Meet Dr. Morten Scheibye-Knudsen: The Longevity Scientist and Founder behind VitaDao’s First Research Project
For Dr. Morten Scheibye-Knudsen — associate professor at the University of Copenhagen — aging is the largest risk factor for most diseases, and damage to our genome is likely the cause of aging.
Morten is focused on exploring the physiological consequences of DNA damage and what we can do to intervene in genotoxic insults. His goal is to understand, modulate, and treat aging and age-related diseases.
Info: If you want to know more about the first VitaDAO research project itself, please read this previous article: Announcing the First VitaDAO Research Project: The Longevity Molecule
In addition to his academic activities, Morten has founded several companies including Forsoegsperson.dk, Mito DB, Tracked Bio, and Soosys.com. He is a key advisor for VitaDAO, a board member at the Longevity Vision Fund, and serves as Chief Editor at Frontiers in Aging.
Interview with Morten:
You’re one of the founding members and key advisor of VitaDAO, why are you interested in taking part in this web3 experiment?
Morten: “I think the idea of distributed ownership of intellectual property is extremely appealing both in terms of generating funding for basic research and for allowing ordinary people to invest directly at a very early stage in research.
From my perspective, it is also particularly exciting that we will be able to give VitaDAO members a glimpse into how basic research progresses. Indeed, we will post continuous weekly updates to the project going forward, giving people a deep understanding of how research in general and this project in particular progresses.”
What issues could be addressed through decentralized fundraising?
Morten: “Fund-raising is THE major time consumer for research group leaders. We spend a very large portion of our time writing research grants that could have been spent on scientific research instead. Most people don’t realize that only about 10% of research projects are actually funded.
That means that 90% of work that group leaders do to raise funds are in essence wasted. VitaDAO contributes to solving this issue by allowing fundraising through alternative routes and allowing the public to be mobilized towards solving one of the great riddles of humankind: Why do we age?”
What originally got you interested in the longevity space?
Morten: “At a young age, seeing family members become old, sick, and dying made me think about what we could do to avoid this. I think everyone who has lost someone close to them would give the world for just a few more good years. That is why I work in this space.”
When did you start your lab and what’s your vision?
Morten: “I started my lab in 2016 and we have grown steadily since then. The vision is to allow everyone a longer, healthier, and happier life.”
Whats your broad vision for the future of longevity research?
Morten: “Aging is extremely complex, but we now understand major mechanisms behind aging and we are beginning to see the transition into clinical trials targeting aging.
This will be a turning point in longevity research and I expect within the next 5–10 years that we will have an understanding of interventions that could begin to extend human lifespan.”
Invitation to the next VitaDAO Community Call (featuring Morten)
Coming June 2nd, Wednesday 5.30 pm CET / 3.30 pm UTC
5:30–5:40 Intro and Updates
5:40–6:00 Updates from Scheibye-Knudsen Lab
6:00–6:15 Q&A Session
Morten earned his MD in 2007 from the University of Copenhagen, where he also earned his DMSc (Doctor of Medical Sciences, higher doctorate) in Neurodegeneration in Accelerated Aging in 2016.
In 2008, Morten became a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Vilhelm Bohr at the National Institute on Aging, NIH, in Baltimore, Maryland. His work focused on the cross-talk between DNA repair and mitochondrial function in neurodegeneration and aging. In 2013, at NIH, he became Research Fellow and in 2015, Visiting Professor.
In 2015, he started his own group at the University of Copenhagen as an assistant professor and in 2018 he received a tenured associate professorship in Aging Interventions.
For six years, Morten lectured on the Biological Basis of Aging for graduate students at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
More from The Scheibye Knudsen Lab:
— Website (scheibye-knudsen.com)
— Twitter (twitter.com/ScheibyeKnudsen?s=20)
— University of Copenhagen (icmm.ku.dk/english/research-groups/scheibye-knudsen-group)
VitaDAO is an international, decentralized project and will launch in the coming weeks. If you wish to participate, join our discord and get to know our community of researchers, web3 experts and longevity enthusiasts.
— Website (vita-dao.io)
— Twitter (twitter.com/vita_dao)
— Discord Community & Working Groups (discord.gg/SMz2RRYCY5)
— Telegram Community (t.me/vitadao)
— Would you like to get involved? You can fill out our contact form (airtable.com/shrgouAxrM9jsjUlF)