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VitaDAO Letter: Zuzalu & Shaping the Future of Autophagy Research

June 18, 2023
Sarah Friday

Welcome back to the VitaDAO Newsletter, your monthly source of insights into the VitaDAO community. In just 20 months, we have successfully deployed over $4 million to fund 17 cutting-edge projects, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the field.

From our upcoming token sale, which introduces the innovative VITA-FAST tokens, to the one-year anniversary of our renowned “Longevity Research Newsletter, we are pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Let’s dive in and explore the latest developments in VitaDAO’s mission to extend healthy lifespans. Inside this Newsletter:

  • VITA-FAST Tokens: Steering Korolchuk Lab’s Research
  • Celebrate One Year of the Longevity Research Newsletter
  • Recent VitaDAO Votes
  • Meet Rhys Anderson

VITA-FAST Token Crowd Sale

Hold up, I thought that $VITA was the community token of VitaDAO? It is! Then what is the talk of a VITA-FAST Token? 🤔

If you’re new here, welcome! Sit back, relax, and keep on reading as I introduce you to VDP-100,, and the utility of VITA-FAST tokens. This story dates back to 2021 when the VitaDAO community voted to fund Viktor Korolchuk Lab in the discovery of new autophagy inducers. Dysfunctional autophagy affects cellular functions including DNA repair, metabolism, and survival. Thus, activation of autophagy is considered a promising therapeutic approach to combat aging and age-related diseases.

“We see that activating this process makes old cells look young, which is quite striking from our point of view.” — Viktor Korolchuk

Flash forward to earlier this month, the community voted on VDP 100, the fractionalization of the IP-NFT minted pursuant to VDP-16. In layman’s terms, fractionalization is the concept of splitting up ownership of something. Here, the final model is a little different: not split ownership, but rather shared governance. In this case, VitaDAO is distributing governance over the Korolchuk project by allowing individuals to buy or earn governance rights in order to have a more active role.

This brings us to VITA-FAST tokens. $VITA-FAST will be Intellectual Property (IP) governance tokens that provide membership to an IP pool for the IP-NFT. Members of this pool will actively decide what happens with the IP and R&D data attached to the Korolchuk IP-NFT. Thus, VITA-FAST token holders have the right to participate in the governance of the IP-NFT and its development.

This necessitates token distribution! 1,000,000 VITA-FAST tokens will be minted, with 10% available for sale to VitaDAO members, and the rest divided among VitaDAO, researchers, Newcastle University, and a liquidity pool. The 10% will be sold to $VITA token holders in a fixed-price sale with pro rata distribution, overflow refunds, and 2-month vesting. VitaDAO members can bid as much as they’re willing to contribute to the sale, with the final allocation of tokens proportional to each participant’s contribution.

We invite you to join us as we make history! Before participating in the sale, familiarize yourself with the Korolchuk project page, the project white paper, and VitaDAO’s blog announcement.!

Sale duration: June 15 5pm CET — June 23 5pm CET

Participate in the sale here:

🧪VitaDAO’s IP-NFT Funded Research Projects

In a newsletter discussing fractionalization, it feels wrong not to briefly cover IP-NFTs. IP-NFTs connect IP and research and development data rights to NFTs on the Ethereum network by attaching legal contracts to smart contracts. They represent a new paradigm in the evolution of legal contracts for scientific research. Benefits of IP-NFTs include: creating efficiencies in IP licensing, creating entirely new IP markets, and enabling decentralized IP ownership, governance, and commercialization.

VitaDAO has multiple IP-NFT-funded projects including (but not limited to):

🌎VitaDAO & Zuzalu

Last month, Zuzalu & VitaDAO took Montenegro by storm. VitaDAO’s “Longevity Zero to One” and “Longevity Biotech Conference” encouraged conversation about network states and the pursuit of extended life. Want to learn more? Check out the full article by MIT Technology Review for an immersive glimpse into this groundbreaking event:

🥳A Year of the Longevity Research Newsletter

Has it already been a year? Time flies when you’re having fun! Join us in commemorating the one-year anniversary of our renowned VitaDAO’s “Longevity Research Newsletter.” This fun initiative, led by Rhys Anderson and Maria Marinova, keeps VitaDAO members up-to-date with the most important longevity research activity happening across the globe. The newsletter offers updates about VitaDAO’s funded projects, highlights hot longevity research, and features top scientists in the field. Swing by VitaDAO’s Medium to read this month’s edition and stay informed about the latest breakthroughs.

🗣️VitaDAO in the Wild

Discover VitaDAO’s growing presence in the scientific and technological community:

📣Community Approved: What you voted for!

VDP-97 Passed! This vote distributed 700,000 VITA tokens to 6 of the top community & awareness contributors, with an additional allowance of up to 300,000 VITA for allocation to other core contributors.

