Category Archives: Rapamycin

RAADfest, Rapamycin, Pig Heart Transplant and New Teeth

It has been a while since I covered news from the world of anti-aging and age reversal. There has been some major media coverage in that area in recent weeks. A cure for or slowing down in human aging would obviously also benefit hair loss (and reverse grey hair).

RAADfest 2023
RAADfest 2023 key speakers. Source:

RAADfest 2023

RAADfest 2023 ran from September 7, 2023 through September 10, 2023 in Anaheim, California. It is run by the Coalition for Radical Life Extension non-profit organization, whose executive director is James Strole. The RAADfest Twitter (X) account has some updates from  the conference. Note that RAAD is an acronym for “Revolution Against Aging and Death”.

I am always interested in this unique aging reversal related conference. However, this year they did not release any video presentations from the conference on their YouTube channel. There are some short videos on the Coalition for Radical Life Extension’s Instagram.

Of most interest to me was the list of speakers at the conference. They managed to attract some of the most well known people in the worlds of biology, genetics, anti-aging and technological progress. Among these include people that I have covered on this blog several times in the past:

  1. George Church. A Harvard University based vegan scientific genius who got an F grade in a graduate school course in 1976.
  2. Bryan Johnson. Of BluePrint biohacking fame who has been everywhere in the news this year. A marketing wizard bar none and also a vegan.
  3. Aubrey de Grey, who I talked to in an airport once when our flight was delayed. You can check out all his past Reddit comments where he did some AMAs. He never misses his daily beer.
  4. Ray Kurzweil, a famous inventor and futurist who I talked to at a Singularity Summit once. Renowned for taking over 150 daily vitamin and mineral supplements.

The only anti-aging scientist celebrity that was missing is Dr. David Sinclair of NAD and NMN fame. He is also a vegan.

Among the other presenters included two I have covered in the past: BioViva’s vegetarian CEO Liz Parrish; and Sierra Sciences ultramarathon runner CEO Bill Andrews (of telomerase fame).

The 69-year old still very youthful looking life extensionist William “Bill” Faloon has been a permanent presence at RAADfest since the first edition in 2016.

Longevity Summit Dublin

On a related note, Dr. Martin O’Dea and Dr. Audrey de Grey (via his LEV foundation) are running a new conference called Longevity Summit Dublin. Their comprehensive YouTube channel contains all the speaker videos from the first edition of this conference that happened in August 2023. Among the speakers included Dr. George Church.

Rapamycin in the News

Two new videos in regards to Rapamycin (which I covered in my recent post on autophagy).

Dr. David Sinclair: 

“On and off”.

Mr. Peter Diamandis:

“I am taking 6 milligrams once a week.”

Second Ever Pig Transplant

The world’s second ever successful pig heart transplant to a human just occurred at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Wishing the very best to recipient Lawrence Faucette. The first person who successfully got a pig heart (in 2022, also at University of Maryland School of Medicine) only lived for 2 months.

Can Aging be Reversed?

The Economist (in a cover story and video  below) and BBC discussed aging reversal in detail in September 2023. As did NPR, Netflix (Blue Zones), National Geographic and more. A globally ageing population means an ever pressing need and desire for anti-aging technologies to come to fruition.

Growing New Teeth

A Japanese pharmaceutical startup named Toregem Biopharma (funded by Kyoto University) is working on a drug to stimulate the growth of new teeth. This would be a world-first. The company plans to begin clinical trials in 2024, and put the drug on the market by 2030.

Toregem Biopharma was co-founded by Dr. Katsu Takahashi, head of dentistry and oral surgery at Kitano Hospital in Osaka. In a 2021 report, he stated the following:

“The fundamental molecules responsible for tooth development have already been identified. The morphogenesis of individual teeth depends on the interactions of several molecules including BMP, or bone morphogenetic protein, and Wnt signaling,”

The team already succeeded in growing new teeth in mice in 2018. Moreover, the team also administered the drug to ferrets, which have similar baby and permanent teeth to humans. Yet again, new teeth grew in the experiment.

Interestingly, Dr. Takashi Tsuji and his team at OrganTech (Japan) are working on regenerating both teeth and hair. Previously at RIKEN, they were also working on salivary gland regeneration.

Autophagy and Hair Growth

Autophagy Hair Growth
Hair growth via small molecule autophagy inducers. Source: Cell Reports.

Autophagy has been in the news a lot in recent years. The word is derived from Greek and means “self-devouring” or “self-eating”. Autophagy is used to describe the human body’s process of reusing old and damaged cell parts. i.e., it is your body’s cellular recycling system.

The main reason for the increasing visibility of this word is because of the surge in popularity of caloric restriction, intermittent fasting and low carbohydrate diets. All of these can induce autophagy, as can exercise and hypoxia.

Autophagy and Hair Growth

Interestingly, autophagy can also affect hair growth positively. Perhaps not too surprising considering the number of health conditions that are impacted by inflammation and dysregulation of autophagy (and the related issue of senescent cells).

  • An interesting 2019 study from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) found that hair growth can be initiated by small molecules that activate autophagy. The scientists found that:

“Quiescent (telogen) hair follicles can be stimulated to initiate anagen and hair growth by small molecules that activate autophagy. Including the metabolites α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) and α-ketobutyrate (α-KB), and the prescription drugs rapamycin and metformin.”

  • Another more recent study from 2021 found that impairment of autophagy could be a potential mechanism in androgenetic alopecia. Interestingly, RIKEN (Japan) was involved in this research.
  • Yet another study from 2018 concluded that autophagy plays an essential role in human hair growth. Monasterium Laboratory was involved in this work.

Metformin, Rapamycin and Autophagy

In the first of the studies I listed on top, it is mentioned that metformin and rapamycin both impact autophagy via inhibiting mTOR and AMPK signaling. I have covered both these well known drugs in some of my past posts related to longevity and anti-aging.

While metformin is taken by diabetics, a large number of non-diabetics (including Dr. David Sinclair) who are trying to increase their healthy lifespan also take the drug. One major observational study of 200,000 patients from 2014 found that diabetics who take metformin actually outlived non-diabetics. However, this study does not imply causation. Therefore, longevity experts are eagerly awaiting results of the Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) trials.

Rapamycin is a potent inducer of autophagy. Many people take the drug in the belief that it counters aging in humans. Of more immediate interest is the major “Dog Aging Project“, also known as The Test of Rapamycin In Aging Dogs (TRIAD). Also of note, topical rapamycin could reverse hair greying and benefit hair growth. Perhaps even more so via microneedle delivery.


You might have no interest in such esoteric findings that are usually only tested in mouse hair initially. However, caloric restriction (under professional guidance) and exercise are almost certainly going to improve your overall health. And caloric restriction even grows hair/fur in mice (of course).

Even if you see no reduction in hair loss, experimenting with such longevity related strategies is not a bad idea. I am very averse to taking drugs, but there is a good chance that I will get on metformin in the coming years. Not yet sure about rapamycin.