will be to see if our drugs allow a human to run a 7 minute mile when they are 130 years old.
Our model is "Cure Aging or Die Trying". Our website is www.cure-aging-or-die-trying.com
You can view a recent presentation that I gave at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine Conference in San Jose, California on September 11th, 2009 at www.cure-aging-or-die-trying.com and clicking on "presentations"
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