$70 Million Collaboration to Redefine Aging Research

Astera Institute teams up with the Buck Institute for the Rejuvenome project.


Rejuvenome LogoRejuvenome Logo

Recently, the Astera Institute has announced that it will be collaborating with the Buck Institute on its Rejuvenome project.

The project is a focused research organization (FRO), a new model of organization that is laser-focused on a specific scientific challenge that cannot be solved by existing academic, industrial, or governmental organizations.

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Nicholas Schaum, former Stanford postdoctoral scholar, is leading the project and is supported by an advisory board that includes Morgan Levine of the Yale Center for Research on Aging, Joao Pedro de Magalhaes of Liverpool’s Integrative Genomics of Ageing Group, and Tony Wyss-Coray, distinguished professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford University.

The goal of Rejuvenome is to coordinate with the wider aging scientific research community in order to create an open dataset to detail how aging biomarkers are impacted by interventions during the lifespans of mice.

This data will provide a foundation to help guide future aging research by showing the impact of interventions on aging. This information will then inform the direction and development of future therapies that target the aging processes themselves.

Many studies in the past have focused on interventions that only target a single aging process, but in biology, nothing works in isolation. Rejuvenome seeks to address this shortfall. This project aims to test various combinations of interventions that could potentially address multiple aging processes at once. Given that there are nine proposed reasons we age, this is a good thing.

Press Release

The Rejuvenome Project is a first of its kind study seeking to fully characterize aging and validate optimal longevity intervention combinations for extending lifespan

The Buck Institute and the Astera Institute today announced a comprehensive, multi-omics study of the biological effects of longevity interventions. Through a series of large-scale lifespan studies in genetically diverse mice, researchers will test interventions, both alone and in combination, known or suspected to impede or reverse aging and extend longevity.

The work aims to create an open and comprehensive dataset to better understand the biology of aging and the underlying mechanisms of how to potentially impede the aging process. This dataset, which will be freely accessible to the research and drug discovery communities, will provide the most complete picture of the impact of aging interventions in mice across multiple biomarkers and clinically relevant phenotypes. Leading scientists and thought leaders across the field will participate in the selection and design of the interventions.

Research on aging is at a critical inflection point, with breakthroughs in basic science and multiple compounds being tested in clinical trials. While the field is starting to have tools and treatments that target the biology of aging and improve health, a deep and fundamental understanding of how they work, and the models used to validate such findings, is still lacking. Further, because of vision, funding constraints, infrastructure limitations and other impediments, smaller projects are conducted independently of each other and there is little to no research into combination therapies, even though this will likely be the only avenue to achieving meaningful results.

β€œThe Rejuvenome Project was launched to target these bottlenecks,” says Nicholas Schaum, PhD, Scientific Director of Rejuvenome. β€œWe hope to do that by characterizing treatments and regimens, both established and newly invented, for which we have reason to believe improve health and longevity.”

β€œThe breadth and depth of this project centered around an unprecedentedly extensive and deep whole-body functional and multi-omic assay panel has the potential to redefine scientific understanding of how to best intervene in the aging process,” says Eric Verdin, MD, President and CEO of the Buck Institute. β€œWe are delighted to partner with Astera on this very significant work.”

The Rejuvenome Project is expected to take approximately seven years to complete. All wet lab operations will be centered at the Buck while the dry lab computational aspects of the project will reside at the Astera Institute in Berkeley. β€œThe Rejuvenome is the quintessential moonshot project in longevity,” says Astera’s founder Jed McCaleb. β€œIf we are successful it will provide the most complete picture ever of how best to intervene in aging and will produce powerful new avenues for drug development.”

Source – Full press release


Could combining senolytics to reduce systemic inflammation along with stem cell therapy create a powerful synergy? Could multiple senolytics used together create a more efficient way to remove senescent cells? Might partial cellular reprogramming, in concert with filtering harmful cytokines from aged blood, lead to more impressive increases of healthy lifespan?

Ultimately, these questions and others like them will need to be answered. Aging is a combination of processes all working together, so the interventions against those processes must be the same. Rejuvenome will seek to plug this important gap in our knowledge, which, to date, the research community has largely failed to address.

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About the author

Steve Hill

Steve serves on the LEAF Board of Directors and is the Editor in Chief, coordinating the daily news articles and social media content of the organization. He is an active journalist in the aging research and biotechnology field and has to date written over 600 articles on the topic, interviewed over 100 of the leading researchers in the field, hosted livestream events focused on aging, as well as attending various medical industry conferences. His work has been featured in H+ magazine, Psychology Today, Singularity Weblog, Standpoint Magazine, Swiss Monthly, Keep me Prime, and New Economy Magazine. Steve is one of three recipients of the 2020 H+ Innovator Award and shares this honour with Mirko Ranieri – Google AR and Dinorah Delfin – Immortalists Magazine. The H+ Innovator Award looks into our community and acknowledges ideas and projects that encourage social change, achieve scientific accomplishments, technological advances, philosophical and intellectual visions, author unique narratives, build fascinating artistic ventures, and develop products that bridge gaps and help us to achieve transhumanist goals. Steve has a background in project management and administration which has helped him to build a united team for effective fundraising and content creation, while his additional knowledge of biology and statistical data analysis allows him to carefully assess and coordinate the scientific groups involved in the project.
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