VDP-99 Passed! As a result of this vote, VITA will launch on layer2s. Currently, VitaDAO is prioritizing launching on Optimism, Arbitrum, and Polygon with $250k of liquidity in each VITA + ETH.

VDP-100 Passed! In case you skimmed past the earlier part of this newsletter, VitaDAO’s Newcastle IP-NFT will be fractionalized! This vote confirmed the creation of IP-NFT tokens to govern the IP and control the R&D decision-making and capital allocation process.

💪Exercise Your Right to Vote (on VitaDAO’s Governance Forum)

Find all of VitaDAO’s pending proposals on Discourse, VitaDAO’s governance hub for proposals before they are moved on Snapshot. Proposals are open for engagement, voting, questions, and conversation!

Your voice matters, and together, we can shape the trajectory of VitaDAO and contribute to the advancement of decentralized science.

👋Meet Key VitaDAO Contributor: Rhys Anderson

Rhys Anderson is a research scientist and active VitaDAO contributor. In 2016, he received his PhD in Cell Biology from Newcastle University. Currently, his time as a postdoctoral research associate is spent researching senescence and aging at King’s College London. On the side, Rhys is a part of the Longevity Dealflow Working Group, and Community and Awareness Working Group, and has played an integral part in the initiation of the Longevist. Rhys’s dedication and expertise exemplify the collaborative spirit of our community.

How did you first get involved in VitaDAO?

I’m a cell biologist and in late 2021 I received a Longevity Impetus grant to support my research on targeting senescent cells. Shortly after, I received an email from VitaDAO saying they are reaching out to the Impetus awardees. I had a call with Dealflow Steward Laurence to discuss my research, and he also explained how the DAO works and that anyone can get involved — so I did, and the rest is history……

What does your contribution look like?

I started off contributing to deal flow by helping to evaluate funding applications before going on to “shepherd” some of my own. In mid-2022, Maria Marinova and I began co-authoring a monthly Longevity Newsletter, keeping people up-to-date with all the goings on in the longevity world from publications to conferences and interviews with prominent longevity scientists.

Recently I have also been busy working away on VitaDAO’s new initiative, an overlay journal — The Longevist — which will be ready for launch soon!

How does it work for you?

I work full-time doing research, but due to the remote and flexible nature of VitaDAO, I’m able to make contributions on weekends, evenings, and early mornings before my toddler awakes and summons his loyal servant.

You played an integral part in establishing The Longevist. What exactly is The Longevist?

The Longevist is a curation of the world’s most exciting longevity research each quarter. Our editorial team created a shortlist of preprints that we believe have the potential to have a big impact on the field and then our team of expert curators vote on-chain to determine which of these preprints they think are the best.

Why preprints?

Preprints have accelerated the rate at which scientific discoveries are shared with the world. However, so much research is published on a daily basis that it’s impossible to keep up with all the literature and it could be months to years before publication in a traditional journal. So we are using our platform to highlight research that deserves special attention.

What do you feel is VitaDAO’s biggest strength compared to traditional longevity biotechs?

VitaDAO has an extensive network with a real breadth and depth of expertise. With the opt-in nature, no one is lumbered with unwanted assignments from the boss — instead, people can focus on contributing to the projects they are most passionate about. I’ve been extremely impressed by the rate at which ideas can go from inception to reality.

The community is also willing to take risks on projects which would be unlikely to receive conventional funding as well as being able to support the longevity ecosystem in numerous other ways from prizes to fellowships.

Any closing thoughts for readers?

There’s a real buzz around DAOs at the moment — I imagine it’s akin to what the early stages of the dot com boom would have felt like in the 90s.

Looking at the DeSci space alone there are new DAOs popping up all the time and they are proving to be instrumental in bringing both the tech and science worlds together.

The success of VitaDAO has been enabled by decades of longevity research showing that aging isn’t an immutable universal constant but rather a process that can be understood and targeted. The tech world has bought into this and has created the infrastructure and provided funding to support longevity research, which has the potential to lead to a healthier, more prosperous future for all of humanity.

🗓️Upcoming Event

June 15, 5 pm CET — June 23, 5 pm CET: VITA-FAST Token Crowd Sale

We’ve made it possible for you to govern and engage with Viktor Korolchuk Lab’s research as a VitaDAO Member. As you know, we’re all about putting the power in the hands of our community and we’re doing exactly that with the VITA-FAST tokens.
Participate in the Sale:

🤝Get Involved

Have a special skill set? Contribute to VitaDAO and receive $VITA in return. Want to stay up to date with the VitaDAO community? Join us on Discord, subscribe to our Twitter, and follow our Instagram!

Additionally, VitaDAO’s updated website ( contains information on funded projects and a treasury dashboard.

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