A Time-Travel Party with David KekichApril 2016
By Kyle Roderick
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to live 100 years from now? Life sciences entrepreneur David Kekich of Newport Beach, California, stretches imagination into reality by hosting parties around the time-traveling premise that the future is now.
Kekich’s end-of-the-year 2015 bash drew an all-star cast of PhD evolutionary biologists, anti-aging researchers, wellness executives, gene therapy entrepreneurs, and other super-centenarian seekers. One wall of the room featured a huge television that silently screened the original Star Wars film.
Partygoers clad as characters out of iconic science fiction series such as Star Trek (as well as those in chic Californian ensembles) debated such questions as:
- What anti-aging research breakthroughs will occur in 2016?
- Where in the world is gene therapy research progressing the fastest? What cures will be the first to become widely affordable?
- How should CRISPR-cas9, the bacterial system discovered in 2012 that allows for quick and easy changing of the DNA of nearly any organism, (including humans) be regulated?
According to Kekich, “The main point of the party was to enjoy catching up with each other, as well as to celebrate how the search for an enhanced human life span is picking up speed.”
Kekich, clad in a sleek silver jumpsuit reminiscent of Flash Gordon, has been confined to a wheelchair for decades due to a spinal cord injury. Due to the synergistic effects of disciplined workouts, careful eating, nutritional supplementation, and innate curiosity, Kekich is nevertheless a highly engaging avatar of anti-aging. Brimming with radiant health, compelling conversation, and high energy, Kekich is the author of Smart, Strong and Sexy at 100, a how-to guide that summarizes evidence-based medical research into remedies for aging, along with action plans for cultivating optimum health and maximum life span.
Good News Ahead
There is plenty of marvelous medical health news to celebrate at this moment in history, Kekich said. “With each passing year,” he noted, “science comes closer to finding remedies for slowing the onset of aging.”
Kekich, who defines aging variously as “a disease” or as “an undesirable, but not necessarily inevitable, byproduct of the evolutionary process,” has devoted decades of energy to the anti-aging business and to studying anti-aging research. “I specialize in raising funding and providing management for life sciences-related technologies that aim to enhance quality of life and human life span,” he added. “Talking to research scientists and working with them is endlessly fascinating, which fills my life with ongoing exploration and surprises.”
Kekich’s Background and History
In 1999, Kekich founded the Maximum Life Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation dedicated to reversing human aging and aging-related diseases. Since then, the Foundation, in collaboration with leading researchers, has developed scientific action plans for helping slow the onset of aging while fostering optimal mental and physical health. The CEO of SciCog Systems, Inc. and Age Reversal, Inc., Kekich also serves as a board member of the American Aging Association and Alcor Foundation Patient Care Trust Fund.
“I first became intrigued with the concept of life extension in 1977 after founding the largest life insurance master general agency in the United States,” Kekich said. “This raised $3.1 billion of premium income for First Executive Corp. and the experience exposed me to many sobering facts and figures related to death from unhealthy lifestyles and death from aging.” It also prompted him to seek out and work with expert researchers in the field. Paraphrasing evolutionary biologist, author, and party guest Michael Rose, PhD, Kekich explained, “It appears that the evolutionary process loses power with each year that we live past the onset of our reproductive age until ‘the force’ (as Dr. Rose calls it) finally fades to black.”
On the upside, “I am encouraged by Dr. Rose’s precedent-setting experiments that substantially postponed aging in fruit flies,” Kekich said. “These were the first to demonstrate that longevity can be genetically modulated.” Dr. Rose is a professor and director of the Network for Experimental Research on Evolution (NERE), Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. (Fulfilling Kekich’s mandate to dress for anti-aging success, Dr. Rose came cloaked in the ageless vampire elegance of Count Dracula, costumed in formal eveningwear topped off by a billowing black silk cape.)
Telomerase and a Longer Life Span
Along with other life extension research that suggests it may be possible to extend human existence beyond the maximum life span of 120 years, telomerase research fills Kekich with hope. “Publication of peer-reviewed scientific research on telomerase gene therapy and other scientific projects indicates that we are getting closer to the goal of extending human life span,” he said.
