Rejuvenation Biotechnology 2014

The first of our annual Rejuvenation Biotechnology Conferences – RB2014 – was a rousing success. Over 350 leading academics, researchers, pharmaceutical industry leaders, regulators and venture capitalists gathered in Santa Clara California to build a Rejuvenation Biotechnology industry and community.

Here you can view selected presentations and panel discussions from the event. To review the conference program, click here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

RB2014 Opening Remarks

Mike Kope, CEO, SENS Research Foundation

SENS Research Foundation CEO Mike Kope introduces the Rejuvenation Biotechnology conference, discussing the worldwide burden of age-related disease and the urgent need for a paradigm shift in understanding and treating such conditions.


New Epigenome Analysis and Engineering Technologies for Reversal of Aging

George Church, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School; Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard and MIT

George Church's 1984 Harvard PhD included the first methods for direct genome sequencing, molecular multiplexing & barcoding, and his innovations have contributed to nearly all “next generation” genome sequencing methods and companies.


Molecular and Cellular Damage as the Cause of the Diseases of Aging - Panel Discussion

This panel discussed the idea that the diseases of aging stem from molecular and cellular damage that accrues with age. Topics of discussion included the types of damage that may be involved, examples of how this applies to one or more diseases, and thoughts on how basic research and industry could use this concept to drive therapeutic target identification and drug treatment/development.

Alzheimer's Disease Session 1

A Twist of Fate - Generating New Neocortical Neurons

Jean Hébert, Professor, Departments of Neuroscience and Genetics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Jean Hébert's group has primarily undertaken two lines of investigation: understanding how a simple sheet of neuroepithelial cells early in embryogenesis develops into the adult neocortex, and establishing ways of regenerating the principle neurons of the adult cerebral cortex.

Tau Immunotherapy and Imaging

Einar Sigurdsson, Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience & Physiology, New York University

Einar M. Sigurdsson's current research focuses on pathogenesis, therapy and diagnosis for age-related protein conformational disorders, in particular Alzheimer’s disease.

First Phase 3 Clinical Trials Targeting the Tauopathy of Alzheimer's Disease

Claude Wischik, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, University of Aberdeen; Executive Chairman, TauRX Therapeutics, Ltd.

Claude Wischik established a team which developed in vitro and in vivo systems to establish plausibility of developing Tau Aggregation Inhibitor (TAI) therapy for AD.

Cardiovascular Disease Session 1

Mechanical Forces, Vascular Inflammation and Atherosclerosis

Guillermo Garcia Cardena, Associate Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School; Director of the Laboratory for Systems Biology, Center for Excellence in Vascular Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Guillermo Garcia Cardena received his Ph.D. degree working on the molecular regulation of nitric oxide production in vascular endothelium. His postdoctoral research with Michael A. Gimbrone Jr. at Harvard Medical School was on studies of endothelial cell gene expression, hemodynamics, and atherogenesis.

Causes and Consequences of Age-Related Extracellular Matrix Remodelling

Michael Sherratt, Lecturer, Center for Regenerative Medicine, University of Manchester

Michael’s work suggests that elastic fibre associated proteins may be differentially susceptible to UV-radiation and oxidation in ageing tissues, and that the effects of ageing on tissue mechanical properties are localized in large arteries such as the aorta.


Toward A New Investment Paradigm - Panel Discussion

This panel discussed the challenges in bringing new and especially preventative therapies to treat the diseases of aging from the research lab to the market. The panel offered and discussed new investment paradigms that could drive drug and therapeutic development.

Alzheimer's Disease Session 2

Iron in Aging and Neurodegenerative Disease

Ashley Bush, Head of the Oxidation Disorders Laboratory, Mental Health Research Institute, University of Melbourne; Director of the Laboratory for Oxidation Biology Genetics and Aging Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital; Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Ashley Bush's lab discovered the interaction of beta-amyloid with transitional metals as a major factor in Alzheimer’s disease pathology, as well as the roles of APP and tau in neuronal iron homeostasis.

Approaches to Aging and Alzheimer's: What are We Learning from Clinical Trials?

