VitaDAO Newsletter Issue No 5 April 2022
Hello Vitalians! April Fools might have started the month, but we promise this Newsletter is no joke! Many people in VitaDAO were able to attend ETHAmsterdam for one of the first ever DeSci days, featuring talks about all things DeSci. In this month’s newsletter, learn more about new proposals, job openings, votes, community member Ariella Coler-Reilly, and other things happening around the DAO.
Crypto x Longevity Symposium
April contained the first VitaDAO crypto meets longevity symposium. The Symposium featured talks from longevity researchers, members from LabDAO and Molecule, and of course, VitaDAO. We had over 300 attendees for the Symposium, and we hope to do this again in the future! Missed it? Catch a recording of the symposium.
Refer to VitaDAO, Make $$
Know of anyone doing interesting work in the longevity space? Do you like getting money for advancing scientific research? Then refer a project to VitaDAO! For each relevant project you introduce us to, you can get 500 $USD or 1000 $VITA. In exchange, the project can get funding and VitaDAO’s support to advance its mission. Have a researcher in mind? Fill out the form here.
Bridging IP into Web3 with IP-NFTs
IP is a difficult and confusing process, and our good friends at Molecule are working hard to simplify it, while also enabling new fundraising and collaboration strategies. They recently released a thread on this topic, which you can find here, as well as an article by Molecule and VitaDAO Cofounder Tyler Golato, here.
Apply for a VitaDAO Fellowship
We’re still accepting applications for our VitaDAO fellowship! This fellowship funds fast grants of up to $3k to fund you to do research, take a break to focus on longevity, attend a conference, or join a program. This fellowship has NO strings attached, with no expectations or claim of any research resulting from the fellowship. We have supported 37 people so far, with funding supporting attendance at longevity conferences, conducting research, and joining the On Deck Longevity Fellowship. Want to apply? Check it out here.
DeSci Day at ETHAmsterdam
People all over the world working in DeSci met up in Amsterdam for DeSci day. We had panels discussing IP-NFTs, governance, diversity, partnerships and onboarding in DeSci DAOs, as well as panels from our friends at Molecule and LabDAO! Didn’t get the chance to go to Amsterdam in person? No worries! There’s a recording of the day.
Upcoming DeSci Conference in Berlin
DeSci day at ETHAmsterdam was a massive success…. so it only makes sense to have a whole DeSci Conference! We are planning a DeSci conference in Berlin on May 23–24th. We are currently planning our speaker schedule, but expect a lot of talk on IP-NFTs, DeSci DAOs, research funding, and DeSci execution. Register or apply to be a speaker!
Open Roles at VitaDAO
If you are a well-organized and dynamic person, curious about the world of longevity, crypto, and open-source communities, then we’re looking for you! We’re hiring 3 positions: Longevity Dealflow Manager, Longevity Dealflow Principal, and a Longevity Venture Associate. Interested? Check out this thread with each position here.
New Agent of VitaDAO
VDP23IP, a Swiss Association (Verein), was formed! It will serve as VitaDAO’s IP holding company following our vote on VDP-23. Stay tuned for news about how to attend VDP23IP’s inaugural General Meeting during DeSci Berlin! There it will appoint members and set the roadmap for the next year. Register your interest in becoming a member of VDP23IP by messaging Jesse or Savva in the Legal Working Group. We’re filling spots for a Council of 9.
Hot off the Press
Tim Peterson, Victoria Perdue, and Zach West released a new article, “How Crypto can Help Science and medicine.” In this article, they write about how DeSci can improve both clinical medicine and research, by funding more projects as well as prioritizing going-to-market plans, instead of the standard of patents. If this sounds interesting to you, make sure to give the article a read.
What’s been going DAOn
We passed a few proposals, and currently have others open for voting on Snapshot! As always, you can follow proposals and add to the conversation before votes are added to Snapshot on the VitaDAO’s Discourse.
VDP-18 Passed! Towards Reversing Periodontal Disease using Geroscience
Periodontal disease is a chronic oral disease with inflammation of the tissues supporting the teeth. The disease’s greatest underlying risk factor is age, highlighting the importance of studying periodontitis within the lens of geroscience studies. This passed proposal provides up to 300,000 USD to fund an 8-week mouse-model study that will use small molecule inhibitors of the PI3K/NFkB/mTOR pathway to treat periodontal disease.
VDP-38 Passed! ApoptoSENS — Senolytic CAR-NK cells
We are funding more longevity research projects! This proposal provides 253,000 USD to fund SENS Research Foundation’s ApoptoSENS project to develop CAR-NK cells to precisely and safely eliminate senescent cells. This is a mouthful, so let’s break it down. Over time, some cells experience damage, enter senescence, and can secrete proinflammatory factors leading to tissue dysfunction. By creating Chimeric Antigen Receptor Natural Killer (CAR-NK) cells to eliminate these senescent cells, we hope to be able to prevent this tissue damage.
