Revel Strengthens Boards

SRF spin-off Revel Pharmaceuticals, a privately held biotechnology company creating therapeutics to reverse and repair damage that results from aging – particularly extracellular crosslinks – has announced recent additions to its Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board.

Joining as a member of the Board of Directors is Jennifer Cochran, Ph.D. and joining as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board is Vincent Monnier, Ph.D. “We are thrilled to attract stellar leadership that matches the level of promise of Revel’s mission of attacking diseases of aging,” said Aaron Cravens, Revel co-founder and CEO.

For more information, read the full announcement on Revel’s site.

Defatting the Streaks

Image from "Affinity-Driven Design of Cargo-Switching Nanoparticles to Leverage a Cholesterol-Rich Microenvironment for Atherosclerosis Therapy"

The removal of damaged material from within atherosclerotic plaques (“fatty streaks”) to restore cardiovascular health is a key component of SENS, now being developed for the clinic by SRF ally Underdog Pharmaceuticals. Exciting new preclinical results from another group using this strategy have recently been published in ACS Nano.

Which Links Must Be Broken?

The collagen strands that provide strength and flexibility to our tissues are crosslinked by chemical bonds that tie the component proteins into a mesh-like structure. Until recently, the consensus in the field has been that a gradual increase in such crosslinks – and particularly those considered ‘irreversible’ due to their high stability – is a principle driver of the age-related loss of elasticity that leads ultimately to mechanical failure of the blood vessels, muscles, and other tissues.

The SENS platform proposes to resolve this class of damage by introducing enzymes or small molecule drugs capable of selectively degrading the offending crosslinks. However, the sheer number of crosslinks of a given kind may not be a good measure of how high a priority it ought to be for rejuvenation biotechnology: some crosslinks may have a disproportionate effect on tissue elasticity depending on where they occur in the protein strand, how tightly they bind, and how much they interfere with the body’s ability break down and renew the tissue.

Our funded project in the laboratory of Dr. Jonathan Clark at Cambridge’s Babraham Institute is focused on precisely this question of prioritization. Three new papers released by the group this year have established that the simple model in which highly stable crosslinks accumulate over the lifespan is unlikely to be the full story; provided the first evidence that crosslinking within collagen can vary in response to mechanical forces; and identified a potential relationship between specific crosslink precursors and the cancer microenvironment. These results will be crucial to the development of effective therapeutics.

New 2020 Publications

2020 has already seen six new SRF-supported papers – including validation of a key tactic to prevent mitochondrial aging by our MitoSENS team, and an in-depth review coauthored by SRF, Underdog Pharmaceuticals and professor W. Gray Jerome on the major LysoSENS target 7-ketocholesterol.

Read the MitoSENS and LysoSENS papers for free at PubMed Central:

… or visit our Publications Library to see more of our recent work!

Job Opportunity: Research Assistant (Immunology)

SENS Research Foundation (SRF) is hiring a Research Assistant for our Research Center (RC) located in Mountain View, CA. SRF is an exciting, cutting edge non-profit dedicated to transforming the way the world researches and treats age-related disease.

We are seeking a Research Assistant in our Senescence Immunology group for a project geared toward developing therapeutic interventions to rejuvenate immune clearance of senescent cells. This project involves working with human blood samples and primary human cells. This is a full-time position.

Qualified candidates will have a BS or MS in the chemical/biological sciences and substantial bench experience. Duties will include mostly bench work in a small team-oriented environment.

Candidates should have experience in WBC purification, culturing primary cells, quantitative real-time PCR, western blot, immunofluorescence, ELISA, micro plate readers, FACS analysis, and data analysis. Candidates with experience in 2nd and 3rd generation lentivirus system are particularly encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected].

We offer an excellent benefits package including paid vacation and sick leave, fully covered health insurance (inclusive of dependents), an FSA program, and a company matched 401(k) plan, all of which is offered after a 90-day introductory period. SENS Research Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

The position is available now and will be filled as soon as the qualified candidate is found. Salary is commensurate with job title.

Job Type: Full-time
Salary: $48,000 to $50,000/year

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