Rachelle Doody, Professor of Neurology; Director, Alzheimer's Disease and Memory Disorders Center, Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Doody's current research interests include studies to understand and model the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, studies of clinical heterogeneity, and research and development of new medications to treat Alzheimer’s Disease.

New Paradigms in Alzheimer's Disease Drug Development

Eric Siemers, Medical Director, Alzheimer's Disease Team, Eli Lilly

Dr . Siemers currently directs late stage clinical research efforts at Eli Lilly concerning investigational treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, and is more broadly involved with other neurological indications such as Parkinson’s disease.

Cardiovascular Disease Session 2

The Role of Bioprinting in Rejuvenation

Gabor Forgacs, Professor, Biophysics Laboratory, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Missouri-Columbia; Founder, Organovo

Dr. Gabor Forgacs is a theoretical physicist turned bioengineer turned innovator and entrepreneur who pioneered the technology of bioprinting.

Raising Capricor: Building a Biotech Company from Bench to Bedside

Linda Marban, CEO, Capricor Therapeutics

Dr. Marban combines her background in research with her business experience to lead Capricor and create a path to commercialization for its novel stem-cell cardiac therapies.

Tissue Engineering Solutions for Cardiovascular Tissue Pathologies

James Yoo, Professor, Associate Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Yoo’s research efforts have been directed toward the clinical translation of tissue engineering technologies and cell-based therapies. Dr. Yoo’s background in cell biology and medicine has facilitated the transfer of several cell-based technologies from the bench-top to the bedside.


The Economic Impact of an Aging Population on the Healthcare System - Panel Discussion

This panel discussed the impending economic crisis the healthcare system will soon face caring for the ever-growing elderly population and possible solutions to this crisis, such as an outcomes-based healthcare model.

Advancing Regenerative Therapies in Alzheimer's and Cardiovascular Disease - Panel Discussion

This panel brought together speakers from sessions throughout the day to consider the promise of a damage repair strategy to develop therapeutics for the diseases of aging. Discussion included a summary of the accomplishments of the Alzheimer’s community in suggesting an innovative drug development strategy as well as debate about how such a strategy could apply to cardiovascular therapies.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Fight Aging with a Durable Business

Jim O'Neill, Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Mithril Capital Management

Jim O’Neill is partner and chief operating officer at Mithril, a growth fund for transformative and durable technology companies in fields such as cybersecurity; next generation finance; medical robotics; rail integration; enterprise cloud services; 3D seismic technology; and data integration, visualization, and analysis.


Toward A New Research Paradigm - Panel Discussion

This panel explored new ways to approach research to tackle the diseases of aging. In particular, consideration was given to the effects a damage repair paradigm would have on developing new strategies to identify and study therapeutic targets.

Cancer Session

Cancer and Aging: Rival Demons?

Judith Campisi, Professor, Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Judith Campisi established a broad program to understand various aspects of aging, with an emphasis on the interface between cancer and aging. Her laboratory made several pioneering discoveries in these areas.

Accelerating Knowledge Turns: The I-SPY Model and Drug Development

Laura Esserman, Professor, Departments of Surgery and Radiology; Affiliate Faculty, Institute for Health Policy Studies; Director, Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center; Co-Leader, Breast Oncology Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Esserman is nationally and internationally known as a leader in the field of breast cancer and has published over 200 articles.

Curing Cancer in the Elderly Through Novel Strategies

Claudia Gravekamp, Associate Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Claudia Gravekamp's research focuses on developing novel immunotherapeutic approaches to cancer using attenuated Listeria monocytogenes as a platform to deliver anti-cancer agents selectively to the tumor microenvironment at young and old age.

Parkinson's Disease Session

Senescence and the Aging Brain

Julie Andersen, Professor, Buck Institute for Research on Aging

As a renowned expert on Parkinson’s disease, Dr. Andersen is pursuing a wide array of leads toward treatments for this complex neurodegenerative disorder.

Negotiating the Mine Field in the Quest for a Parkinson's Disease Cell Therapy

Jeanne Loring, Professor, Scripps Research Institute

Jeanne Loring's research team focuses on largescale analysis of genomics and epigenetics of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) and their derivatives, in order to ensure the quality and safety of these cells for clinical use.

