Something is changing about how scientific research is funded.

@Jasonmmast @endpts covers a growing set of science funding experiments:…
These include high-throughput grants (e.g. #Fast, #Impetus), new institutes (@ArcadiaScience, @AltosLabs, @arcinstitute... I guess A is for new beginnings?), and new structures like 'nonprofit startups' (@Convergent_FROs) & @newscienceorg.
As with all experiments, I expect that some of these will disappear and that others will be a central part of science in ten years.
But them happening at all is enough to renew a conversation about how science is funded and conducted.
COVID has been very rough on #Academia, with limited access to labs, loss of animal cohorts and experiments, and sometimes limited institutional support.
Now some researchers are choosing to try out alternatives (stay tuned for lots of announcements...)
The article ends with a quote from Paula Stephan that even $650M is "... kind of peanuts in science funding.”, which I want to push back on:
It's not untrue, but also assumes that all dollars are spent equally.
Here's the NIA budget (in $1000s), ostensibly $3.5B of grants per year. Big 💰 for #AgingBiology! But looking closer, $2.3B is earmarked for 🧠, largely Alzheimer's, rather than aging biology. And another $0.6B is for social studies. Only ~11% is for root causes of disease... Image
I'd postulate that targeted support can have outsized impact.

Just as #Aging research attempts to address multiple diseases efficiently by targeting root causes instead of separate symptoms, grants can have greater/lesser probability of accelerating progress.
Some of this new funding, including the Longevity Impetus Grants, is focused on areas that aren't popular for NIH funding, as well as tools and common goods that could help an entire field.

Grateful for the individuals who are committing their wealth to this purpose!
PS: Worth noting that this isn't all new, more like a reboot. Arc is in many ways a smaller, more focused Howard Hughes Medical Institute (est. 1953). And some European institutions have similar models.

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More from @MartinBJensen

27 Dec 21
💸 98 Longevity Impetus Grants were awarded in 2021, thanks to generous donations from @juanbenet @jamesfickel @VitalikButerin @JedMcCaleb @KarlPfleger @FEhrsam and 1 anonymous donor.
I'll summarize outcomes in this thread, awardees listed in prior one:
🦸🏽 While I've been doing most of the tweeting, the Longevity Apprentices @LNuzhna @kush__sharma @edmarferreira & Tara Mei are the real heroes for running the operations.
This has been a great Apprenticeship project, merging action and exposure to research
🚅 The review + awards process was fairly smooth, thanks in part to @kush__sharma's custom reviewer UI. Several reviewers told us unprompted that it was their best review experience ever; the UI took 2 wks to make, so there's low hanging fruit for other agencies in that area.
Read 13 tweets
7 Sep 21
Thrilled to announce the Longevity #Impetus Grants, $21M+ towards basic research that could accelerate our understanding and control of human aging.
We welcome proposals from researchers in- and outside the #Aging field. Please share!

More info: & this 🧵
Impetus Grants are $10k-500k (w max 10% overhead). Smaller requests favored, to support more projects. No project period and no strings attached. Scientists at non-profits worldwide can apply with ideas that shift perspectives & capabilities in #Aging research, starting Sep 13th.
Inspiration came from @tylercowen & @patrickc's #COVID19 Fast Grants. Their team made funding decisions in 2 weeks, and the grants have already led to both discoveries and better tools for #testing.
If it's feasible to fund science this way, shouldn't we?…
Read 15 tweets
23 Jun 21
Arlan Richardson showing that JAX-housed mice, like humans, have undergone a dramatic improvement in #lifespan this century ... by reducing deaths from pathogens. #MindYourModels
Recommends looking at lifespan data as the best indicator of husbandry quality at different institutions/sources. Mean survival should be at least 27-30 months.
Example: 2003 Igf1r study showing 33% lifespan extension (in het ♀️s), but mean lifespan of controls was only 19mos. Lifespan effect largely disappeared when replicated in cohorts with longer control lifespan.
This was my go-to question for fly lifespan studies as a postdoc.
Read 7 tweets
20 Dec 20
I'm often asked how to learn about #AgingBiology, which I hope this thread can address.

Will first list recommended introductory resources, then contextualize and interpret.
There's exciting progress! But also many fanciful ideas, so you can't take everything at face value.
Will mostly skip the Why/philosophy of #AntiAging, since those asking for resources are likely already bought in.

If interested I wrote a Why/Why not post back in 2016:…, and most of the websites I'll list have a version of this discussion too.
The most comprehensive #Aging primer is @ArtirKel's FAQ:
It does a great job of introducing the field, and distilling the science for non-biologists. Bonus points for contextualizing how biology is different from engineering.
Read 13 tweets
15 Sep 20
Very excited (enough to get up at 5am) about this Temporal Single Cell Analysis organized by @singlecellomics. First talk by the amazing Caroline Uhlers, recently snagged from MIT by @ETH_en #SCOGtempSC #SingleCell
Livetweets here. Apologies in advance to any sophisticated 'ML on scSeq/spatial' presenters whose work I misinterpret/misrepresent, still a novice to that field.
Very nice talk by Caroline. Two parts: 1) mapping RNAseq and images to the same latent space, to enable timecourse measurements (w images) of (inferred) RNA state. Seems like WIP but cool.
Read 11 tweets
6 Sep 20
I've been hunting for a delicious decaf coffee, and @elamadej gifted me this @Timelesscoffee (thanks!). At first it looks just high-end artisanal, but then things get a bit strange... Image
An apostle, sure. #CoffeeIsMyReligion and such things. A bit unusual but nice graphic design. Image
Well, this is a bit beyond the usual. Why seven fingers? The eye presumably the esoteric mysteries I'll learn after drinking this? But still, this is #BayArea and I've certainly seen cultier startups than this. Image
Read 4 tweets

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