Jim Mellon is doing a fair amount to help push the research and medical communities towards the development of therapies to slow and reverse the progression of aging. He is quite vocal in the business community, and is one of the founders of Juvenescence, very much involved in building portions of a longevity-focused biotechnology industry. He wrote a book on that topic as a part of convincing the broader investment community that this is an important new field. He has set up conferences, both for industry and for the broader community, such as the Longevity Forum. Here is an example of another approach, which is to fund institutional research programs to advance the state of the science.
We are delighted to announce that Jim Mellon (1975, PPE), British investor and philanthropist, has gifted £1 million to support and advance the study of Longevity Science at Oxford, and specifically at Oriel. The gift will establish the Mellon Longevity Science Programme at Oriel to help the most vulnerable in society by advancing research into health resilience in ageing populations. The gift is the largest of its kind dedicated to Longevity Science to a UK university, making Oriel and Oxford a focal point for efforts to improve future health resilience by boosting the immunity and healthspan of ageing populations. More specifically, the gift will support the work of Professor Lynne Cox, George Moody Fellow in Biochemistry at Oriel, and a principal investigator in the Department of Biochemistry. Her lab studies the molecular basis of human ageing, with the aim of reducing the morbidity and frailty associated with old age through better health resilience.
“There has never been a more important time to address the frailty of human health. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the huge economic and social costs connected to the lack of immune resilience in our increasingly ageing population and the need for greater scientific research into this area. Boosting immunoresilience among the most vulnerable in society and advancing healthspan are critical to helping more people reach their potential as well as, more urgently, improving our collective resilience in the face of future pandemics. Oxford’s leadership in the field of research and understanding of the ageing process makes it a natural home to advance longevity science and support the growth of the longevity industry, and I am proud to support this work.”