A 1998 article in the journal Science identified telomerase as a protein that is capable of extending cell life span. Telomerase is now recognized as capable of immortalizing human somatic cells. The idea of potentially extending life span using telomerase is derived from research done by the laboratory of Spanish scientist Maria Blasco, PhD.
In 2012, Dr. Blasco demonstrated that telomerase gene therapy could extend the life span of mice by as much as 20%. “It is breakthroughs such as these that make [now] such an exciting time to be alive,” Kekich noted. Expert researchers in the field share Kekich’s enthusiasm for telomerase, including the venerable George Church, PhD, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and director of personalgenomes.org, which provides the world’s only open-access information on human Genomic, Environmental and Trait data. In October 2015, at a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences organized to discuss US policy on genetic interventions, Dr. Church proposed that telomerase deserves close consideration for its potential to enhance the human life span.
Yet another reason why telomerase looms large in the minds of research scientists and life sciences entrepreneurs like Kekich is because the molecule is present in those cells that can continue to divide indefinitely. As Kekich stated, “This includes stem cells, which are simple cells in the body that are able to develop into any one of various kinds of cells, such as blood cells, skin cells, etc.”
More Anti-Aging Research
Actively participating in other anti-aging avenues, Kekich is an investor in BioViva, a US company founded in 2014. “The founders view aging as a disease and believe that aging lies at the root of pathology. Gene therapies are being tested around the world and some are available to treat such conditions as macular degeneration,” Kekich said. “These new therapies are relatively expensive. BioViva believes everyone should have access to cutting-edge medical treatments, not just those in the highest income brackets,” Kekich added. “BioViva aims to invent gene therapies that are affordable to the masses.”
One inexpensive therapy that will hopefully result from BioViva’s laboratories involves the use of telomerase as a possible remedy for skin aging. As the BioViva website (www.bioviva-science.com) states, “It is likely the first telomerase therapy we will develop that will focus on rejuvenating aging skin and restoring youthful elasticity. The skin represents an easily accessible target for therapy. We now propose to move forward with this therapy to regenerate skin and dermal tissue using telomerase induction and in doing so return skin to a youthful state.”
Kekich is also the co-founder of SciCog Systems, Inc., “which is working on creating an automated artificial intelligence (AI) research assistant. The first application, Kekich explained, “will accelerate biomedical science progress by deploying advanced artificial intelligence technology, with initial focus on the biology of healthy longevity.” Artificial intelligence pioneers such as inventor and author Ray Kurzweil influence Kekich’s philosophy and business.
Kurzweil’s thinking and writings are important and inspiring “because he reminds us how fundamental measures of information technology follow predictable and exponential trajectories,” Kekich said. “I would imagine that most scientists, as well as everyone else in the realm of anti-aging product research and development, are encouraged because of Kurzweil’s law of accelerating returns.” As Kekich summarized, “Kurzweil’s law states that information technology progresses exponentially. Because of this assured exponential growth in the intelligence of information technology, it is just a matter of time before we have the computing power to find solutions to various scientific problems such as how to radically slow down or reverse aging, or remedy a specific disease.”
It is worth noting that Kurzweil’s law of accelerating returns springs from “Moore’s Law,” named for Intel co-founder Gordon Moore. “Moore predicted in 1965 that the number of transistors incorporated in a chip will approximately double every 24 months,” Kekich said. “While computers have downsized from room-sized to pocket-sized, they have become massively more powerful. History validates the accuracy of Moore’s prediction, and I’m betting that the accuracy and action plan for radically extending human life span will be revealed in the near future.”
Quoting Dr. Rose, Kekich concluded, “It is still reasonable to hope that eventually the great mass of people will be able to control their aging through pharmaceuticals and medicine.”
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
David Kekich, CEO of SciCog Systems, Inc., is a recognized authority on longevity science. He founded Maximum Life Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to reversing human aging. He also serves as a board member of the American Aging Association and Alcor Foundation Patient Care Trust Fund.
He authored Smart, Strong and Sexy at 100: New Skin. New Hair. New You: 7 Simple Steps to Thrive at 100… and Beyond, a how-to book for extreme life extension. He has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows and publishes a widely read newsletter.
For more information about the Maximum Life Foundation or contact information, visit www.maxlife.org or call 1-949-706-2468.