Developing Meaningful Therapeutic Strategies for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases

Dale Schenk, CEO, Prothena Corporation

Dr. Schenk has pioneered the immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of amyloidosis, as exemplified for Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson’s disease and light chain (AL) Amyloidosis.


Risk Benefit Analysis in Therapies for the Diseases and Disabilities of Aging - Panel Discussion

There is a major need to maintain rigor and independence in the regulation of healthcare innovations, while improving regulatory transparency and opportunities for multi-stakeholder input to accommodate fundamental changes in the life-science ecosystem and global healthcare demands.

Advancing Regenerative Therapies In Cancer and Parkinson's Disease - Panel Discussion

This panel brought together speakers from throughout the day to summarize the impact of the I-SPY TRIAL 2 program on drug trial design for Alzheimer’s therapeutics and speculate on the applicability of trial designs similar to the one proposed for Alzheimer’s Disease to the development of therapeutics for other diseases of aging, such as Parkinson’s Disease and cancer.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Creating a Culture of Innovation and Breakthroughs

Peter Diamandis, Co-founder and Vice Chairman, Human Longevity, Inc.; Founder and CEO, X PRIZE Foundation

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis is an international pioneer in the fields of innovation, incentive competitions and commercial space, and the Co-Founder and Vice-Chairman of Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), a genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company focused on extending the healthy human lifespan.


Applying a Damage Repair Paradigm to Developing Therapies for the Diseases of Aging - Panel Discussion

Building upon the discussion of a damage repair paradigm from days 1 and 2, this panel weighed the benefits of application of a damage repair paradigm to drug development to combat the diseases of aging.

Musculoskeletal Disease Session

What is Sarcopenia? Definitions, Diagnosis and Developing Interventions

Christy Carter, Assistant Professor, Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, Institute on Aging, University of Florida

Dr. Carter’s current research interests lie in preserving physical function and healthspan during aging; and in particular focuses on the use of a preclinical rodent model of aging to test a variety of late-life interventions designed to mitigate sarcopenia.

The Rejuvenation of Aged Skeletal Muscle by Systematic Factors

Young Jang, Assistant Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology

The Jang laboratory applies bioengineering approaches and stem cell-based therapies to study skeletal muscle dysfunction during aging and in age-associated muscle diseases. The laboratory develops and applies novel tools using a combination of animal and stem cell models.

Diabetes Session

Cellular Therapies and Regenerative Medicine Strategies for Treatment of Diabetes

Camillo Ricordi, Stacy Joy Goodman Professor of Surgery; Distinguished Professor of Medicine; Director, Diabetes Research Institute and Cell Transplant Program, University of Miami

Dr. Ricordi and collaborators developed the method for large scale production of human pancreatic islets, and he led the team that performed the first series of successful clinical islet allotransplants to reverse diabetes.

Molecular Elucidation and Engineering of Stem Cell Therapies for the Nervous System

David Schaffer, Professor, University of California, Berkeley; Director, Berkeley Stem Cell Center

Dr. Schaffer applies engineering principles to enhance stem cell and gene therapy approaches for neuroregeneration, work that includes novel approaches for molecular engineering and evolution of new viral vectors as well as new technologies to investigate and control stem cell fate decisions.


Regulating a Damage Repair Approach to Cure the Diseases of Aging - Panel Discussion

Tthis session considered worldwide efforts to rapidly and proportionally develop international regulatory processes to accommodate increasingly heterogeneous and unfamiliar healthcare technologies and their swift translation from lab to bedside.

Advancing Regenerative Therapies in Musculoskeletal Disease and Diabetes - Panel Discussion

This panel brought together speakers from the morning sessions to consider the possibility of applying a drug trial design similar to the ones emerging from the Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer communities.

Building a Rejuvenation Biotechnology Industry - Panel Discussion

This panel synthesized the discussions from all of the conference sessions and panels. A cross-section of academics, pharmaceutical reps, policy makers, and other presenters revisited the merits of a damage repair paradigm to address the diseases of aging considered at this conference.