PROPOSED PROJECTS AND AIMS
The Vitae Institute has adopted the following plan for operations. It is divided into three phases, the latter ones to be initiated when funding becomes available.
Phase 1 - Construction of Basic Infrastructure
- Cataloguing basic info on interesting topics in biogerontology related to life extension, and making this available via the website with direct links to the associated scientific literature.
- Supporting groups such as the Methuselah Mouse Prize and others that are paving rational approaches to understanding and reversing aging via donations and cross-promotion.
- Soliciting donations from website visitors, private organizations with similar interests, and individual donors.
- Organization of researchers (principal investigators, post-doctorate researchers, medical doctors, graduate students, and undergraduates) who are thinking progressively about life-extension technology while maintaining strict allegiances to stringent scientific methodologies. Possible specific activities include: creation and maintenance of a researcher directory, online forums, and spotlighting of research.
Phase 2 - Grant Endowment and Expansion of Activities
- Granting scholarships and grants to promising researchers that are intelligently forwarding research in illuminating the mechanistic etiology of aging, or in demonstrating the efficacy of life-extension technologies in mammals that appear translatable to humans.
- Maintaining tabs on illegitimate products/endeavors purporting to be "anti-aging" or related to "life-extension" (eg. most products sold by the Life Extension Foundation, in late-night tv ads, etc). Development of collaborations with skeptic or consumer reports organizations.
- Distributing educational material on core concepts related to life-extension research (eg. evolutionary biology of aging: aging process not being programmed; long-lived mutants, caloric restriction, hypotheses relating to age-associated damage/pathologies and putative interventions). Formation of a wiki sub-site on biogerontology and life-extension topics (many such pages on wikipedia are in a dire state of scientific inaccuracy, and editorial control could promote scientific ideas while disallowing advertising and pseudo-science).
- Educating mainstream scientists on the legitimacy of life-extension research. Eg. via: student "chapters" of the Vitae Institute, talks at universities by scientific members of the Vitae Institute, and presentations at aging conferences.
Phase 3 - Internal Research and Further Expansion
- Funding our own research projects.
- Applying for foundation and government grants to expand operations and contribute to our research projects.
- Initiating campaigns to persuade government funders to spend more money on basic aging research and research with *direct* relevance to the development life-extension technologies (within the limitations of 501(c)3 status).
- Stimulate collaborations between scientists via financial incentives to work on research related to life-extension technologies or basic aging research. Many scientists might be interested in basic aging research and/or life-extension research but are unable to get grants or funds to pursue projects on these subjects. Securing them even partial funding might allow them to focus on these projects.