William Shatner joins oversight committee for 130-year lifespan trials

Star Trek star boldly joins Biotech Explorers longevity project to extend human lifespan and explore the final frontier of aging.

In a move that spotlights the intersection of celebrity influence and scientific ambition, world-renowned actor, futurist and astronaut William Shatner has joined the Oversight Committee of Biotech Explorers, a new subsidiary of Mitrix Bio.

This ambitious initiative aims to significantly extend human lifespan, targeting a 130-year life expectancy through cutting-edge mitochondrial transplantation techniques. The project, while initially focused on astronauts, could result in profound implications for treating a variety of early-aging and degenerative diseases back down on Planet Earth.

The trials are set to transplant bioreactor-grown mitochondria into volunteers with the aim of increasing the number of functional mitochondria within human cells and enhancing cellular energy production, thereby slowing aging processes and promoting overall health.

Longevity.Technology: William Shatner’s involvement in this project is particularly noteworthy; at 92 years old he famously became the oldest person to travel to space in 2021 aboard a Blue Origin flight. His participation in the Oversight Committee adds a layer of visibility and public interest to the initiative, potentially accelerating public and private sector support for its efforts. It’s a bold move that reflects the project’s bold vision and one that should widen its appeal to a broader audience beyond the scientific community.

It is often the ambitious, moon-shot projects that grab headlines – and, more importantly, grab funding; high-profile initiatives can draw necessary attention to the accelerating field of longevity research, serving as a catalyst for increased investment and innovation. The high stakes and grand aspirations associated with extending human lifespan necessitate substantial resources, and the buzz created by celebrity endorsements can be instrumental in securing these resources. This dynamic highlights a critical aspect of modern scientific progress: the synergy between public interest, financial investment and groundbreaking research.

Publicizing ongoing longevity research and trials not only raises awareness but also fosters a broader cultural acceptance of scientific advancements. It encourages the public to engage with and support innovative projects that have the potential to transform human health and longevity. By shining a spotlight on these efforts, the field of longevity research gains momentum, attracting new talent, ideas and collaborations that can propel the science forward. In essence, a rising tide lifts all boats – as one project gains visibility and support, it creates a ripple effect that benefits the entire field.

Mr Shatner said: “I have always been a futurist. The cutting edge of science is where the excitement lies, and this project is certainly at that edge.”

Tom Benson, CEO of Mitrix, added: “When we announced this project for astronauts, we realized Mr Shatner, who went into space with Blue Origin at 90 years old as the oldest astronaut, was a perfect fit. We’re thrilled to have him involved.”

As well as Bill Shatner, the committee overseeing this project includes Dr Michael Snyder, head of the Genetics Department at Stanford University, and Dr Thomas Rando, director of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center at UCLA.

The project’s objectives extend beyond increasing lifespan; among the anticipated benefits are rapid wound healing, enhanced resistance to radiation and infections and muscle generation. These advancements are initially intended to mitigate the adverse effects of space travel, making long-duration missions less perilous and more viable, but the broader implications for terrestrial applications are considerable. The same technologies that protect astronauts from the harsh conditions of space could be harnessed to improve treatments for a range of debilitating conditions on Earth.

The volunteer group, made up of individuals over the age of 60, includes physicians, scientists and entrepreneurs; the participants will undergo mitochondrial transplants in a bid to rejuvenate their bodies, extend their healthy lifespans and address a spectrum of diseases including neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), infectious diseases like COVID-19 and childhood mitochondrial disorders. The potential for rapid injury recovery is another key aspect under investigation, which could revolutionize treatment protocols in emergency medicine and surgery, as well as making space journeys less dangerous.

Whether this collaboration of scientists, entrepreneurs and William Shatner will result in lifespan extension remains to be seen, but it is highly likely to captain the way to benefits for longevity and healthspan research.

READ MORE: Mitochondrial restoration therapy could be launch pad for longevity – Mitrix Bio CEO discusses how targeting increased longevity for astronauts could also pay dividends for those back on Planet Earth.

Photograph: Bryan Regan/Shutterstock