$1 million Palo Alto Prize seeks to 'cure' aging | News | Palo Alto Online |


$1 million Palo Alto Prize seeks to 'cure' aging

Private investor Joon Yun, of Palo Alto Investors, offers prize to increase life span

A newly established Silicon Valley-based prize to "hack the code of life and cure aging" was launched yesterday, Sept. 9.

Called the Palo Alto Longevity Prize, the $1 million cash award seeks to kick-start an initiative that would restore the adult body's youthful resilience, perhaps helping to reduce diseases associated with aging and mortality, and improve longevity.

Dr. Joon Yun, president of Palo Alto Investors, LLC, is the prize's benefactor. Palo Alto Investors has $1 billion in assets under management invested in healthcare, according to the announcement of the prize.

"Cracking the code on the fundamental aging process may allow us to influence the actual biology of aging, thereby slowing or resolving the process of aging and many diseases and issues related to aging. If we solve this, we all win," competition organizers said in the announcement.

The prize will be divided into two $500,000 awards, given to the first teams to unlock the secrets of a foundational trait known as "homeostatic capacity." Homeostatic capacity is the ability of the body's systems to stabilize in response to stressors.

As the body ages, its ability to recover from diseases, injuries and lifestyle stresses such as a late night or loss of sleep becomes more difficult. In youth, blood pressure and elevated blood sugar levels can return easily to normal levels. But as homeostatic capacity erodes with age, the body no longer is able to regulate these changes as effectively, resulting in diseases such as diabetes or hypertension.

Increased homeostatic capacity could in theory allow people to live perhaps 120 years, organizers said.

One prize would be granted to the team to demonstrate it can restore the homeostatic levels in an aging adult mammal to the levels of a young adult; the second prize would go the first team to restore homeostatic capacity to extend the lifespan of a mammal by 50 percent of acceptable published norms.

Cracking the code of aging would have vast societal implications, according to prize organizers.

"The end of aging would be the end of health care as we know it," the website states. The end of aging would sever the escalating costs of health care that is overwhelming the current health system.

Teams won't have to give up their intellectual property to compete for the prize or divulge proprietary information. Prize winners must obtain their own funding for research during the competition. Organizers are working with angel investors, venture capital firms, corporate venture organizations, institutions and private foundations to provide access to additional capital to teams during the competition. Transactions between teams and the investors will be done privately.

Eleven teams, most from across the United States, are already signed up, including Volts Medical of Mountain View and the Jin Hyung Lee Lab at Stanford University. Organizers say additional teams can also compete.

More information on the Palo Alto Longevity Prize is available at www.PaloAltoPrize.com.

Watch a video on the Palo Alto Longevity Prize

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3 people like this
Posted by Private Sector
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 10, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Million? As with an "m"? Really?

3 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 10, 2014 at 6:14 pm

>> Cracking the code of aging would have vast societal implications

Whole new spin on retirement planning and inheritance taxes.

5 people like this
Posted by Illuminato
a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2014 at 10:34 pm

It would be nice to live forever. I wouldn't want to miss Super Bowl 500,000. The Roman numerals alone would be awesome. You could be divorced a thousand times and still have a one millionth wedding anniversary. The family reunions would be incredible. The downside would be a billion billion people on the planet, with 3 square feet of space for each person. Moving around would be a bit of a problem. Things like food, water, housing and fuel would be expensive, because of serious demand and limited supply. I wouldn't want to even imagine the traffic jams.

It reminds me of a Van Morrison song, "Precious Time". It starts out "Precious time is slipping away, but you're only king for a day." One of the lines is "Say que sera, whatever will be, but then I keep on searching for immortality."

1 person likes this
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 10, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Illuminato: You made me laugh! I like the way your mind works.

1 person likes this
Posted by Wife of Biotech Exec
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 am

Haha, "Private Sector"! Agree, one million is chump change for the challenge. And it's actually only half a million because the prize is divided in two. Well, at least he doesn't ask them to divulge their research.

2 people like this
Posted by Sea-Seelam Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 11, 2014 at 3:09 pm

I would like to commend Dr. Yun for the generous gift amount announced.

Please include your research on 'pain reduction' for those chronically ill.

Additionally 'the bit/s or things' that make us 'continually happy' while we age.

Wouldn't that be a blessing!


2 people like this
Posted by B4EverVibrant
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 22, 2014 at 7:51 am

B4EverVibrant is a registered user.

[Post removed.]

1 person likes this
Posted by Mary Carlsteasd
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2014 at 8:24 am

Please hurry !!

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