November 5th, 2019

Episode #61

The Role of the Thymus in Life Extension

On this episode of Living Beyond 120, Mark and Dr. Gladden welcome Dr. Gregory Fahy, cryobiologist and biogerontologist, back onto the show.

They start by discussing how the human body is designed to eventually make itself obsolete, with cell senescence, but the system can be hacked to increase longevity.

Dr. Fahy describes the crucial role that the thymus gland plays in immunity. After puberty, the thymus starts to wither and die as we approach our 40s. For humans, this doesn’t seem have a massive impact until reaching one’s 60s, when the ability to recognize and fight infections starts to steeply decline. 

Dr. Fahy regrew his own thymus with human growth hormone, so he used this experiment as a baseline for dosage on the TRIM trial with 9 other volunteers. He describes the protocols and challenges of this trial, as well as the incredible results documented with this first study.

They also discuss the next trial Dr. Fahy is planning soon, TRIM X, to further examine the success of human growth hormone on regrowing the thymus and the ways it affects the age of the body as a whole. 

Before wrapping up, Dr. Fahy shares a number of other exciting studies taking place to reverse aging. They discuss how these various treatments could possibly work together in the future, as well as the balance that will need to be struck with these sorts of anti-aging treatments. 

 

Special Guest

Gregory M. Fahy, Ph.D.

Dr. Fahy earned his B.S. from the University of California at Irvine in 1972 and his Ph.D. from the Medical College of Georgia in 1977 for work on basic aspects of cryobiology. He spent the next 18 years developing methods for preserving whole organs at cryogenic temperatures at the American Red Cross in Maryland. In 1980, he conceived of preserving organs by vitrification. He published the first proof of principle of this concept in Nature in 1985 using mouse embryos as a model system, an event that led to the wide use of vitrification in academic and commercial animal husbandry as well as in human assisted reproduction.

In 1995, he won the Grand Prize for Medicine from INPEX for his invention of the first effective computer-operated equipment for perfusing organs with cryoprotective agents. The same year, he left the Red Cross to become Chief Scientist of two biotechnology companies and the Head of the Tissue Cryopreservation Section of the Transfusion and Cryopreservation Research Program at the Naval Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. In 1998, he became the Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President of 21st Century Medicine, where he invented several new principles in cryopreservation that have been extraordinarily effective in practical applications ranging from tissues to whole organs.

Dr. Fahy’s efforts have recently raised the question of whether human suspended animation might be an attainable goal that could allow the human species to survive in deep time as a result of enabling migration from the earth to other habitats in the cosmos.

Dr. Fahy is a sought-after speaker and problem-solver. He is on the Board of Directors of several organizations concerned with cryopreservation or aging, serves on the Editorial Board of Rejuvenation Research, and has served as a reviewer for numerous journals and granting bodies. He has over 20 patents in fields related to cryopreservation, aging, transplantation, metabolic protection, and the reversal of autoimmunity and immunosenescence, and has many publications in the fields of cryobiology, aging, and nanotechnology.

He currently serves as Director for Intervene Immune, Inc. Learn more about the projects they are working on and how to become a part of their clinical trials at http://interveneimmune.com/.