VDP-22 Passed! Probing DNA Quadruplexes in Age Related Proteostasis
We voted to contribute 50,000 USD to a 4 year doctoral program at the Institute of Chemical Biology, Imperial College London. The goal will be to determine the role of DNA Helicases as regulators of proteostasis and to understand more about their impact on declining function before the onset of age-related proteostasis.
VDP-42 Continued Funding of VHF Passed!
VDP-42 proposes contributing $680,000 to the Vitality Healthspan Foundation. This would fund an additional arm’s-length loan of $580,000 from VitaDAO to VHF, secured against the underlying equity in companies VHF in turn funds, and a $100,000 donation to VHF to support VHF and VitaDAO’s aligned non-profit initiatives. This is an active proposal, ending in early May!
VDP-40 Passed! Cellular ‘Soap’ For Infectious Disease Accelerated Aging — Dr Tim Peterson
VitaDAO will allocate $231,000 to Tim Peterson’s project developing a cellular “soap” (sphingolipid mimetics) to thwart pathogens and senescent cells.
Community Member Highlight: Ariella Coler-Reilly
How did you first get involved with the VitaDAO community/ DeSci?
I studied the genetics of aging at WashU under Dr. Tim Peterson, who is one of the stewards of VitaDAO’s deal-flow group. At first, I had no interest in VitaDAO because I imagined a group of finance bros and blockchain developers, which is definitely not me. However, I ultimately realized that all kinds of people with all kinds of skills are needed to run a biomedical DAO. In August 2021, I joined the DAO as a science communication contributor, beginning my rapid descent into the crypto rabbit hole, and I have never looked back!
How do you balance your work as a very active DAO community member and full-time Ph.D. student?
Frankly it is very difficult, and I sometimes struggle to establish boundaries and allocate my time appropriately. That said, an important part of the Ph.D. experience is participating in career development opportunities to network and explore options for the future, and VitaDAO has given me more of these opportunities than I ever could have imagined.
Can you walk me through what your position in VitaDAO entails?
My primary position is Managing Editor of our longevity science blog (https://vitadao.medium.com/). I help onboard new science communication (#SciComm) contributors and guide them through the process of writing articles that match their areas of expertise. It is critical that all of our community members feel informed about the foundational biomedical principles underlying aging and longevity biotech.
What has surprised you most about VitaDAO?
I was surprised by the sheer volume of people from all over the world with various professional backgrounds who have self-aggregated here in our community. The tools we use are native to the gaming and crypto realms but completely foreign to others — and yet, so many people have taken a leap of faith and created their first crypto wallet and Discord messaging account because we all share this common goal of advancing research to extend healthy life.
What are you most excited about in VitaDAO’s future?
There is a lot to be excited about, but one highlight for me is the potential for DAOs to disrupt the broken drug development pipeline by realigning financial incentives around the interests of researchers, physicians, and patients. The biotech valley of death has killed so many potentially groundbreaking initiatives, and I believe VitaDAO is leading the way in building a bridge to finally cross that valley.
Any closing thoughts for readers?
We always need more science writers and illustrators. If you are a science communicator interested in the aging and longevity field, please get in touch!
VitaDAO in the Wild
Balaji Srinivasan mentioned us and Molecule on Shane Parrish’s Podcast, “The Knowledge Project.” Check out the clip here.
Last month, VitaDAO partnered with Dr. Peter Diamandis, founder of Abundance360 community. Every A360 member became a $VITA token holder! This month, VitaDAO was shouted out by Peter H. Diamandis in a Twitter thread.
Check out an amazing podcast by BioAgePodcast with Tyler Golato and Laurence Ion about the essence of VitaDAO, changing incentive structures around drug development, and more!
May 12th at 6PM CET- Attend a VitaDAO Panel Discussion On Applied Longevity Medicine with host Max Unfried and speakers Prof. Evelyne Bischof, Prof. Andrea Maier, and Weronika Prusisz. Sign up here
May 18th at 9 PM CET- (Recurring Every Wednesday) — Pop into VitaDAO’s weekly onboarding session on Discord with Niklas Rindtorff and Alex Dobrin. Join the VitaDAO Discord server to learn more about the DAO, how to get involved, and find schedules for specific working group meetings.
May 23–24th- DeSci Conference in Berlin! Make sure to register if you’re interested in attending! If you are unable to make it in person, you can watch the live stream on Youtube! A link will be available on our Twitter.
Aug 29th-Sept 2nd — ARDD 9th Aging Research and Drug Discovery Meeting
Have questions, concerns, or inquiries? Join the Discord channel and introduce yourself! VitaDAO is a friendly community and its Discord functions as the heartbeat of the DAO. Our operations team is great at onboarding and directing newcomers to roles that fit their skills.
Want to know more about VitaDAO’s funded projects? Check out the newly revamped VitaDAO website! Kudos to our Tech Working Group!
If you enjoyed reading this newsletter, make sure to subscribe! Forward this to people you think would enjoy this- no April fools here or May showers to come, we promise!