Teams to vie for $1 million Palo Alto Prize

Palo Alto Longevity Prize seeks to 'cure' aging

Ten teams have officially registered for the Palo Alto Longevity Prize, a global competition to develop and implement a method of extending life span, according to a press release from the Race Against Time Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at raising awareness and financial support for biomedical research related to increasing health span and preventing age-related diseases and disabilities. The foundation is also administering the prize.

The competition, aimed at fostering innovations that will help people live longer and healthier lives, comes with a $1 million cash award. The winning team must develop, implement and demonstrate a method of extending the lifespan of an animal by 50 percent, according to the press release.

Dr. Joon Yun, president of Palo Alto Investors, LLC, is the prize's benefactor.

"The current healthcare system is doing a remarkable job of addressing the diseases of aging," Yun said in a statement. "However, doing so without solving the underlying process of aging produces escalating effects on health care spending. We need a paradigmatic revolution."

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.

Teams from top universities and labs from the United States and all over the world including the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and India are participating. The teams include: Navtej Toor, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and Biochemistry at University of California, San Diego; Doris Taylor, Ph.D., of Texas Heart Institute; Liou Sun, M.D. Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at SIU School of Medicine; Rajagopal V Sekhar, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine; Christine Guenther, of Munich-based apceth GmbH & Co.KG; John P. Cooke, M.D., Ph.D., of Houston Methodist Research Institute; Gareth Ackland, Ph.D.; Andrew Michaelson, adjunct professor at SUNY Farmingdale; and Anirban Bandyopadhyay, senior scientist for the National Institute for Materials Science in Tsukuba, Japan. (Information on the 10th team was not available on the Palo Alto Prize website)

For more information on the teams and short videos about each team, visit

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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