Some will say that Bill Andrews is totally crazy – at 61 he runs an average of 10 miles per day and at least one 100 mile marathon per month. He also wants to “Cure Ageing or Die Trying”. No wonder Bill is one of the 2 main protagonists of a new documentary about life-extension aptly titled The Immortalists. As to whether he is crazy or not, I myself hope that he totally is. Because, if we are ever going to defeat ageing, we are going to need a lot more out-of-the-box “crazy” scientists like Andrews. And I totally loved interviewing him on my Singularity 1 on 1 podcast.
During our 1 hour conversation with Bill we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: the relationship between telomeres and ageing; the Hayflick limit and the scientific definition of immortality; how he got interested in finding a cure for ageing; life-extension and overpopulation; supplements and other ways to slow down the pace of telomere shortening such as ultra-marathon running; Product B and TA-65, his book on Curing Aging;Sierra Sciences and the money needed to make a human cell immortal…
My favorite quotes that I will take away from this conversation with Bill Andrews are:
“Cure Ageing or Die Trying” [I just cannot not start with this one ;-]
“In my opinion nature wants us dead as soon as we’ve raised our young”
“Ageing is not going to cure itself – it requires funding. People think that the government is funding all the research in ageing but the government is not interested… Large pharma is not interested. If people are really out there wondering why nobody is curing ageing right now it’s because we need the private individuals that are passionate about this subject to be funding the research. And not just my research – everybody’s research.”
(You can listen to/download the audio file above or watch the video interview in full. If you want to help me produce more episodes like this one please make a donation!)
The Immortalists Film Trailer:
This is a portrait of two scientists – Aubrey de Grey and Bill Andrews, who want to develop medical technologies which will supposedly make us all live forever. Who are they? How can they do it? And even if they could, what would happen?
Who is Bill Andrews?
Dr. William H. Andrews, Ph.D. is the President & CEO of Sierra Sciences. He has worked in the biotech industry for 28 years, focusing the last 15 years on finding ways to extend human lifespan through the intervention of telomere shortening in human cells.
Dr. Andrews earned his Ph.D. in Molecular and Population Genetics at the University of Georgia in 1981. He was a Senior Scientist at Armos Corporation and Codon Corporation, Director of Molecular Biology at Codon and at Geron Corporation, and Director of Technology Development at EOS Biosciences.
While Director of Molecular Biology at Geron Corporation from 1992 to 1997, Dr. Andrews was one of the principal discoverers of both the RNA and protein components of human telomerase and was awarded 2nd place as “National Inventor of the Year” in 1997 for this work. He is presently a named inventor on 35 US issued telomerase patents.
Dr. Andrews is an avid runner and enjoys participating in ultramarathons in his spare time. His ultimate goal is to run a 7 minute mile at the age of 130.