Venture Capitalist Paul F. Glenn Wants You to Live Forever

"What if we could not only live longer, but also avoid or delay the declines that diminish the quality of our lives as we age? To stave off these declines, we must understand their underlying molecular mechanisms."

So says the website of the Paul F. Glenn Laboratories For Aging Research at Princeton University. The outfit's benefactor, Paul F. Glenn, a Princeton and Harvard graduate and venture capital veteran, has been digging into the science of aging for years. This story begins, surprisingly enough, when Glenn was still a teenager and saw his grandparents' health decline. As a senior at Princeton in the 1950s, Glenn met a research scientist at the pharmaceutical company Hoffman-LaRoche who convinced him that the key to understanding aging was in harnessing the tools of molecular biology, a then-emerging field.

To that end, Glenn established the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research in 1965. It has been squarely focused on research into the biological mechanisms of aging. In a recent fiscal year, the foundation held some $250 million in assets and gave away around $11.5 million. In addition to Glenn's work at Princeton, he's also funded aging research outfits at Harvard, the Buck Institute, MIT, UCSF and Stanford University. In 2014, a $3 million gift created The Glenn Center for Aging Research at University of Michigan.

The Glenn Foundation for Medical Research funds several programs and awards. The Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging provides unsolicited funds to researchers investigating the biology of aging. Award nominees are provided by the Glenn Foundation's Scientific Advisory Board; applications are not accepted.

The Glenn/AFAR Breakthroughs in Gerontology Awards provide support to "a small number of pilot research programs that may be of relatively high risk but which offer significant promise of yielding transforming disoveries in the fundamental biology of aging." Full-time faculty at the rank of assistant professor or higher are eligible. (Click Here for more information about this program).

The Glenn/AFAR Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Translational Research on Aging supports postdoctoral fellows (MD, MD/Ph.D. and Ph.D.) who specifically direct their research towards translational findings and who will demonstrate how their research will have direct benefits for human aging. Up to 10 one-year fellowships will be awarded. The award levels range from $49,000 to $60,000, based on years of relevant experience.

The Glenn/AFAR Scholarships for Research in the Biology of Aging enables Ph.D., MD, and DO candidates at any level to undertake a three-to-six-month research project on a subject related to the basic sciences and aging. Up to 10 one-year fellowships will be awarded. The award levels range from $49,000 to $60,000, based on years of relevant experience.

The Glenn Foundation supports its programs through the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR). Information regarding grant applications should be directed towards AFAR.

Related: Glenn Foundation for Medical Research: Grants for Research

Related: Paul F. Glenn